More than a matter of choice? Consumerism and the modernisation of health care

Janet Newman and Elizabeth Vidler

in Social Policy Review 18

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9781861348449
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303459 | DOI:
More than a matter of choice? Consumerism and the modernisation of health care

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This chapter explores some of the ways in which the ‘consumer’ is situated in New Labour's narrative of modernisation. It examines how health care organisations are responding to the consumerist imperative, paying particular attention to how they attempt to resolve some of the political and policy tensions that arise. It examines the new relationships and patterns of identification that are configured in the interface between health services and their publics. The chapter is based on the results from an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)/Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB)-funded project entitled ‘Creating Citizen-Consumers: Changing Relationships and Identifications’. It focuses on the potential relationship between shifts in policy discourse and a reconfiguration of relationships and identifications. It draws on data from the analysis of policy documents; from interviews with senior health service managers; and from front-line staff and service users.

Keywords: consumer; New Labour's narrative; modernisation; health care organisation; Economic and Social Research Council; Arts and Humanities Research Board

Chapter.  6955 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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