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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Gender as a Category of Knowledge

Käthe von Bose


Dissertation projekt:

Clinically Clean: Negotiations on Cleaning Work in Hospitals: An Empirical Study on the Relation of Power, Work, and Cleanliness 



Description of the Project


Cleaning work produces classifications of cleanli- ness and dirtiness, of (social) order and disorder. Moreover in the process of cleaning and the divi- sion of cleaning work, powerful negotiations and (gendered, racialized, sexualized) differentiations are made.

The aim of my qualitative empirical research project is to find the means by which working subjects are constituted within a hospital by doing different levels of cleaning work. How is cleaning work being performed and negotiated on a daily basis in a German hospital? How do the varying tasks of cleaning, removing of dirt, and production of hygienic cleanliness shape and (re)inforce powerful social relations between people? What are the strategies, agencies, and (dissident) actions of the workers who deal with them?

In order to explore those questions, I do fieldwork in various areas of work in German hospitals and interview people from several levels of the hospital hierarchy. 





Käthe von Bose, studied educational sciences, Cologne, 2007-2010; research associate, Dept. for Comparative Educational Research and Social Sciences, University of Cologne; research projects and teaching in the field of migration and education. 2011-2013 scholarship at the Graduate Research Group, PhD student in Sociology, Center for Interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies (ZIFG), TU Berlin. 1/2013-4/2013 visiting research student at the Gender Institute of the London School of Economics.



Selected Publications


Klinisch rein. Zum Verhältnis von Sauberkeit, Macht und Arbeit im Krankenhaus, Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2017.

Cleanliness, Affect and Social Order: On Agency and its Ambivalences in the Context of Cleaning Work. In: Megha Amrith u. Nina Sahraoui (Hg.): Gender, Work and Migration: Agency in Gendered Labour Settings. Farnham: Routledge, 2017 (im Erscheinen). S. 81-99.

With Ulrike Klöppel, Katrin Köppert, Karin Michalski und Pat Treusch (Hg.): I is for Impasse. Affektive Queerverbindungen in Theorie_Aktivismus_Kunst, Berlin: b_books, 2015.



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