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Sociology of Aging and DeathThe Management of Aging in the Dark Side of Modernity

Sociology of Aging and Death: The Management of Aging in the Dark Side of Modernity [This chapter provides a theoretical critique and analysis of the development and consolidation of managerial power in the United Kingdom that has implications for older people and their life chances. It fundamentally questions the assumption that mangerialism in the post-welfare state has evolved benevolently and independently, uncontested in its work and unbiased in its social practices. Indeed, in the past 15 years, social policy in the USA, UK, and Australasia has focused on the management of old age with particular emphasis on the reform of health and welfare apparatuses. In the case of the UK, the process of reform was imposed by the central government, backed up by exaggerated demographic arguments (Bytheway, 1995). Similarly, such reforms offered the promise of greater choice and autonomy for both welfare workers and service users through the introduction of market ethos into areas traditionally directly controlled and subsidized by the central government, such as community care. Coupled with this, service industries such as professional social work have had to cope with the declining state support and have had a fundamental redefinition of their profession as managerial systems. Indeed, the nature and philosophy of such care provision for older people have been the central cornerstone in debates within social gerontology in recent years. The continuing resonance of this question, and the powerful emotions that it generates, is inextricably linked to the perceived role of the professional social worker as a bulwark against an encroaching tide of dependency (Hughes, 1995). A distinctive feature of the welfare state in the 1990s has been the systematic introduction of managerialism throughout the public sector. Thus, Clarke (1994) points not only to the substantial increase in the number of people working in welfare organizations with the title “manager” but also to the transformation of many formerly professionalized roles, into “hybrids,” where a significant aspect of the occupational identity is managerial.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Sociology of Aging and DeathThe Management of Aging in the Dark Side of Modernity

Part of the International Perspectives on Aging Book Series (volume 35)
Sociology of Aging and Death — Nov 26, 2022

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Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022
ISBN
978-3-031-19328-6
Pages
63 –73
DOI
10.1007/978-3-031-19329-3_5
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[This chapter provides a theoretical critique and analysis of the development and consolidation of managerial power in the United Kingdom that has implications for older people and their life chances. It fundamentally questions the assumption that mangerialism in the post-welfare state has evolved benevolently and independently, uncontested in its work and unbiased in its social practices. Indeed, in the past 15 years, social policy in the USA, UK, and Australasia has focused on the management of old age with particular emphasis on the reform of health and welfare apparatuses. In the case of the UK, the process of reform was imposed by the central government, backed up by exaggerated demographic arguments (Bytheway, 1995). Similarly, such reforms offered the promise of greater choice and autonomy for both welfare workers and service users through the introduction of market ethos into areas traditionally directly controlled and subsidized by the central government, such as community care. Coupled with this, service industries such as professional social work have had to cope with the declining state support and have had a fundamental redefinition of their profession as managerial systems. Indeed, the nature and philosophy of such care provision for older people have been the central cornerstone in debates within social gerontology in recent years. The continuing resonance of this question, and the powerful emotions that it generates, is inextricably linked to the perceived role of the professional social worker as a bulwark against an encroaching tide of dependency (Hughes, 1995). A distinctive feature of the welfare state in the 1990s has been the systematic introduction of managerialism throughout the public sector. Thus, Clarke (1994) points not only to the substantial increase in the number of people working in welfare organizations with the title “manager” but also to the transformation of many formerly professionalized roles, into “hybrids,” where a significant aspect of the occupational identity is managerial.]

Published: Nov 26, 2022

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