New Public Management, Care and Struggles about Recognition

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Abstract

New Public Management (NPM) is usually perceived as a homogeneous discourse. However, when we examine it by looking at micro-politics in municipalities and understand its consequences drawing on the voices of home helpers, the picture is more complex and ambiguous. NPM is seen as disciplining paid public elderly care by limiting and forming the understandings applied through two combined but different logics: a usually dominant logic of details and a usually minor logic of self-governance. The bottom up study presented here investigates the translation - the understanding and application - of these two logics in two different Danish municipalities that are strategically chosen to illustrate differences along the continuum of NPM translations. It asks which logic the home helpers feel is most dominant and relates the results to feelings of recognition and misrecognition as well as to strategies of resistance. The analysis applies feminist theories of recognition and care, and its findings are based on focus group interviews and feminist discourse analysis
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Social Policy
Volume29
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)634-654
Number of pages20
ISSN0261-0183
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • discourse
  • home helpers
  • misrecognition
  • NPM
  • resistance

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