A psycho-societal perspective on neoliberal welfare services in Denmark: Identification and ambivalence

Bidragets oversatte titel: A psycho-societal perspective on neoliberal welfare services in Denmark: Identification and ambivalence

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Abstract

This article introduces a psycho-societal approach to the micro-processes of
Danish neoliberal welfare services, elaborating a learning and identity
perspective. My many years of encounters with professionals in welfare
services have illuminated how they display a strong identification with, but also
a significant ambivalence towards, welfare service innovation, being both
enthusiastic and burdened. People-to-people work in public welfare services has
strong roots in providing everyday learning that facilitates participation and coownership.This is however a challenging task since decades of neoliberal
policies and practices has dominated the Danish welfare sector. By applying a
psycho-societal conceptual approach - illustrated by an empirical example - I
sketch out how identification, ambivalence and defence are significant features
of welfare service professionals’ learning and practices. On the one hand,
current practice-based work situates a skilled and devoted professional to direct
processes and outcomes based on personalised identification - often in
collaboration with citizens. On the other hand, a number of ambivalences and
defence reactions saturate the very same processes and outcomes.
Bidragets oversatte titelA psycho-societal perspective on neoliberal welfare services in Denmark: Identification and ambivalence
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Psycho-Social Studies
Vol/bind9
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)94-109
Antal sider16
ISSN1478-6737
StatusUdgivet - maj 2016

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