Book

Subversive citizens

Edited by Marian Barnes and David Prior

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9781847422088
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303619 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847422088.001.0001
Subversive citizens

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Many of the recent reforms in public services in the UK have been driven by the image of the ‘responsible citizen’ – the service user who not only has rights to receive services but also has responsibilities for the delivery of policy outcomes. In this way, citizens' everyday conduct is shaped by governmental action, yet there is much evidence that both front-line staff in public services and the people who use them can sometimes act in ways that modify, disrupt, or negate intended policy outcomes. This book presents an examination of how official policy objectives can be ‘subverted’ through the actions of staff and users. It discusses the role of public policy in the creation of ‘good citizenship’, such as making appropriate choices about what to eat and how much to save, to being an active participant in the local community. The book also examines how the roles of service delivery staff have changed substantially, and how theories of ‘power’ and ‘agency’ are useful in analysing the engagement between public policies (and those employed to deliver them) and the citizens at whom they are targeted. The idea of subversive citizenship is explored through theoretical and empirical analyses by a range of social researchers.

Keywords: responsible citizens; policy outcomes; government action; service delivery; community participation; healthy eating; social research

Book.  248 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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