Flexibility and visibility. An examination of the narratives of Norwegian people with disabilities about working part-time
Janikke Solstad Vedeler, Cecilie Høj Anvik
NOVA, Norwegian Social Research, OsloMet, Oslo Metropolitan University
Article PDF


Disability, Employment, Graded disability pension, Part-time

How to Cite

Cecilie Høj Anvik, J. S. V. (2019). Flexibility and visibility. An examination of the narratives of Norwegian people with disabilities about working part-time. Academy Journal, (6(18), 66-80. Retrieved from http://scopuseu.com/scopus/index.php/academy/article/view/724
Article PDF


Among the disabled workforce, many are engaged in part-time work. However, research regarding the relationship between disability and part-time work has only partially elucidated how people with disabilities who are in receipt of partial or graded disability pensions perceive and handle the combination of part-time work with their pension payments. This article addresses the narrated strategies employed by people with disabilities in managing part-time employment, drawing on interview data from 10 Norwegian citizens who worked part-time in addition to receiving a graded disability pension. The findings illustrate that flexibility and visibility are specific strategies that our informants implement when health issues and reduced working hours result in weakened connections to the workplace. The article demonstrates how the discourses around paid employment facilitate these strategies. By providing insight into people’s narrated experiences of engaging in part-time work with disabilities, the article offers significant recommendations into the conditions necessary for people with disabilities to remain employed while also in receipt of graded disability pensions.

Article PDF


Arbeidskraftundersøkelsen, A. K. U. (2017). Disabled people, Labour force survey, 2017. 2nd quarter. (Retrieved from http://www.ssb.no/akutu/).

Ali, M., Schur, L., & Blanck, P. (2011). What types of jobs do people with disabilities want? Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 21(2), 199–210. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10926-010-9266-0

Andreassen, T. A., & Bergene, A. C. (2011). Forpliktelse, omsorg eller nytte – arbeidsgiveres inkluderingsansvar og forventninger til NAV. Søkelys på Arbeidslivet, 4(28), 317–334.

Bell, D. N. F., & Blanchflower, D. G. (2011). Young people and the Great Recession. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 27(2), 241–267. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/grr011

Brubaker, R., & Cooper, F. (2000). Beyond ‘identity’. Theory and Society, 29(1), 1–47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1007068714468 Bråthen, M. (2010). Uførepensjonisters tilknytning til arbeidslivet. Arbeid og velferd, 1, 31–37.

Burr, V. (1995). An introduction to social constructionism. London: Routledge.

Csordas, T. (1999). Embodiment and cultural phenomenology. In G. Weiss, & H. F. Haber (Eds.), Perspectives on embodiment: The intersections of nature and culture. New York: Routledge.

Desjarlais, R. (1992). Body and emotion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

European Commission. (2010). European disability strategy 2010–2020. (Retrieved from: http://www.eur- lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:20100636:FPDF).

Halrynjo, S. (2010). Mødre og fedre i møte med karrierelogikkens spilleregler: Hva skjer med høyt utdannete kvinners og menns karriere- og familetilpasning når de får barn? Og hvordan kan tilpasningen forklares? Oslo: Institutt for sosiologi og samfunns- geografi, Universitetet i Oslo.

Halvorsen, K. (2011). Undermineres arbeidsviljen av velferdsstaten? Tidsskrift for velferdsforskning (trykt utg.), 14(4), 220–234.

Hvinden, B. (2013). Disability. In B. Greve (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of the welfare state (pp. 371–380). London and New

York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Hästbacka, E., Nygård, M., & Nyqvist, F. (2016). Barriers and facilitators to societal participation of people with disabilities: A scoping review of studies concerning European countries. Alter - European Journal of Disability research, Revue européen de recherche sur le handicap, 10(3), 201–220. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alter.2016.02.002

Johansson, H., & Hvinden, B. (2007). What do we mean by active citizenship? In B. Hvinden, & H. Johansson (Eds.), Citizenship in Nordic Welfare States. Dynamics of Choice, Duties and Participation in a Changing Europe (pp. 32–49). London/New York: Routledge.

Jones, M. K. (2007). Does part-time employment provide a way of accommodating a disability? Manchester School, 75(6), 695–716. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9957.2007.01042.x

Kruse, D., & Schur, L. (2003). Employment of people with disabilities following the ADA. Industrial Relations, 42(1), 31–66. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-232x.00275

Legard, S. (2013). De vanskelige overgangene. En kunnskapsoversikt over forskning, politikk og tiltak for å bedre unge funksjonshemmedes overgang til høyere utdanning og arbeid. (Retrieved from: http://www.hioa.no/Om-OsloMet/Senter-for- velferds-og-arbeidslivsforskning/AFI/Publikasjoner-AFI/De-vanskelige-overgangene).

Lieblich, A., Zilber, T., & Tuval-Mashiach, R. (1998). Narrative research: reading, analysis, and interpretation. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage.

Mandal, R., & Ose, S. O. (2015). Social responsibility at company level and inclusion of disabled persons: the case of Norway.

Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 17(2), 167–187. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15017419.2013.814586

Mishler, E. G. (1986). Research interviewing: context and narrative. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Molden, T. H., & Tøssebro, J. (2010). Measuring disability in survey research: Comparing current measurements within one data set. Alter - European Journal of Disability research, Revue européen de recherche sur le handicap, 4(3), 174–189. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alter.2010.05.003

Murphy, R. (1987). The Body Silent. London: J.M. Dent.

Nav. (2018). Uføretrygd. (Retrieved from: https://www.nav.no/no/NAV+og+samfunn/Statistikk/AAP+nedsatt+arbeidsevne+og+ uforetrygd+-+statistikk/Uforetrygd).

Norvoll, R., & Fossestøl, K. (2010). Funksjonshemmede og arbeid: en kunnskapsstatus (Vol. 13/2010). Oslo: Instituttet.

OECD. (2010). Sickness, disability and work: Breaking the barriers. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Develop- ment.

Pagan, R. (2007). Is part-time work a good or bad opportunity for people with disabilities? A European analysis. Disability and Rehabilitation, 29(24), 1910–1919. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09638280701192881

Pedersen, A. W., & Kuhnle, S. (2017). The Nordic welfare state model. In O. P. Knutsen (Ed.), The Nordic models in political science: Challenged, but still viable? (pp. 249–272). Bergen: Fagbokforlaget.

Pinder, R. (1995). Bringing back the body without the blame? The experience of ill and disabled people at work. Sociology of Health & Illness, 17(5), 605–631.

Schur, L., Kruse, D., & Blanck, P. (2013). A closer look at employment. In L. Schur, D. Kruse, & P. Blanck (Eds.), People with disabilities: Sidelined or mainstreamed? (pp. 50–85). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The IA Agreement. (2014). Letter of Intent regarding a more inclusive working life, 4 March 2014-31 December 2018 (the IA Agreement). (Retrived from: 2018. https://www.regjeringen.no/en/topics/labour/the-working-environment-and- safety/inclusive-working-life/ia-tidligere-avtaleperioder/ia-avtalen-2014-18/ia-avtalen-2014-2018/id752432/).

Tøssebro, J. (2016). Scandinavian disability policy: From deinstitutionalisation to non-discrimination and beyond. ALTER - European Journal of Disability Research, Revue européen de recherche sur le handicap, 10(2), 111–123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alter.2016.03.003

Vedeler, J. S., & Schreuer, N. (2011). Policy in action: Stories on the workplace accommodation process. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 22(2), 95–105. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1044207310395942

Vedeler, J. S., & Mossige, S. (2010). Pathways into the labour market for Norwegians with mobility disabilities. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 12(4), 257–271. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15017410903581189

Winther Jørgensen, M., & Phillips, L. (2002). Discourse analysis as theory and method. London: Sage.