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Krisgrupper och spontant stöd : om insatser efter branden i Göteborg 1998

Crisis groups and spontaneous support- on measures after the fire in Gothenburg 1998
  • Tuija Nieminen Kristofersson
Publiceringsår: 2002
Språk: Svenska
Sidor: 256
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Lund Dissertations in Social Work
Dokumenttyp: Doktorsavhandling
Förlag: Tuija N. Kristofersson, Jakobssons väg 13, S-295 35 Bromölla, SWEDEN,


The aim of the dissertation is to study the organized professional process and the spontaneous integrating and unifying process after the discotheque fire in Gothenburg 1998, when 63 young people died. Over a hundred crisis groups and duty centres were opened for the affected people. These groups are composed of representatives of the social services, psychiatry, the churches and voluntary organizations. The theoretical foundation of the study is Émile Durkheim's (1912/1995) sociological theory of rites and grief and the significance of the collective in connection with grief and crisis. The professions are analysed with the aid of Andrew Abbott's (1988) theory of their jurisdiction. Theories of social networks, of organizations (Lipsky 1980) and of social responsivity are also used in the analysis of the interviews with 21 persons affected by the disaster and with 29 representatives of the crisis groups.

The affected people could obtain both emotional support and practical help from the social network. The work of the crisis groups consisted of practical support. For social workers, this meant that some low status tasks became meaningful. There was plenty of scope for other tasks than conversation. After a few weeks the crisis groups were closed down and the affected people were referred to the social services. The people then became dependent on the discretion of the street level bureaucracy, with different assessment of the entitlement to benefits in the different parts of the city. The professionals used the abstraction and knowledge of the psychiatrists as a major element in their jurisdiction when they described the situation of the affected people. An interesting finding is that many of the professionals toned down their professional role in connection with the disaster.

Emergent groups, or spontaneous crisis groups, also grew up as a response to the fire. The great significance of the spontaneous groups was that they could arrange meetings between representatives of the authorities and the afflicted immigrant families. This was crucial in an situation where most of the immigrant families were suspicious of the authorities. The leaders were also able, albeit temporarily, to bridge over the differences that they had seen to exist between Swedes in the prosperous suburbs and immigrants in segregated estates.

The spontaneous and organized professional processes are interwoven. The spontaneous crisis groups arranged important contacts between the affected families and the authorities, and the social network is a self evident support. The weakness of spontaneous support is that it declines after a time, when friends no longer have the energy to listen. The strength of professional support is its endurance. With the aid of the resources in the organizations where the professionals work, the support can be developed over a long time, provided that the street level bureaucracy does not hinder, for example, the continuity of contacts.


School of Social Work/Socialhögskolan room no 28, Bredgatan 26, Lund
  • Freddy Winston Castro


  • Social Work
  • Social changes
  • post traumatic stress disorder PTSD
  • professional and voluntary social work
  • emergent organizations
  • professional jurisdiction and abstraction
  • social network
  • disaster
  • collective mourning
  • theory of social work
  • Sociala förändringar
  • teorier om socialt arbete


  • ISSN: 1650-3872
  • ISBN: 91-89604-09-1
  • ISRN: LUSADG/SASW-02/1035-SE

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