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Understanding and Extending the Role of Social Identity in Social Policy: The potential for identification between 'policy maker' and service user

By S Hunter


[First Paragraph] The concept of social identity is important in policy analysis as it can contribute to a more complex understanding of both individual and collective agency. This paper is based on research which aims to use this concept to understand the role of welfare service providers in developing health and social care services potentially more appropriate to users needs¹. Drawing on the work of Taylor (1998) and Williams (2000), the paper outlines a three part model of social identity as ontological – categorical – relational, and explains how this is useful to exploring the agency of welfare service users. Current changes within the organisational context of welfare are then briefly outlined and it is argued that these recent developments make it important to develop a fuller understanding of welfare professionals’ social identities. Finally it is suggested that the concept of relational identity could usefully be developed in order to do this

Year: 2002
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