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Risk and Citizenship: Disabled People and the UK Labour and Coalition Governments Anne Chappell Department of Criminal Justice and Social Studies Buckinghamshire.

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Presentation on theme: "Risk and Citizenship: Disabled People and the UK Labour and Coalition Governments Anne Chappell Department of Criminal Justice and Social Studies Buckinghamshire."— Presentation transcript:

1 Risk and Citizenship: Disabled People and the UK Labour and Coalition Governments Anne Chappell Department of Criminal Justice and Social Studies Buckinghamshire New University Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane Conference 26 th -27 th June 2012

2 Introduction and Background Policy review which attempts to tie together number of strands in UK social policy and explore their impact on disabled people Chappell and Gifford 2011, Promoting social justice, perpetuating social injustice? New Labour and disabled people Highlighted apparent contradictions within New Labour’s social policy – empowerment and autonomy, alongside disciplinary and punitive policy approaches (which appeared to reflect the tensions at the heart of New Labour project)

3 Trying to join the dots Are these policy themes contradictory? Can they be understood using concepts of citizenship, consumerism and risk in late modernity?

4 Citizenship and Welfare Comprehensive Welfare State after 1945 re- distributed social risks (e.g. unemployment) These risks underwritten by the State Marshall’s model of citizenship (1963) argued that the Welfare State demonstrated a system of rights and obligations which would ensure social cohesion and wealth creation Disabled people largely excluded from this model of citizenship

5 Citizenship in Late Modernity Decline of industrial economy and rise of service-sector economy Shifting relationship between citizen and state “New risks” and limitations of power of state to manage these (Beck 1992) Thus if Beveridgian model of welfare was based on shared risk, welfare in late modernity is based on individualised risk We all have a duty to anticipate risk, be reflexive consumers and be active citizens in our community Re-commodification of labour

6 Citizenship and disabled people Disability movement long struggle for solidaristic citizenship with its emphasis on collective struggle and social rights New Labour administrations significant policy focus on disabled people Fragmentation and proliferation of models of citizenship under New Labour (Clarke et al, 2007, p20) Contradictory or coherent?

7 Disabled people in late modernity In late modernity, citizens are “authors of their own biography” (Taylor-Gooby, 2010, p148) How does this impact on disabled people in following spheres??  Paid work  Consumerism  Compromised citizenship

8 Worker-Citizens Paid work central to being a “full” citizen Fordist economy, disabled people peripheral to the labour market The “deserving poor” Fragmentation of work in the post-Fordist economy alongside increasing policy demands that disabled people are active in the labour market Work viewed as ‘intrinsically good’ for disabled people (Roulstone, 2002, p 628) Re-commodification of labour Disabled people exposed to welfare activation policies (though work does not lift people out of poverty in straightforward path to citizenship, Ray et al 2010)

9 Consumer-Citizens Growing significance of consumption in late modern societies Evolving from ‘a society of producers to a society of consumers’ (Bauman, 2007, p8) Disabled people are ‘failed consumers’ (cf Bauman, 2007, p124) However, can the consumerisation of welfare open up a space for disabled people to operationalise their citizenship?

10 Disability movement argued that empowerment and autonomy could be achieved with Direct Payments Demand has met with policy success through growth of self-directed support Here, disabled people can be reflexive consumers, managing and anticipating risk Welfare entrepreneurs (see Scourfield 2007) Emergence of (some) disabled people as “employer-citizens”?

11 Some disabled people will have the resources and support to make self-directed support work, develop the necessary skills, learn from their mistakes (see Arksey and Baxter 2012) Others may find it difficult to make self-directed support work for them Employ personal assistants in low pay social care market Does this represent re-commodification of disabled people as employers?

12 Personal Budgets and Education Government plans to extend system of personal budgets for families of disabled children (Department for Education 2012) One objective is to prevent the: ‘unnecessary closure of special schools by giving parents and community groups the power to take them over’ (Department for Education 2011) “Big Society” in education?

13 Compromised Citizenship? Is there increasing intolerance of disabled people? Evidence of harassment and abuse of disabled people both in health and welfare settings and in wider community (Mencap 2007, BBC 2011) Disabled people caught up in the micro-management of the poor via the anti-social behaviour agenda (Crawford 2009, Hunter et al 2007) Young people with learning difficulties more likely to end up in prison than other young people (Prison Reform Trust 2010) Disability Benefits Consortium (2011) concerned at tone of media coverage of government overhaul of benefits

14 In the risk society, there is an erosion of social solidarity with vulnerable groups (Taylor-Gooby 2010) British Social Attitudes survey (2012) reports erosion of trust and greater use of individualist explanations of social problems If disabled people are viewed as getting “too much” (welfare benefits, access to social housing etc), this makes them vulnerable to harassment Easy targets in the ‘scapegoat society’ (Beck, 1992, p75) Collateral damage in a age of growing global inequality (Bauman 2011)

15 Conclusion Citizenship in late modernity creates some opportunities for disabled people for social inclusion e.g. as reflexive consumer citizens accessing self-directed support, flexible employer citizens of personal care providers At the same time, however, the re- commodification of labour evident through work activation policies exposes them to harassment and abuse

16 References Arksey H. And Baxter K. 2012, Exploring the Temporal Aspects of Direct Payments, BJSW, 42, pp BBC 2011, Bauman Z. 2011, Collateral Damage: Social inequalities in a global age, Cambridge: Polity Press Bauman Z. 2007, Consuming Life, Cambridge: Polity Beatty C. and Fothergill S. 2011, Tackling Worklessness in Wales, Sheffield: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University Beck U. 1992, Risk Society, London: Sage Beresford P. et al 2011, Supporting People: Towards a person-centred approach, Bristol: Policy Press British Social Attitudes, 2012, Chappell A. and Gifford C. 2011, Promoting social justice, perpetuating social injustice? New Labour and disabled people in Bryson V. And Fisher P. (eds.) Redefining Social Justice: New Labour rhetoric and reality, Manchester: Manchester University Press Clarke J. et al 2007, Creating Citizen Consumers, London: Sage

17 References Crawford A. 2009, Governing through Anti-Social Behaviour: Regulatory challenges to criminal justice, British Journal of Criminology, 49, pp Department for Education, 2012, Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability, London: Department for Education Department of Education, 2011, Disability Benefits Consortium Duffy S., Waters J. and Glasby J. 2010, Personalisation and Adult Social Care: Future options for the reform of public services, Policy and Politics, vol. 38, no. 4, pp Ferguson I. 2007, Increasing User Choice or Privatising Risk? The antinomies of personalisation, British Journal of Social Work, 37, pp Hunter C. et al (2007) Disabled People's Experience of Harassment and Anti-social Behaviour in Social Housing: A Critical Review, Sheffield: Disability Rights Commission/Sheffield Hallam University

18 References Lister R. 2011, The Age of Responsibility: Social policy and citizenship in the early 21 st century in Holden C., Kelly M. and Ramia G. (eds.) Social Policy review 23, Bristol: SPA/Policy Press Marshall T.H. 1963, Citizenship and Social Class, in his Sociology at the Crossroads, London: Heinemann Mencap 2007, Prison Reform Trust 2011, Ray K. et al 2010, Better Off Working? Work, poverty and benefit cycling, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation Roulstone A. 2002, Disabling Pasts? Enabling Futures? How does the changing nature of capitalism impact on disabled workers and job-seekers, Disability and Society, 17, 6, pp Scourfield P. 2007, Social Care and the Modern Citizen: Client, Consumer, Service User, Manager and Entrepreneur, British Journal of Social Work (2007) 37, 107–122 Taylor-Gooby P. 2010, Reframing Social Citizenship, Oxford: Oxford University Press


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