Yrkeserfarenheter av våld och emotionella strategier

Röster från personalen på de särskilda ungdomshemmen


  • Peter Andersson Legitimerad psykoterapeut och fil.dr i socialt arbete vid Stockholms universitet 




Special youth institutions, violence, staff perspective, emotional work


Experiences of violence and emotional strategies during everyday worklife: voices from staff at special youth homes

During the 2000s, the National Board of Institutional Care (SiS) has reported an increase in violent incidents between staff and young people. This article focuses the staffs´ professional everyday life, especially descriptions of how they handle violence in their professional everyday life and what directions the violence takes. The staffs´ everyday work is often depicted on the basis of various dilemmas and tensions, which can affect how they maneuver in terms of how they deal with, and are affected by, violence during their professional working day. The purpose of this article is to illustrate how staff describe the violence they encounter in terms of form, direction and extent, including their own handling of the violence. The theoretical starting point regarding violence is taken from a relational perspective where context, situation, form and intention are important for how violence is understood. The staff’s work is understood with the help of both Hochschild’s and Bolton’s descriptions of emotional work, where emphasis is placed on the development that Bolton pointed out regarding the importance of colleagues regarding feeling-rules. Fifty-three semi-structured interviews were conducted with staff at three different secure units for adolescents in Sweden. The material was organized through a thematic analysis, yielding four themes placed under two headings; ‘A violent scene? A matter of definition’ and ‘Handling violence: strategies employed’. The results show how staff describe youth as the violent party and how they suppress their own emotions. Additionally, staff articulated their own use of violence toward youth and their emotional stance, describing an interpersonal shield that protected them from violence. The results underline the importance of raising questions about the nature of violence in secure units for adolescents and how staff handle such violence in their everyday work. 


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Referera så här

Andersson, P. (2023) ”Yrkeserfarenheter av våld och emotionella strategier: Röster från personalen på de särskilda ungdomshemmen”, Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, 29(2), s. 151–171. doi: 10.3384/SVT.2022.29.2.4611.