Download Creating Citizen-Consumers: Changing Publics and Changing by John H. Clarke, Janet E Newman, Nick Smith, Elizabeth PDF

By John H. Clarke, Janet E Newman, Nick Smith, Elizabeth Vidler, Louise Westmarland

Political, well known and educational debates have swirled round the inspiration of citizen as a client of public providers, with public provider reform more and more geared in the direction of a client society. This cutting edge ebook attracts on unique study with these humans within the front-line of the reforms -staff, managers and clients of public companies - to discover their responses to this flip to consumerism. concentrating on future health, policing and social care, it vividly brings to existence the contentious and bothered relationships among executive, prone and clients. growing Citizen shoppers explores a variety of theoretical, political, coverage and perform matters that come up within the shift in the direction of consumerism.It attracts on contemporary controversies approximately selection in public providers to carry them in keeping with the reports and expectancies of a shopper society. It bargains a clean and demanding use of renowned understandings of the relationships among humans and providers to argue for a version of publicness in response to interdependence, recognize and partnership instead of selection.

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Missing from this political economy view of citizenship and the public are those difficult questions about the gendered dynamics of the constitution of the public and the private/personal. The family/household/domestic still tends to be squeezed out by analyses that centre on the binary distinction between the state and the market. , Clarke, 2005b; Gilroy, 2005; Lewis, 2000). However each of these three perspectives – the sociology of modernity, governmentality studies and political economy – reveals something about the dynamics of citizenship under New Labour’s rule.

The narrative of modernity as consumer culture was a recurrent and compelling one in New Labour approaches to public services. Almost every policy document and many of the major speeches grounded themselves in this conception of the tradition to modernity symbolised by the figure of the consumer. It was a narrative that used social change as the imperative for public service reform: People grow up today in a consumer society. Services – whether they are private or public – succeed or fail according to their ability to respond to modern expectations… People today exercise more choices in their lives than at any point in history.

It may be that a study like ours simply adds detail and complexity to the larger scale theorisations of the present as advanced in our three perspectives. Such detail might provide interesting examples or complex illustrations but the complexities revealed are analytically inconsequential. The particular is, in the end, merely particular. qxd 26 12/14/2006 11:52 AM Page 26 Creating Citizen-Consumers analytically (and politically) consequential. We think they evoke the need for some ‘rethinking’ of reflexivity and modernity; of neo-liberalism and of advanced liberal governmentality.

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