Title: Emotions and normativity in assessments of children at risk

Authors: Veronica Svärd

Addresses: Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Box 720, SE 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden

Abstract: This article explores the linkage between emotions and social norms, based on gender, nationality/culture, class and (dis)ability, in 14 hospital social workers assessments about parents, in their narratives about children at risk. In various ways, a range of emotions are shown to be linked to normativity. When the feeling of blame was present, other emotions such as worry became stuck to unprivileged groups of parents in a 'logical' way in assessments and shaped certain orientations for actions against the parents. By using the concept of stickiness, an understanding of how emotions and normativity works in assessments is developed.

Keywords: emotions; feelings; normativity; parental assessment; children at risk; hospital social work; hospital organisation; parents; Sweden; social norms; gender; nationality; culture; class; disability; ability; blame; worry; unprivileged groups; stickiness.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2014.068039

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2014 Vol.6 No.4, pp.369 - 382

Received: 20 Feb 2014
Accepted: 01 Jan 2015

Published online: 10 Mar 2015 *

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