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Rebecca Selberg

Rebecca Selberg

Associate senior lecturer

Rebecca Selberg

What works in work? Real utopias and the need for social transformation in care work


  • Rebecca Selberg
  • Magnus Sandberg
  • Paula Mulinari

Summary, in English

Based on extensive qualitative (interviews, n50) and quantitative data (survey questionnaire, n3200), this paper identifies management – and not only managerial regimes – as a problem in in public sector work places. The paper specifically explores what nurses and social workers identify as central areas of conflict shaping their work, and what forms of structural and organizational change they view as necessary in order to create a more socially sustainable work situation, for themselves as well as for patients and clients. We argue that workers within the public sector are key knowledge bearers in confronting the crisis of care. Inspired by the work of Nancy Fraser, who has developed the concept of a care crisis, as well as Erik Olin Wright’s discussion on real utopia, the paper analyses what public sector workers know about the workings of their workplaces, and how this knowledge can be used to change society to become more sustainable, just and equal.


  • Department of Gender Studies
  • Proactive Integrated Care
  • Health-promoting Complex Interventions

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • Gender Studies

Conference name

NEON - nettverk for organisasjonsforskning i Norge

Conference date

2020-11-18 - 2020-11-19

Conference place

Oslo, Norway



Research group

  • Proactive Integrated Care
  • Health-promoting Complex Interventions