The sound of modernization has many tones. It is often difficult to identify them, but there is no doubt that there are many voices in the "maelstrom of modernization." One need not spend much time on the front lines of institutions or administration to notice what contrasting reactions the call for modernization elicits. This dissertation sheds light on modernization of the public sector--or more precisely, social pedagogic institutions in the public sector. When I use the term "modernization of the public sector" from time to time, this reflects the rhetoric surrounding the discussion of modernization. Modernization is a development and trimming program that is directed toward the public sector. Consequently, it is tempting--and realistic to a certain extent--to speak of the public sector per se. On the other hand, it is important to remember that the public sector is by no means a uniform entity, in which the success of modernization is the same throughout. On the contrary, the public sector is a formal designation that, upon closer inspection, spans various sectors with different work functions and products, professional identities and gender compositions, organizational cultures and traditions, economic and personnel resources, user levels, etc. Well-chosen opposite poles such as tax agencies and technical sections as opposed to social pedagogic institutions are just one example of the range of variation. But hospital administration, cultural, educational, and labor market institutions are also worthy of special studies when it comes to the relative success of modernization.
This dissertation establishes a theoretical superstructure and substructure for three empirical analyses and development projects that were elements of the overall research project. The empirical analyses focus on the microprocesses in the modernization of the social and health care sector in Roskilde County during the period of 1990-1995. The points of contact with these events present qualitative and quantitative insight into the results, problems, and barriers that arise in public organizational issues. This work has made me aware of the subjective and symbolic "currents" in modernization processes. This dissertation presents a theoretical analysis of the subjective and symbolic dimensions of modernization, which I believe must be made visible and conceptual if the depth and complexity of this development is to be preserved.
|Place of Publication||Roskilde|
|Number of pages||226|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|