Chapter

Service users and social policy: developing different discussions, challenging dominant discourses

Beresford Peter

in Social policy review 22

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9781847427113
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303497 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847427113.003.0011
Service users and social policy: developing different discussions, challenging dominant discourses

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This chapter argues that the tensions inherent in the competing value systems around participation and involvement mean that there are risks for service users and their movements attached to participating in the state's and service system's user involvement agenda, an agenda which, through its origins in managerialist/consumerist approaches to social policy, is part of the pursuit of the marketisation of state welfare. It draws on examples from the experiences of two UK service user movements — the disabled people's movement and the survivors movement and identifies two key risks. It concludes by arguing for increased reflexivity on the part of service users and their movements around participation and involvement, as well as greater recognition, ideally in partnership with service users and their organisations, within academic social policy of the importance of the issue.

Keywords: service users; user involvement agenda; managerialist/consumerist approaches; social policy; marketisation; state welfare; disabled people's movement; survivors movement

Chapter.  9266 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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