You are looking at 1 - 4 of 4 items for
- Author or Editor: Shane Doheny x
This chapter reconstructs and analyses the discourses employed by New Labour in a series of press releases dating from the end of its first term of office. This chapter reconstructs these discourses because of their special status as news stories written to be retold by the press and broadcasting media. These discourses have four different constructions of the citizen, each requiring different kinds of information and services; but uncovering the sense of responsibility implied in these discourses means using a theoretical framework sensitive to social constructions of responsibility. In the second section, the chapter applies Dean’s taxonomy of discourse of responsibility to map the repertoires New Labour takes up. In order to make sense of the issues involved in this construction of responsibility, the chapter also discusses the contemporary social philosophy of responsibility. It is argued that the communitarian politics of responsibility favoured by New Labour grants authority to the idea that being responsible will benefit the self, and so reduces the moral to a knowledgeable social good. This chapter shows that there are other ways responsibility can be constructed that put ethical and moral solidarity at their core.
The chapter provides a critical exploration of the situations and experiences of older people living on low income in different rural places in England and Wales. It draws on evidence from a survey of older people and qualitative materials from interviews with, and diaries produced by older people on low income. The survey evidence indicates that low income and material deprivation represent significant features of older people’s lives in rural areas. However, qualitative research highlights the ways in which poverty is largely denied by those on low income, with attachments to place – involving connections to the social, cultural and natural attributes of place - constructed as compensating for material restrictions imposed by low income.
The term ‘citizen governance’ (CG) is currently attracting attention in policy circles. Yet there is no universally agreed definition, and the term is used in different ways. This article identifies key tensions between citizen governors’ ‘representation’ and ‘steering’ roles, and presents a framework that attempts to make these tensions more explicit. Case study evidence suggests that the effectiveness of CG structures is contextual rather than universalistic, and that different sets of assumptions are often conflated in governance. We argue that if inclusivity in policy making is a genuine goal, these assumptions need to be made more explicit and accommodated in structures that work.
This chapter aims to widen the focus on the consumer of public services, beyond ‘the consumer as chooser’. If New Labour’s citizens can be ‘activated, empowered, responsibilised, or abandoned’, then New Labour’s consumers can be equally diverse. After briefly examining the broader context of citizens, consumers, and clients in the welfare state, the chapter focuses on consumerism of public services. Much recent writing tends to ignore a rich and diverse history of consumerism and choice in public services. The chapter then examines the different faces of the consumer, before turning to focus on the varied mechanisms of choice. It concludes that focusing on one face of consumerism and on a few mechanisms of choice oversimplifies the great diversity associated with the terms, and raises the question of whether consumerism in public services may be contextual: different faces and mechanisms may work for different people in different contexts.