New research on social identites of impaired workers and professionals

Tone Alm Andreassen and Per Koren Solvang have published an article in Sociology of Health and Illness about the social identities invoked by mpaired workers and professionals in health care and employment services. It can be accessed HERE.


For persons with a long‐term illness or impairment, return‐to‐work decisions involve considerations about work capacity, opportunities in the labour market, the impact of injuries, further treatment requirements, physical and cognitive rehabilitation, and mental health recovery. These considerations are undertaken by the affected individuals as well as by professionals in health care and employment services. Drawing upon institutional theories of organisations, especially the understanding that institutional logics provide different social identities to injured individuals, we study rehabilitation processes following multi‐trauma or traumatic brain injury (TBI) within the Scandinavian welfare model. We identify which social identities are activated in professionals’ considerations and in the stories of the injured individuals. The aim is to understand how professionals’ reasoning about the clients’ problems influences return‐to‐work processes. Our primary finding is that the wageworker identity, invoked by the injured individuals themselves, is subordinated by the professionals to the logic of profession and the associated patient identity. Consequently, not only is impaired people’s anti‐discrimination right to reasonably adjusted work ignored, ignored is also a possible resource in the rehabilitation process. Additionally, individuals who view themselves as wageworkers tend to be left unserved.

Relevant research on social mobility

This article from John H. Goldthorpe examines the relationship between education and social mobility. He challenges the notion that education policy promot mobility, and suggests that it might be a «positional good» resisting a mobility regime. Full article can be read HERE.

Two new projects coming to INTEGRATE!

The Research Council of Norway has granted support for two research projects tied to INTEGRATE. «Organising for Outcome» led by Tone Alm Andreassen and «Engage» led by Eric Breit.

«Organising for Outcome» (O4O) will study service integration and transitions to employment for citizens with complex service needs. The project answers a need for research on coordination and cooperation across professions and services aimed at groups on the margins of the labour market.

In addition to Tone, core group members of INTEGRATE such as Espen Dahl, Therese Saltkjel, Kjetil A. van der Wel, Eric Breit, and Trond Petersen, as well as international collaborators Renate Minas and Flemming Larsen, will participate in 040.

«Engage», aims to develop new knowledge about how small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) can contribute successfully to the sustained workplace inclusion of vulnerable citizens, and can be supported effectively in doing so.

In addition to Eric, Øysten Spjelkavik of the INTEGRATE core group, and international collaborators Rik van Berkel and Nicolette van Gestel will participate in Engage.

New research from INTEGRATE

Tone Alm Andreassen, Eric Breit, and Therese Saltkjel just published a systematic review on research approaches to networked employment services. It was published in «Social Policy & Administration» on 01.04.20 and you can find it HERE.

The abstract:

Research on networked services aimed at the (re)employment of groups marginalised from the labour market has gained momentum in different scholarly traditions (e.g., public administration, healthcare and social policy), but the topic remains somewhat fragmented. In this paper, we systematise and synthesise this research with the aim of outlining distinct research approaches, facilitating increased cross‐disciplinary understandings and promoting interdisciplinary research. Based on a systematic review of the literature (1990–2018, = 273), we highlight four dominant research approaches: rehabilitation, disability, welfare and governance. We show that these research approaches involve distinct conceptualisations of labour market inclusion, networked services and the target groups. Nevertheless, the research approaches also apply similar terms and concepts (e.g., partnership, collaboration) but with different (more or less implicit) connotations, which lead to fragmentation. We do not suggest that there be a unified use of concepts across traditions; however, we argue for the necessity of increased awareness of the similarities and differences between these research traditions in order to increase understanding of the networked employment services available to marginalised groups.