Émotions et travail d'assistance aux soins personnels en gérontologie : se garder du dégoût, mais pas trop

Authors: Marché, Anne Danièle Cécile
Advisor: St-Arnaud, Louise
Abstract: Emotions and work of personal care of elderly, keeping disgust down, but not too much The work of caregivers assigned to the personal care of elderly residents in institutional facilities is often thought of as “dirty work, ” part of the unrewarding aspects of nursing care, but also, more generally, part of the unrewarding aspects of domestic work which the whole society seems to loathe. This work is delegated to women – and a few men – who must deal with unbearable feelings of disgust and the ethical threat that this represents for “care work” (Molinier, 2005). Using a theoretical framework integrating both moral theory of emotions (Ben Ze'ev, 1997; Miller, 1997; Nussbaum, 2001) and psychodynamics of work (Dejours, 1980c), this thesis examines how caregivers use their creative intelligence (Dejours, 1993b) to deal with the emotional and moral conflict between the disgust they feel and the core values of care work and to preserve themselves from the disgust. If the intelligence of emotions involves elements of emotional conflict and the plasticity of emotions falls within the competence of action, thus work plays a central role in reducing the contradiction inherent in this conflict. Based on structural oppositions of disgust and from human conducts in work situations models, an ad hoc analytical grid was developed to understand how caregivers keep their feelings of disgust away, protecting themselves by adopting an ingenious approach involving subjective distance. This work protects the workers, their coworkers but in the first instance, the elderly residents, from the loathing of disgust and from its contaminating power (Rozin, 1986). Above all, while protecting themselves from disgust, caregivers keep disgust still active, isolating pollution in an object of residual disgust, in order to test the vitality of the work collective. By working in full view of others and exposing how they break with the distance prescribed by the norm of respectfulness, the caregivers appeal to the collective sharing of the risk that breaking this norm implies. Highlighting the ingenuity of care work socially contributes to opening up a space such that the voice of these women, who are striving to build a world that is fit to live in, compensating for the human vulnerability, can be heard. Keywords: emotions at work, disgust, “dirty work”, “care work”, moral risk, emotional conflict, cooperation, gerontology.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2011
Open Access Date: 17 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/22527
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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