Care in the Iron Cage
A Weberian Analysis of Failings in Care
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This book explores two public sector scandals in the UK, drawing on Max Weber’s thought on ‘the iron cage’ to understand how these cases of patient-neglect in NHS hospitals and failures by police and social workers to address the organised sexual exploitation of young girls occurred.
Through examination of the management failures and institutional vulnerabilities, and with attention to the trends of bureaucratisation and rationalisation that characterised both scandals, it reveals the explanatory power of Weber’s thought, developing a theoretical model that updates and extends Weber’s work in light of the cases discussed. The final chapter examines the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights how the focus on a rational techno-medical solution to the pandemic offered by the vaccines together with bureaucratic expansion has created an authoritarian and totalitarian society which represents the ultimate realisation of Weber’s iron cage.
Showing that ordinary people, including professionals, are still trapped in the ‘iron cage’, it will appeal to scholars of sociology and social theory, as well as those providing training and working within the caring and service professions of policing, social work and nursing.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – Life, Times and Works of Max Weber (1864-1920)
Chapter 2 – Relevant applications of Max Weber’s work
Chapter 3 – New managerialism at Mid Staffordshire and Rotherham
Chapter 4 – Professional indoctrination
Chapter 5 – Regulatory compromise
Chapter 6 – Acts of Violence
Chapter 7 – Human Fragility
Chapter 8 – Sensory deprivation
Chapter 9 – Going forward
Chapter 10 – Conclusion
Chapter 11 – Covid-19 afterword
Rowena Slope is a Senior Lecturer in adult nursing based in the UK. Her clinical experience includes working as an Emergency Nurse in an Emergency Department while her doctorate analysed handover communication between prehospital and hospital receiving staff.