The marketcontext: service–consumer
Consumer/customer do not fit as I do not ‘buy’. Service user is politically
correct psychobabble. Citizen is not a word that appeals to me. When I need
treatment I am a patient, when I do not I am a member of the public. (Patient
cited in Clarke et al. 2007: 130)
Even though scholars may not use the term psychobabble, as this patient
does, when reflecting on the concept of the service user in health settings,
scholars have nevertheless – and for a long time – criticised the ideal of
service in citizens
Since the 1990s, European welfare states have undergone substantial changes regarding their objectives, areas of intervention and instruments of use. There has been an increasing move towards the prioritisation of the involvement of citizens and the participation of civil society. This book focuses on the altered (powerful) conditions for encounters between citizens and welfare workers. It uses the concept of soft power, which, inter alia, allows for the investigations of the ways in which individuals manipulate each other in an effort to achieve their desired goals. The first part of the book discusses extracts from state-of-the-art research on professions and expertise, and the perception of power that guides the analyses. It also discusses the overall theoretical positioning when analysing encounters between welfare workers and citizens as co-productive and interactionist. The second part presents analyses to show how a bureaucratic context affects the encounter between administrators and clients, and how a market context affects the encounter between service providers and consumers/customers. The analysis of how a psychology-inspired context affects the encounter between coaches and coaches is also provided. All three contexts are to be perceived as Weberian ideal types, in other words, theoretical constructs based on observations of the real world. The concluding part of the book emphasises on the role of the principles of the bureaucracy, the norms from psychology, and the values of the market in the welfare encounter. Key points of the book are summarised in the conclusion.
From ‘boom to bust’: Polish migrants
in the Irish labour market
This chapter locates mass migration from Poland in the broader Irish
labour marketcontext at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It
shows how an unprecedented economic boom in conjunction with an
open labour market policy in 2004 triggered large-scale migration from
Poland and elsewhere. We first outline how in the later boom years,
Ireland had a goldrush labour market in which an apparently infinite
demand for labour was met by an apparently infinite supply of labour.
We then demonstrate
Karl Polanyi (1886–1964) returned to public discourse in the 1990s, when the Soviet Union imploded and globalization erupted. Best known for The Great Transformation, Polanyi’s wide-ranging thought anticipated twenty-first-century civilizational challenges of ecological collapse, social disintegration and international conflict, and warned that the unbridled domination of market capitalism would engender nationalist protective counter-movements. In Karl Polanyi and Twenty-First-Century Capitalism, Radhika Desai and Kari Polanyi Levitt bring together prominent and new thinkers in the field to extend the boundaries of our understanding of Polanyi's life and work. Kari Polanyi Levitt's opening essay situates Polanyi in the past century shaped by Keynes and Hayek, and explores how and why his ideas may shape the twenty-first century. Her analysis of his Bennington Lectures, which pre-dated and anticipated The Great Transformation, demonstrates how Central European his thought and chief concerns were. The next several contributions clarify, for the first time in Polanyi scholarship, the meaning of money as a fictitious commodity. Other contributions resolve difficulties in understanding the building blocks of Polanyi's thought: fictitious commodities, the double movement, the United States' exceptional development, the reality of society and socialism as freedom in a complex society. The volume culminates in explorations of how Polanyi has influenced, and can be used to develop, ideas in a number of fields, whether income inequality, world-systems theory or comparative political economy. Contributors: Fred Block, Michael Brie, Radhika Desai, Michael Hudson, Hannes Lacher, Kari Polanyi Levitt, Chikako Nakayama, Jamie Peck, Abraham Rotstein, Margaret Somers, Claus Thomasberger, Oscar Ugarteche Galarza.
what it means to be a client or a bureaucrat, and in the latter case to
apply discretion in this negotiation (Dubois 2010: 4).
When addressing the marketcontext of present-day welfare work, the
aim of the book has been to draw attention to the techniques of NPM,
such as efficiency, standards and benchmarks, as well as market values,
such as service and courtesy, and business values, such as competition,
choice, flexibility and respect for the entrepreneurial spirit. There are, in
other words, a great number of factors stemming from a marketcontext
which affect the
equality, capability to make choices and so
on, expectations which greatly resemble those of the service encounter
relationships in a marketcontext (Cahn 2000: 146–147). However, and
similar to the critique of the Third Way, the co-production, empowerment
or user involvement approach is also criticised for being an imaginary
model with no resemblance or transferability to real life. Cowden and Singh
(2007: 18) explain:
The story we are being told here is that in the bad old days Users would simply
be told what to do by Professionals, whereas now there are all sorts of
locates Polish migration post-2004 in the broader Irish
labour marketcontext. It shows how a booming and open labour market triggered large-scale migration from the NMS. Ireland’s goldrush
labour market was able to integrate large numbers of migrants into the
workforce without leading to major displacements of the native population. However, in the context of an unprecedented economic downturn,
the labour market situation has dramatically changed, as migrants have
been particularly affected by rising unemployment.
Chapter four is the first chapter based on our
prevailing ethical codes, social mores and political regulation, for ‘markets’ constrain as well as enable. The social and political dimensions of market processes – inequality, fairness, power, uncertainty,
status – all influence the range and nature of what takes place in the marketcontext. More deeply still, the acceptance of market processes and the rhetoric with which they are described and assessed tell us a great deal about different kinds of market society.
The rhetoric, discourses and doctrine of the market
In the middle of the twentieth century, a substantial
goal may not be easy to achieve.
Concluding comments: the role of agency in a psychological context
Psychology-inspired welfare work – including the personalisation and
co-production approaches to the citizen – has received much criticism.
Firstly, the focus of the approach on the citizen’s ability to receive empathy
and compassion and to be responsive and responsible for his or her situation
(and thus the securement of citizen agency as in the marketcontext) may
result in the downplaying of the responsibilities of the state (Durose and