Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The micro sociology of discrimination: overseas nurses’ experiences

27.04.2006


New research by Dr John Aggergaard Larsen, Research Fellow at the European Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey suggests that overseas-trained nurses working in the UK experience racist or xenophobic discrimination that often works through subtle ‘little things’ occurring in everyday interaction. The research, which is based on in-depth interviews across England and Wales, and was presented at the BSA Conference 2006 on 22 April 2006, reveals that this can have severe consequences for the life and well-being of the nurses, as it can also impede their career development chances.



Overseas nurses may feel bullied or socially isolated at work. In the research some nurses described how they are always given the jobs performed in solitude, they are confined to sitting by themselves during breaks or patients and relatives avoid approaching them, preferring the white healthcare assistant. Furthermore, overseas nurses feel frequently singled out for negative attention when colleagues make a formal complaint over minor issues that generally go unnoticed if performed by a British colleague.

The career development for overseas nurses can be seriously hindered by the social marginalisation they experience. Rather than actively being treated badly, some report how they see their British colleagues being supported and advised by clinical managers who allow them to ‘act up’ to a higher position or brief or train them before a promotion interview. This unequal treatment means that overseas nurses are in a disadvantaged position in the workplace.


Our research shows that some overseas nurse react to this everyday discrimination by retracting from previous career ambitions and instead concentrate on their family lives. Some successful overseas nurses have, in contrast, described how they actively seek to overcome such difficult social situations through a self-imposed ‘blindness’ to the discrimination of their social surroundings and a strong social skill to re-negotiate their social role, often through humour.

These findings point to the importance of paying attention to the micro sociology of discrimination as it occurs in the everyday of healthcare practice. Apart from disadvantaging migrant workers such processes means that valuable skills and competencies are lost, as individuals are not using and developing their full potential to the benefit of British healthcare provision. Employers and managers should therefore pay more attention to support migrant workers and put a stop to the everyday discrimination.

Dr John Aggergaard Larsen is part of the wider REOH research team: Professor Pam Smith and Dr Helen Allen (Centre for Research in Nursing and Midwifery Education, University of Surrey), Professor Maureen Mackintosh and Dr Leroi Henry (Economics, Open University) and The Royal College of Nursing. The research is funded by the European Social Fund.

Stuart Miller | alfa
Further information:
http://portal.surrey.ac.uk/reoh

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>