Profesjonsidentitet i et flerkulturelt helsevesen – Paradokser, grenser og ambivalens

English title: Professional identity in multicultural health services – Paradoxes, boundaries and ambivalence

  • Inger Daae-Qvale


Healthcare professionals are trained to “do good”. Their role is to fulfil the welfare state’s objective of curing or alleviating health problems among the population. The training of healthcare professionals is oriented towards the acquisition of comprehensive knowledge and is designed to make them authorities on the management of suffering. Traditionally the healthcare professions have adhered to strict ethical standards, where- among other things- concepts of equality and solidarity are intended to protect weak and marginalized groups. These ethical standards are also reflected in the official descriptions of their own roles promulgated by the health professions. An increasingly multicultural population has displayed demographic differences in disease incidence as well in cultural attitudes about health, disease and treatment. Service users from minority backgrounds are often categorized as problematic in the sense that they are not perceived as falling into a recognizable user category. These differences seem to create asymmetry in the professional field, due to lack of sufficient experience by health personnel or a lack of comprehensive knowledge about the appropriate handling of the group. This may create ambivalence in the professional practice of health personnel. I argue that health personell need to strengthen their multicultural competence to meet the healthcare needs of immigrant populations. The aim of the article is to contribute to a more thorough understanding of why healthcare professionals identity are challenged when they interact with a multicultural population. The article's method is based on discourse analytical persepectives through analyses of 31 text examples from health personell who strengthen their multicultural competence through education. 

How to Cite
Daae-Qvale, I. (2016). Profesjonsidentitet i et flerkulturelt helsevesen – Paradokser, grenser og ambivalens. FLEKS - Scandinavian Journal of Intercultural Theory and Practice, 3(1).
Research articles