Dokumentation och känslor: socialsekreterares pappers- och känsloarbete

Teres Hjärpe, Hanna Falkenström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Documentation and emotions. Balancing paper work and emotional work in the social services
This article deals with documentation and documentation requirements in relation to social workers’ prerequisites to perform ”emotional labour”. Inspired by Arlie Hochschild’s sociology of emotions and the selected concepts emotional labour, feeling management and ”the speed-up”, the study aims at illuminating processes unfolding at the intersection of paper work and emotio- nal work. With a focus on social workers with authority-based investigative work tasks, the ana- lysis reveals a somewhat ambiguous picture of how documentation and feelings work together. On the one hand participants describe how documentation practices are used to re ect upon and emotionally ”let go” of cases, and that documentation contributes to feelings of ”being in control”, as well as to the anticipation of what feelings to manage. On the other hand, or at the same time, documentation requirements seem to be a source of anxiety, professional and internal dilemmas and stress, distracting the social worker from emotional management towards the user. ese results nuance earlier research that has predominantly pointed out the negative perceptions and consequences of increased documentation requirements within the social services.
Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)177-199
JournalSocialvetenskaplig tidskrift
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 19

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Work

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