'Negotiating Ethical Dilemmas in Contested Communities' explores how professionals negotiate the conflicting interests and attitudes of local residents and institutional actors such as management and local politicians, whilst dealing with problems raised by greater 'managerialism' - the short-term targets, competition for funding and bureaucratic burdens the researchers associate with the government's 'modernisation agenda'.
The study - carried out by Professor Paul Hoggett and Dr Chris Miller from the University of West England and Professor Marj Mayo of Goldsmiths College -foregrounds the importance of community development activities in regeneration areas to government efforts to make citizens central to public service planning and delivery, and to deal with poverty and social exclusion.
Findings confirmed the challenging nature of such work in multiply disadvantaged communities, but found that workers' extraordinary levels of commitment and resilience - often deeply rooted in early life experiences and identifications - informed a strong sense of personal authority and a capacity for emotional and ethical complexity.
Professor Hoggett explained: "The fact that many of the sample group were themselves 'survivors' meant that they were able to cope with levels of conflict, tension and distress that others might find daunting."
Researchers were also struck by the mixture of compassion and anger that underlay the respondents' belief in democracy, community and social justice. These values were consistent and strong in the group, and contributed to significant overlap between people's 'personal' and 'professional' selves.
The study found that the aims of public service reform - with its stress on quick, tangible and measurable outputs - were not always in step with what respondents saw as the challenges of long-term development work. Most community regeneration professionals reacted to this dilemma with forms of 'strategic compliance' - for example, supporting longer-term priorities with funds from short-term initiatives. Researchers found complex relations between workers and authority, with Professor Hoggett commenting: "They are both 'in' and 'against' authority, and need a strong sense of personal authority."
Overall, the study found that managerialism brought greater detachment from the job for professionals and, whilst this had certain benefits, potential negative effects included the blocking out of social suffering in the public consciousness. Researchers considered it possible that workers whose political socialisation occurred in the 1970s expressed more concern about the impact of the government's 'modernisation agenda' on their work than more recent entrants to the profession.
The study also discovered there is a lack of support for workers, including significant gaps in opportunities for continuing professional development or non-managerial supervision. The study argues that policy makers and managers often fail to grasp the distinction between capacities and skills, and that this has important implications for the training and development of such workers. As a consequence of the study, however, 'practitioner forums' are now being established in Bristol and London, involving respondents and other local development workers.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Annika Howard | alfa
Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy