Strategi för välfärd - en diskursanalytisk studie av kultur i vård, omsorg och skola
Sammanfattning: Abstract Author: Ella-Kari Meyrell Title: Strategy for welfare - a discourse analytical study of culture in health, social care and school organizations Supervisor: Håkan Jönson Assessor: Torbjörn Hjort The aim of this study was to examine how culture (as “the arts”) is constructed as a strategy in welfare work. The empirical material was based upon 160 articles from Swedish printed and web based media, dealing with three major initiatives the Swedish government has made in the field of culture and health; Culture on prescription, Culture for the elderly and Creative School. The study departed from a social constructionist approach based upon Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe´s theory of discourse analysis as well as Michel Foucault's theory of power. More specifically the aim was to find out which discourses emerged, the position of culture, which actors that were involved and how culture is legitimized and how it becomes relevant in welfare work. The initiatives of culture in welfare organizations appeared in the empirical material as solutions to three major challenges concerning welfare in Sweden. The major concerns were increased mental illness, a growing number of older people in health and social care and the deteriorating school results of pupils. Four discourses emerged: health discourse, social care discourse, school discourse and cultural discourse. The core values in the cultural discourse proved to have difficulties co-existing with the other discourses. In practice, this created problems in the implementation of the cultural initiatives. It also revealed a vague position of culture in welfare work because of doubts and ambiguities about its health effects and impact on school results. In the empirical data concerning the relations of power between practitioners, providers and policy makers a matter of power struggles was found. The main social actors were patients, pupils, the elderly, cultural workers, teachers, researchers and politicians. During the analysis process, two predominant strategies for legitimizing the use of culture within welfare work emerged: (1) the concept of culture was widened in order to include a broader range of activities and to reach more people; (2) the culture was accredited several utility values; such as health improvement and increased socio-economic benefits.
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