En anden hverdag - om institutionaliserde sociale rolleskift hos forældre til cancersyge børn af Lene Bjerregaard og Hanne Bækgaard Laursen soc. Inst. KU sept. 2004

Lene Berit Skov Bjerregaard, Hanne Bækgaard Laursen

Publikation: Ph.d. afhandling/ kandidat/ diplomKandidatspecialeForskningpeer review

6 Downloads (Pure)


This sociological master thesis: Another way of living – institutionalized social rolechanges among parents with children diagnosed with cancer , is based on a qualitative study of parents with children diagnosed with cancer.
The purpose of this study: To offer a new understanding of how families manage the strain of the social situation where a child is diagnosed with cancer, and the impact this poses on central areas of the family: The parents’ internal role division and role understanding and externally the parents changed relations and positions within the society; in this case their relation to the labor market and social institutions represented by the hospital and the social sector.
Methods: The purpose of the paper has empirically been investigated using qualitative semi-structured interviews: 8 interviews with parents, who recently had their child diagnosed with a cancer, and 3 interviews with representatives from different social institutions, in this case a nurse, a physician and a social worker.
Theoretically the purpose has been examined using a sociological frame work, including family sociology, an interactionist perspective represented by Erwin Goffman and Helen Ebaugh and a structuralist perspective inspired by Pierre Bourdieu and authors using his theoretical framework.
Results: As a consequence of the diagnosis of a child with cancer disease and the following treatment, the parents engage in following social changes:
– Multiple changes of social roles central to their identity and for some parents, these changes are fundamental to a degree that they last beyond the treatment of the child.
– The family strategies for sharing the leave of absence are based on the following considerations: the economical situation in the family, how to enhance the time spend within the family, the parents ideological understanding of the family and the parents emotional reaction to the diagnosis of the child with cancer.
– The parents organize the leave of absence in consideration of their work life in 3 different ways: Periodically, sectionalized or according to the equalized, gender neutral parenthood. These different ways bear an influence on the parent’s organization of the relationship between the home, the hospital and the work, and accordingly, the parents organize this relation either by splitting the work between them or performing “every second” task.
– The parental relationship to the work force and the social culture that dominate their individual work place bear an influence on how the leave of absence is divided between the parents.
– The parental encounter with the hospital and the social system illustrate examples of clientification of the parents and how they are exposed to institutionalized use of oppression and symbolic power. At the hospital, the parents engage in an asymmetric relationship with the professional staff and they are forced to follow the institutional understanding of their situation and emotional guidelines. Within the social system the parents may be regarded as clients in need of assistance to make personally changes. To avoid this kind of oppression, the parents engage in different coping strategies e.g. different family strategies, aiming at maintaining the capital within the family, conversion of different forms of capital, engage in different role changing processes, not using all the possibilities offered by the social system to the full extend, and establishing alliances with the medical staff in the common battle against the child’s cancer disease. By these actions, the parents engage in the different kind of “games” that dominate the different fields within the society.
StatusUdgivet - 15 sep. 2004