Evidence from the ‘Frontline’? An Ethnographic Problematisation of Welfare-to-Work Administrator Opinions

Jordan, JD (2017) Evidence from the ‘Frontline’? An Ethnographic Problematisation of Welfare-to-Work Administrator Opinions. Work, Employment and Society. ISSN 0950-0170 (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

Researchers both supportive and critical of welfare schemes regularly explore the influence, legitimacy and effects of welfare administrator opinions. However, the ‘origins’ of those opinions are generally less well considered. This paper explores and problematises the use of welfare-to-work administrator testimony in social science and social policy research. Rejecting both Foucauldian models of ‘elite conceptual download’, and approaches that take administrator views at face value, it argues that the material circumstances of day-to-day working may constitute the most significant influence on administrator views. This both supports a more materialist, less idealist and/or positivistic approach, and also suggests the pressing need for more contextualised, ethnographic analysis of data in welfare-to-work debates.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is the author's post peer review version of an article, the final version will appear in the Sage Publications journal Work, Employment and Society.
Keywords: welfare, workfare, unemployment, work programme, ethnography, materialist ethnography
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Social Work, Care and Justice
Depositing User: John Jordan
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2017 13:56
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2017 13:58
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2112

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