Troubling Diversity? Exploring Nurses’ Discursive Construction of Intercultural Encounters in Healthcare Settings

By Kirsten Jæger and Annie Aarup Jensen.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Focussing on the cultural encounter between nurses and ethnic minority patients in Danish hospitals, this paper presents the results of a comprehensive analysis of nursing discourses on cultural difference and intercultural contact. Articles from the Danish professional journal ‘The Nurse’, published in the period from 2000 to 2008, pertaining to cultural contact and intercultural understanding have been analyzed in order to uncover nurses’ experience of ethnic and cultural diversity and the ways, in which these experiences challenge their cultural and professional expertise. Results are related to recent contributions to diversity management theory and intercultural communication theory, calling for a strengthened focus on the historical, political, and social dimensions of intercultural contact. In continuation of these trends, an alternative, theoretical framework for the interpretation of results, based on governmentality studies, will be suggested. This theoretical framework allows for a more systematic consideration of the complex interplay between culturally and professionally based power relations, relevant to a wide range of intercultural encounters in institutional and organizational settings.

Keywords: Diversity in Organizations, Diversity in the Healthcare Sector, Intercultural Communication

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp.99-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.249MB).

Kirsten Jæger

Associate Professor, Department of Language and Culture, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark

Annie Aarup Jensen

Associate Professor, Department of Education, Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark


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