Precarious contours of work-family conflict: The case of nurses in Turkey


ECONOMIC AND LABOUR RELATIONS REVIEW, cilt.31, sa.1, ss.59-75, 2020 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 31 Konu: 1
  • Basım Tarihi: 2020
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1177/1035304619879327
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.59-75


This article examines the impact of the neoliberal restructuring of health services on female nurses in Turkey. It provides a qualitative analysis of work-family conflict, establishing that not only work but also family life has become more precarious. The contours of precariousness of both work and family are analysed through interviews with 50 female nurses working full time in different areas of health service provision. The findings suggest that the neoliberal restructuring of health services has led to staffing deficits along with workload intensification, unpredictable work schedules and poor organisational support. This has increased work-family conflict, defined as a form of precariousness because it heightens the difficulties, risks and insecurities entailed in balancing family-related expectations with increasing work demands for female nurses. This precariousness makes spousal support critical if nurses are to be able to address work-family conflict and leads to nurses' compliance with unfavourable working conditions as a way to resolve the mutual interference of family and work. The increased subordination of life to work has resulted from the neoliberal managerialisation of health services, creating precarisation in the lives of female nurses.