From the desk to the front-room? The changing spaces of street-level encounters with the state under austerity

Crossley, Stephen (2016) From the desk to the front-room? The changing spaces of street-level encounters with the state under austerity. People Place and Policy Online, 10 (3). pp. 193-206. ISSN 1753-8041

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3351/ppp.0010.0003.0002

Abstract

The impact of recent welfare reforms and austerity measures have fallen unevenly on different regions and different household types in the UK. These changes are generally referred to as a ‘withdrawal’ or ‘retrenchment’ of the state. It is also possible, however, to argue that the state is actually extending its reach into the lives of disadvantaged or ‘troubled’ families. This article highlights how, in recent years, the site of government interventions into the lives of marginalised populations has progressively shifted from the public spaces of offices, and neighbourhood and community buildings, to the private, domestic spaces of the ‘family’. The changing spaces of street-level encounters with the state are characterised as a shift from ‘the desk’ or ‘the counter’ to the ‘front door’ of the family home. The rhetoric surrounding the Troubled Families Programme is examined and some of the political and symbolic functions of the ‘front-door’ discourse are expounded.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: austerity, family intervention, neighbourhoods, street-level bureaucracy, troubled families
Subjects: L200 Politics
L300 Sociology
L400 Social Policy
L500 Social Work
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Stephen Crossley
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2016 09:33
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2017 02:05
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/28609

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