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The Power of Citizens and Professionals in Welfare EncountersThe Influence of Bureaucracy, Market and Psychology$
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Nanna Mik-Meyer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526110282

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526110282.001.0001

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The power of bureaucracy, market and psychology in citizen–staff encounters

The power of bureaucracy, market and psychology in citizen–staff encounters

Chapter:
(p.101) 8 The power of bureaucracy, market and psychology in citizen–staff encounters
Source:
The Power of Citizens and Professionals in Welfare Encounters
Author(s):

Nanna Mik-Meyer

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526110282.003.0008

This chapter presents excerpts from two of the author’s previous empirical studies on welfare encounters. The aim of presenting these empirical analyses is to illustrate how to study the power of particular contexts in the welfare encounter. By presenting these two empirical cases, the chapter shows how diagnoses and systems of categorisation reflect a larger environment (a concept by Hall, which here refers to bureaucratic principles, market values, NPM techniques and norms from the field of psychology) and produce particular behavioural expectations of both citizens and welfare workers. The first case shows how doctors (GPs and municipal medical consultants), caseworkers and citizens negotiate the diagnoses of stress and depression, and the second case (greatly inspired by Goffman’s work) shows how norms from the field of psychology and the bureaucracy affect the evaluation of whether or not a citizen is suited for early retirement benefits.

Keywords:   welfare encounters, power, empirical analyses, diagnoses, categorisation, larger environment (Hall), Goffman, discretion, agency

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