Long-term care workers and bureaucracy: The occupational ritualization of maltreatment in nursing homes and recommended policies
This article proposes that occupational rituals are an important part of social life for long-term care workers. Using 40 biographies, autobiographies, and research monographs to examine nursing homes, it reviews various symbolic themes expressed through daily work rituals in nursing homes. The themes involve concepts related to the culture of bureaucracy. This includes staff separation, rules, documentation, efficiency, and meetings. Using structural ritualization theory, we suggest that certain ritualized symbolic practices that express these themes influence the behaviors of nursing home employees shaping the thoughts and social interaction of nursing home staff members, creating occupational ritualization. Ritualized symbolic practices also contribute to the unintended maltreatment of residents. However, we believe alternative policies can generate work rituals with the potential to replace or offset the negative impacts of bureaucracy on maltreatment.
Journal of Applied Social Science
Ulsperger, J. S., & Knottnerus, J. D. (2007). Long-term care workers and bureaucracy the Occupational Ritualization of maltreatment in nursing homes and recommended policies. Journal of Applied Social Science, 1(1), 52-70. doi:10.1177/193672440700100110