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    Conditionality and homelessness services; ‘Practice Realities’ in a drop-in centre

    Dobson, Rachael (2011) Conditionality and homelessness services; ‘Practice Realities’ in a drop-in centre. Social Policy and Society 10 (4), pp. 547-557. ISSN 1474-7464.

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    This article provides insights into the client−practitioner interaction, as understood through the eyes of those working at the front-line in a Drop-in Centre for homeless clients. Through a case-study analysis of ‘official’ techniques and informal approaches, it is argued that conditional practices are present in contemporary support practices. However, the picture is fragmented, with practitioners arguing for, but also deviating from, conditional strategies that aspire to shape client behaviour. Choices about appropriate responses are occasionally permeated by ‘top−down’ policy messages that aim to responsibilise and generate change in clients. However there is evidence of ‘bottom−up’ drivers informed by experiences of working with clients at the grassroots. These ‘practice realities’ shift an analysis of conditional tactics from just a moralising and disciplining approach, and suggest a more complex set of events at the front-line. Insights add to ongoing commentary about an apparent policy emphasis on rectifying the behaviour of citizens at the sharp end. Conclusions highlight the role of complexity for understanding therapeutic and disciplining elements in policies and practices. Such debates are especially relevant where they connect to the care and control of individuals understood by practitioners as both transgressive and vulnerable.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Rachael Dobson
    Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2017 10:29
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:37


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