Journal Article

Citizenship, Social Inclusion and Confidentiality

Tony Evans and John Harris

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 34, issue 1, pages 69-91
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Citizenship, Social Inclusion and Confidentiality

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Confidentiality has tended to be disconnected from wider debates about citizenship and social inclusion. It has been hived off into self-referential legal and professional discourses concerning the principles that should inform social workers' conduct. The lacuna concerning the significance of confidentiality in wider debates is made more remarkable by the shift towards consumer citizenship, a shift that has ostensibly emphasized service users' rights, including their capacity for active participation in service provision. The rights discourse, as a component of active consumer citizenship, is considered in relation to the perspectives of ‘interests’ and ‘will’. The arguments that support moving in the direction of a critical ‘will’ perspective, through deliberative processes that involve service users in developing and framing information rights, are highlighted and linked to data from a small-scale empirical study. This perspective is regarded as consistent with a politically dynamic formulation of social citizenship. Such a formulation involves seeing citizenship as a practice that requires on-going debates about claims to rights, moves in the direction of seeking to rectify imbalances in power and recognizes the capacity of service users to act in their own interests as citizens.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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