Vid Lojalitetens Gräns. Professionalitet och Styrning i Socialt Arbete under New Public Management.

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Socialhögskolan

Sammanfattning: In 2017 Sweden's government changed the compensation levels for the municipalities' reception of unaccompanied refugees’ children to a level hoped to stimulate the municipalities to find cheaper solutions. The aim of this study was therefore to explore how social workers responded, managed and navigated under rapidly changing institutional conditions in order to analyze whether it was possible to distinguish resistance against these conditions and/or alternative paths to an active solidary social worker-subject who protects the client and raises alarm about inequalities and injustices. To obtain this purpose, a case study design with four focus group-interviews were carried out with 14 social workers from four different municipalities in Sweden. In analysing the results Michel Foucault’s theory of governmentality in combination with Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic violence was applied. The empirical evidence for this study was collected in the autumn of 2017 and all focus groups took place live. The main findings suggested that institutional conditions by the time of the interviews affected the social workers perception of discretion negatively. Their work had to be carried out more efficiently, less individually, standardized and under more control of the management. At the same time, the results suggested that the social workers did not allow themselves to be alienated from their clients, but instead line up with the clients in a renewed advocacy. They took control over the meeting with the clients. Furthermore, the results suggested that the relationship between the social worker and the client risked being exploited through a historically rooted feminized ethos of care. This was shown by the social workers in the study as they apparently were working harder to compensate for the system's shortcomings and lack of resources. Furthermore, the results suggested that a general societal ideal of individual responsibility risked making the social worker feel personally responsible for the client's welfare, which created feelings of guilt and shame for the social worker who were already burdened by a difficult task. Finally, the results suggested that social workers, by adapting a critical attitude, showed that there were alternative paths and strategies towards the formation of a collective critical social worker-subject and a willingness to protest against injustices and inequalities.

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