Alternatives to neoliberalism? The development of day care centres and the role of social educators and their unions

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    Abstract

    This paper will discuss the consequences of neoliberal governance in Danish day care centres, the social educators’ response, and the possible development of alternatives based on collective participation of social educators and union representatives. We will show how important and unnoticed professional competencies come under pressure, and how collective interest representation is challenged. We will discuss how concepts of “gestural knowledge”, “coherence” and “rhythm” open for a new understanding of professional competence. And we will conclude that the social educators and their unions have the possibility to contribute to the development of a new welfare paradigm.

    The paper is based on material from two research projects (Ahrenkiel et al. 2009, 2011) involving social educators and union representatives in day care institutions. We have observed everyday work activities in day care centres and various meetings involving union representatives and on this basis interviewed both social educators and union representatives. The interviews have been open and loosely structured, with a focus on encouraging the participants to talk about important aspects of their work. Everyday work was also the starting point for research workshops in the projects, inspired by action research, where the focal point was the suggestions for change put forward by the social educators and union representatives themselves.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date4 Dec 2011
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2011
    Event7th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning - East China Normal University, Shanghai, China
    Duration: 4 Dec 20117 Dec 2011
    Conference number: 7
    http://www.rwlecnu.org/en-us/Home.aspx

    Conference

    Conference7th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning
    Number7
    LocationEast China Normal University
    CountryChina
    CityShanghai
    Period04/12/201107/12/2011
    Internet address

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