Nanna Mik-Meyer
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Soft power and welfare work
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The reason for using J. S. Nye's concept of soft power is that this concept makes it possible to show how power shapes agendas, attracts and makes others cooperate. Power consists of both structural elements and agency. The use of the concept of soft power directs attention to the complex practices of welfare work, which include principles, norms, rationales and ideals, as well as the specific strategies, interests and preferences of the involved individuals. Welfare work takes place within organisations that belong to a particular field, for instance, the fields of education, health and care. According to Bourdieu, these fields are all relatively autonomous and each field operates in accordance with a specific rationale or logic that is different from the rationales or logics of the adjacent fields. With inspiration from a Bourdieusian framework, W. Schinkel and M. Noordegraff examine the battle over (professional) power among welfare workers and managers.

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The power of citizens and professionals in welfare encounters

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