"She didn't expect to get a slap": Modeling "proper" conduct among teachers and students in training classes for care workers in Sweden

Gunilla Jansson, Ali Reza Majlesi
2020 International Journal of the Sociology of Language  
The current study is carried out in an ethnically diverse three-semester vocational adult education programme in Sweden for those who aspire to register as assistant nurses. The data is based on field notes taken during participant observations and video-recordings of the classroom interaction in a course on dementia care in the autumn of 2014. In Sweden, care work is framed by the goals stated in The Swedish Social Services Act, which is to promote the elderly's right to self-determination and
more » ... f-determination and independence. In the class in which this study was carried out, this policy informed the teaching of "good" communication practices. The aim of this article is to demonstrate how the strategies taught in school that embody this policy come into conflict with the seemingly unavoidable dilemmas experienced by trainee students on the work floor. We analyse two examples of teachers acting out hypothetical scenes for the purpose of modeling proper caregiver conduct in dealing with frail, powerless individuals with dementia. The students' descriptions of their own conduct in managing challenging resident behaviour are thereby considered as accountable actions. The article brings into focus the complexity of the power relations and institutional asymmetries at play concerning the teaching situation in training classes for care workers.
doi:10.1515/ijsl-2019-2069 fatcat:5iwq4cxhlfd4zglz6sffhkmqna