Performative Identity Regulation in Rehabilitative Home Care Work: An Analysis of How Experts’ Embodied Mediation of the Managerial Ideology ‘Activates’ New Frontline Identities

Maya Christiane Flensborg Jensen, Sara Louise Muhr*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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This article explores how therapists when introduced as new so-called frontline ‘experts’ in home care work, become both discursive and embodied mediators for the managerial ideology of rehabilitation, and how their presence regulates the care aides’ subjectivities at work. We show how the managerial discourse of rehabilitation mobilizes the care aides to transform their identity from traditional nurturing to rehabilitation, as a result of promoting the latter as more professional. While the traditional managers/nurses promote the identity transfer through more classic discursive regulation at a distance from ‘the office’, the therapists do so through what we label performative regulation. Performative regulation is exercised by the therapists performing the desired role at the frontline and thus embodies the ideal and transfers it by embodied practices, not directives. With this notion of performative regulation, the article emphasizes the material, physical, embodied and performative dimensions of professional identity regulation.
TidsskriftCulture and Organization
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)211-230
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - maj 2020

Bibliografisk note

Published online: January 17, 2019


  • Home care work
  • Identity regulation
  • Performativity
  • Rehabilitation
  • Resistance