Sexual Harassment in the Context of Medical Organizations: Asymmetries of Power, Intersections of Inequalities, and the Privatization of Experience

Institute for Interdisciplinary Health Research (IIHR)
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Anastasia A. NovkunskayaDaria A. Litvina, Daria A. Nikitina, Elizaveta V. Vlasova

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This paper addresses cases of social situations that can be identified as sexual harassment in Russian healthcare. Drawing on the intersectional approach and some prerequisites of the sociology of professions, the article reveals several dimensions of power asymmetry in the context of medical professions and organizations, and analyzes their synergistic effects. In particular, it examines the symbolic inequalities of different medical professions, emphasizing their gendered character. The paper draws on mixed-method data consisting of 20 in-depth semi-structured interviews with nursing staff and 23 interviews with those medical professionals who agreed to share their experiences of sexual harassment. Additionally, results of an online survey (560 responses) on workplace interactions is drawn upon in the analysis.