The power of citizens and professionals in welfare encounters

The influence of bureaucracy, market and psychology

By Nanna Mik-Meyer

The power of citizens and professionals in welfare encounters


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1031-2
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: August 2017
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Anthropology, Society & social sciences / Political science & theory, Sociology, Politics, Sociology, Politics & government, Political science & theory, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General, POLITICAL SCIENCE / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, Society & social sciences / Sociology
  • Series: Social and Political Power


This book is about power in welfare encounters. Present-day citizens are no longer the passive clients of the bureaucracy and welfare workers are no longer automatically the powerful party of the encounter. Instead, citizens are expected to engage in active, responsible and coproducing relationships with welfare workers. However, other factors impact these interactions; factors which often pull in different directions. Welfare encounters are thus influenced by bureaucratic principles and market values as well. Consequently, this book engages with both Weberian (bureaucracy) and Foucauldian (market values/NPM) studies when investigating the powerful welfare encounter. The book is targeted Academics, post-graduates, and undergraduates within sociology, anthropology and political science.


1 Introduction
Part I Power and professions in welfare work
2 Professions, de-professionalisation and welfare work
3 Soft power and welfare work
4 Powerful encounters as seen from an interactionist perspective
Part II The bureaucratic, market and psychology-inspired contexts
5 The bureaucratic context: administrator-client
6 The market context: service-consumer
7 The psychology-inspired context: coach-coachee
Part III Welfare encounters in practice
8 The power of bureaucracy, market and psychology in citizen-staff encounters
9 Conclusion


Nanna Mik-Meyer is Professor in Sociology in the Department of Organization at Copenhagen Business School

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