Agency in deskilling: Filipino nurses’ experiences in the Norwegian health care sector
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionGeoforum. 2021, 126 340-349. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2021.08.012
By examining the migration and employment experiences of Filipino migrant nurses in Norway, this article demonstrates how nurses exert agency when faced with barriers that can hamper or even block their access to nursing positions. While these barriers may lead to deskilling, the aim of this article is to shed light on how nurses can find a way to reformulate their conditions and opportunities within highly regulated professional and migration regimes. In order to achieve this, the article draws on Cindi Katz’ categorization of agency, which gives primacy to everyday practices, including practices that are barely observable. By focussing on individual agency as acts of resilience and reworking and on the structural constraints that shape the possibilities and actions of migrating nurses, this article shows how migrants actively work to change their circumstances and alter their positions. By including the intentions and consequences of agency in the analysis, the dynamics between acts as different expressions of agency becomes visible. The analysis shows how acts of resilience and reworking, although analytically distinct, are dynamic and overlapping, and how they may enable as well as undermine one another.