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Session Overview
RN26_01a_H: Worlds of Care
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Janne Paulsen Breimo, Nord University
Location: HA.3.10
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: A, Level: 3.

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Blurring Welfare Boundaries: The Case of the Swiss Disability Insurance.

Emilie Rosenstein, Jean-Michel Bonvin

University of Geneva, Switzerland

Since the 80s, the active turn of welfare policies has progressively transformed the scope and shape of welfare regimes across Europe. Literature has shown that activation has ambivalent impacts regarding both the entitlement to welfare benefits (moving from social rights to contracts) and the way they are delivered (from bureaucratic and standardized models to individualised solutions). Thus, the implementation of active policies contributed intensively to the redefinition of welfare boundaries, both on a material (access to welfare benefits) and symbolic level (especially between welfare recipients that are seen as “activable" and the ones confined to so-called “passive” benefits) (Lamont and Molnar, 2002).

Based on the case of the Swiss Disability Insurance (DI), this contribution precisely questions the ambivalent impact of these new boundaries by analysing the administrative trajectory of people applying for DI benefits. Using an innovative longitudinal research design, combining quantitative (sequence analysis) and qualitative data (biographical interviews with recipients of DI benefits as well as semi-structured interviews with DI professionals), our study sheds light on three tendencies: a shortening in the follow up of DI recipients; a discrepancy between the massive reduction in the access to “passive” benefits and a marginal increase of active measures provided; an increase of DI refusals, i.e. people who didn’t receive the benefits they applied for. This raises two major issues for the future of welfare policies: on the one hand, the appropriateness of the focus on active programmes for disabled people; on the other hand, the coordination of DI with other welfare institutions, regarding the increasing number of people getting out of DI schemes.

These results are drawn from the NCCR-LIVES funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, 2011-18.

Carceral rehab as fuzzy penality: hybrid technologies of recovery in the new temperance crusade

Teresa Gowan1, Sarah Whetstone2

1University of Minnesota, United States of America; 2Bradley University, Illinois, United States of America

The steep escalation of court-mandated drug rehabilitation since 1989 has reinforced the role of "rehab" as a primary node of social control. Drawing on ethnographies of three Midwestern male residential rehab facilities which each reflect dominant treatment paradigms, we delineate and analyze a diverse field exercising varied modes of the carceral and the therapeutic. Formed in different intersections with criminal justice and the dispersed US social state, the programs’ highly contrasting models of addiction and recovery result in different forms of confinement and treatment. Partnered with the local drug court, the "strong-arm" facility “Arcadia House" uses full-time cognitive behavioral therapy designed to forcefully break down the “criminal addict" and “habilitate” him into “Joe Taxpayer.” The powerful faith-based organisation “Victory Ministries” similarly takes on the fundamental remaking of the individual, but where Arcadia melds penality with the therapeutics of AA and NIDA, Victory works through a longer process of spiritual education and labor discipline to transform addicts into hard-working evangelical Christians. Both facilities emphasize that "healing" requires physical confinement with adherence to strict rules, and each works (through different pathways) to instill humility, a strong work ethic, and mental preparation for low-wage labor. In contrast, the hospital facility “Healing Bridges," with its classically neoliberal, bio-political technologies of control, benchmarks the many ways in which carceral versions of rehab deviate from more medicalized middle-class understandings and experiences of rehab. Where the latter emphasizes pharmaceutical regulation and peer-led repair work in the AA tradition, the “strong-arm” rehab’s extension of criminal justice beyond jail walls elaborates hybridized extensions of penalty in authoritarian projects to reconstruct the deviant poor.

Cash for care and the value of money: the case of the long-term care benefit in the Czech Republic

Radka Dudová

Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

In my presentation, I aim to analyse the value of money in the caregiving relationships. Care is situated on the boundaries between labour and love, or financial exchange and reciprocity; the introduction of cash for care policies may lead to a reformulation of these boundaries. Although some authors warn against commodification or marketization of care, monetary transfers have always been present in family relationships. The way the caregivers give meaning to the money they are entitled to and get from the state, and the way they use this money, determines not only the way how they understand and perform their role of caregiver, but also the configuration of the relationships between various stakeholders in the field of care and social services and welfare state.

Using the theoretical frame of “special monies” by V. Zelizer, I compare the results of two qualitative research projects – one researching the life strategies of women giving care to their elderly parents and the other researching women caring for their children with disability (both groups are informal caregivers caring for a person entitled to “attendance allowance” in the Czech Republic). The analysis shows how the individual understanding of the same benefit is shaped by cultural values and norms as well as by institutional context, leading to distinct use of the money in different situations of care, which has then specific consequences for the economic situation of caregivers. I therefore argue that different situations of care require different policy solutions.

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