Calling social work
Coleman, Nigel and Harris, John, 1952-. (2008) Calling social work. The British Journal of Social Work, Vol.38 (No.3). pp. 580-599. ISSN 0045-3102Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcl371
New Labour has promoted the use of information and communication technology. Call centres are a key development in this strategy and are now in use for accessing social services. In official policy, the use of call centres is presented as an aspect of attempts to change the relationship between service users and the purchasers and providers of services. In contrast, we suggest that the use of call centres in social care does little to shift the balance of power. Call centres bring together four dimensions of New Labour discourse: learning from the private sector, cutting costs, technology and consumerism. Three issues emerge from their development: the undermining of social work's sense of place; the circumscribing of service user participation; the rationalization of social workers. The call centre serves as a signifier of what, it is claimed, the combination of New Labour's consumerism and technology can achieve. This signification disguises call centres' properties of efficiency, calculability, predictability and control. Contrary to the rhetoric that accompanies them, call centres may be curtailing service user participation, as well as delimiting the social work role. Accordingly, their use has important, but as yet largely unresearched, implications for service users and social workers.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Health and Social Studies|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Call centers, Consumption (Economics), Information technology, Information storage and retrieval systems, Cost control, Social service -- Great Britain|
|Journal or Publication Title:||The British Journal of Social Work|
|Number of Pages:||20|
|Page Range:||pp. 580-599|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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