1st Edition

Responsibilisation at the Margins of Welfare Services

Edited By Kirsi Juhila, Suvi Raitakari, Christopher Hall Copyright 2017
    236 Pages
    by Routledge

    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    The impetus for this book is the shift in welfare policy in Western Europe from state responsibilities to individual and community responsibilities. The book examines the ways in which policies associated with advanced liberalism and New Public Management can be identified as influencing professional practices to promote personalisation, participation, empowerment, recovery and resilience. In examining the concept of ‘responsibilisation’ from the point of view of both the ‘responsibilised client and welfare worker’, the book breaks from the traditional literature to demonstrate how responsibilities are negotiated during multi-professional care planning meetings, home visits, staff meetings, focus groups and interviews with different stakeholders.

    The settings examined in the book can be described as on the ‘margins of welfare’ - mental health, substance abuse, homelessness services and probation work, where the rights and responsibilities of clients and workers are uncertain and constantly under review. Each chapter approaches the management of responsibilities from a particular angle by combining responsibilisation theory and discourse analysis to examine everyday encounters. Taken together, the chapters paint a comprehensive picture of the responsibilisation practices at the margins of welfare services and provide an extensive discussion of the implications for policy and practice.

    Drawing upon both the governmentality literature and everyday encounters, the book provides a broad approach to a key topic. It will therefore be a valuable resource for social policy, public administration, social work and human service researchers and students, and social and health care professionals.


    List of contributors


    1. Introduction: Kirsi Juhila, Suvi Raitakari and Christopher Hall
    2. PART I: Conceptual and methodological premises

    3. Responsibilization in governmentality literature: Kirsi Juhila, Suvi Raitakari and Cecilia Hansen Löfstrand
    4. Responsibilities and current welfare discourses: Kirsi Juhila, Suvi Raitakari and Cecilia Hansen Löfstrand
    5. Analysing the management of responsibilities at the margins of welfare practices: Kirsi Juhila and Christopher Hall
    6. PART II: Managing client responsibilities

    7. Clients accounting for the responsible self in interviews: Suvi Raitakari and Kirsi Günther
    8. Making active citizens in the community in client-worker interaction: Suvi Raitakari and Nichlas Permin Berger
    9. Negotiating risks, choices and progress in case planning meetings: Christopher Hall, Lisa Morriss and Kirsi Juhila
    10. PART III: Managing worker and service provider responsibilities

    11. Welfare workers reflecting their everyday responsibilities in focus groups: Jenni-Mari Räsänen and Sirpa Saario
    12. Negotiating boundaries of professional responsibilities in team meetings: Sirpa Saario, Jenni-Mari Räsänen and Christopher Hall
    13. Constructing service providers’ responsibilities in interviews on commissioning: Sirpa Saario, Dorte Caswell and Christopher Hall
    14. Conclusions: Suvi Raitakari, Kirsi Juhila and Christopher Hall

    Author index

    Subject index


    Kirsi Juhila is Professor in Social Work at the University of Tampere, Finland. Her research interests include adult social work, marginality, homelessness, mental health and discursive interaction analysis. She is the co-editor of Analysing Social Work Communication (Routledge, 2014) and Constructing Clienthood in Social Work and Human Services (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003)

    Suvi Raitakari received her Ph.D. in social work from the University of Tampere in 2006 and is currently a Senior Lecturer in social work at the same university. Her research interests include welfare policies and practices, client-worker interaction, mental health and substance abuse issues, marginalisation, homelessness and housing support, rhetoric and ethnomethodological-discursive approaches.

    Christopher Hall is Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Social Work and Social Care, University of Sussex. He has previously held research posts at Durham University, Huddersfield University and Dartington Social Research Unit. He has carried out research into policies and practices in child welfare and mental health services, with a particular interest in discourse and narrative approaches to worker-client encounters, especially home visits.