The consumer and New Labour: the consumer as king?

Eric Shaw

in The consumer in public services

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9781847421814
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303725 | DOI:
The consumer and New Labour: the consumer as king?

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This chapter elucidates New Labour's understanding of ‘consumerism’. It draws heavily on Schon and Rein's concept of the frame. Frames can be understood as analytical devices that supply order and intelligibility to a complex, ever-shifting, and confusing world. The first part of the chapter discuses New Labour's ‘diagnostic frame’, and the way it defined the problem of ‘modernising’ public services, focusing on education and healthcare. The next part considers New Labour's ‘prescriptive frames’, major policy prescriptions that emerged from this diagnosis. The final part of the chapter explores ambiguities and problems within New Labour's consumerist narrative.

Keywords: frame concept; New Labour; education; healthcare; consumerist narrative

Chapter.  8024 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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