“Does She Speak Norwegian?” Ethnic dimensions of hierarchy in Norwegian health care workplaces


Publication date


Series/Report no

Nordic Journal of Migration Research;3(2)


De Gruyter Open

Document type


This article highlights implications of two aspects of glocalisation - migration and New Public Management - at different levels in the Norwegian health care sector. They meet in the concept of competence, the central principle of hierarchisation in this sector. ‘Norwegianness’ emerges as an important informal competency, while there is a need for allowing the conceptual alignment of ‘migrancy’ with medical competence. Most immigrants who are not able to align themselves with ‘Norwegianness’ hit what Nirmal Puwar calls the ‘concrete ceiling of race’, while a few manage to find jobs further up through assimilating into pre-existing schemas of ‘Norwegianness’. This may lead to a loss of competencies useful in a diverse society. In the absence of political will to counteract this tendency, it is likely to cause growing inefficiency in the sector.



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Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/2536