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    ABSTRACT: This article explores autoethnography, based upon transcribed, narratives, conversations, and research notes, as a useful method of creating social and cultural insights into the lives of women drug users and their particular kinds of problems and to related issues of reflexivity, reliability, and validity. A critical issue is raised by asking the question "where do we go from here?" contending that we must challenge outdated methodological traditions and canons that deny autoethnographers their voice and close the door to their claims of authenticity.
    Substance Use &amp Misuse 11/2013; 48(13):1377-1385.
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    ABSTRACT: In 2011 England's career guidance profession lost its 'own' public service organisation and its former dedicated stream of public funding. The immediate causes lay in decisions by the government of the day, but this article revisits the profession's history to seek explanations for its later vulnerability. It is argued that decisions taken early in the profession's history, specifically its complete separation from adult employment services and basing claims to professional expertise almost wholly on occupational psychology, though maybe right at the time, were to have fateful consequences. The article proceeds to argue that career guidance will certainly survive its recent trauma, but the most likely outcome of the current 'reforms' - a market in career guidance services - will not create the kind of comprehensive education-to-work bridging service that was once intended and which is still needed.
    British Journal of Guidance and Counselling 06/2013; 41(3):240-253.
  • Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 05/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: In this article we argue that research into information for patients has to extend beyond an evaluation of particular information resources to studies of how those resources are engaged with, made sense of and used in practice. We draw on empirical data collected in the course of a study of a patient information resource designed for breast cancer patients in Liverpool and Newcastle in order to demonstrate the limitations of a restricted focus on information resources alone - namely, that it does not take into account the specific ways in which information is incorporated within what patients do as the grounds of 'further inference and action'. Our interest is less in discussing the strengths and weaknesses of this particular resource than in explicating some neglected aspects of the commonplace ways in which patients 'work' with information. We conclude by sketching some broad features of those 'reading' and 'linking' practices, the study of which, we believe, would help us as researchers to explicate the 'problem of information' as it is actually encountered and resolved by patients in realworld settings for their own practical purposes. Taking our lead from ethnomethodological studies and related research in various fields, we argue patients' uses of information are social practices that can and should be treated as researchable phenomena.
    Health Informatics Journal 12/2012; 18(4):271-83.
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last decade the issue of identity has been prevalent in discussions about British Muslims, with the events of 9/11 serving as a touchstone for media debates about religious, national and cultural affiliations. The 7/7 terrorist attacks in the UK led to young British Pakistanis being subjected to intense public and institutional scrutiny and wider political concerns being expressed about the failure of multiculturalism. Young British Pakistanis have thus had to negotiate and maintain their identities in an environment in which they have been defined as a threat to national security whilst simultaneously being pressurized to align with 'core British values'. Within this context, we convey the findings of a qualitative study involving British Pakistanis living in the North-west of England. In presenting the experiences and perspectives of participants, three interconnected processes salient to the maintenance of identity are delineated: solidity, elasticity and resilience. Having unpacked these processes, we draw upon Bhabha's third space thesis to explore the political potentiality of and the limits to hybridic identities.
    British Journal of Sociology 09/2012; 63(3):393-411.
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    ABSTRACT: It is now over thirty years since Claus Offe theorised the crisis tendencies of the welfare state in late capitalism. As part of that work he explored ongoing and irresolvable forms of crisis management in parliamentary democracies: capitalism cannot live with the welfare state but also cannot live without it. This article examines the continued relevance of this analysis by Offe, by applying its basic assumptions to the response of the British welfare state to mental health problems, at the turn of the twenty first century. His general theoretical abstractions are tested against the empirical picture of mental health service priorities, evident since the 1980s, in sections dealing with: re-commodification tendencies; the ambiguity of wage labour in the mental health workforce; the emergence of new social movements; and the limits of legalism.
    Sociology of Health & Illness 04/2012; 34(7):1070-84.
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    ABSTRACT: Contemporary transitions in the delivery of health and social care are a global phenomenon. They prompt a particular need to reconsider how quality in relation to professional practice should be understood and whether greater importance should be attached to values such as goodwill, altruism and commitment. Based on a qualitative study of a small voluntary sector organisation in the North of England, this paper addresses how changes in policy articulate with the identities of professionals who work in learning disability services. Drawing on MacIntyre's After Virtue, which is discussed in relation to some recent sociological debates on emotion, it is suggested that professionals have an emotionally based commitment to their work as well as to the people they work with. Professional commitment is embedded in a coherent sense of self that problematises traditional binaries between the private and the public, and the cognitive and affective. The participants in this study appeared to pursue what MacIntyre terms the 'internal goods' of practice; they valued being able to work innovatively and responsively with service users. It is suggested that this requires a particular type of relationship with oneself, with others, and with practice, which engenders a criticality towards dominant professional discourses.
    Sociology of Health & Illness 06/2011; 34(1):79-94.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines the professionalising of geriatric medicine in the UK roughly between the 1940s and the 1970s and locates it in terms of the broader context of the relationship between the professions and the state. It looks at how this relationship shaped geriatric medicine's professional jurisdiction, including the discourses of expertise on the one hand and the constituting of the 'subjects' of such expertise on the other. In contrast to other sociological approaches to the professions, which highlight the negative impact of state encroachment on professional territory, this paper contends that without the backing of the Ministry of Health the specialty may never have established itself in the face of prolonged opposition from rival specialists. However, such support was predicated on the specialty's highlighting particular legitimating discourses and practices at the expense of others, and in framing this in terms of specific policy concerns around an ageing population. Whilst this imprinted the profession with the stamp of governmentality, it also contributed to the broader problematising of old age in the twentieth century. The paper concludes by considering the legacy of this context of professionalisation for the profession today.
    Sociology of Health & Illness 11/2010; 32(7):1072-86.
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the turn to risk within sociology and to survey the relationship between structure and agency as conceived by popular strands of risk theorizing. To this end, we appraise the risk society, culture of fear and governmentality perspectives and we consider the different imaginings of the citizen constructed by each of these approaches. The paper goes on to explore what each of these visions of citizenship implies for understandings of the structure/agency dynamic as it pertains to the question of reflexivity. In order to transcend uni-dimensional notions of citizenship and to reinvigorate sociological debates about risk, we call for conceptual analyses that are contextually rooted. Exampling the importance of knowledge contests around contemporary security threats and warnings of the deleterious effects of pre-emptive modes of regulation that derive from the 'risk turn' within social science, we argue for a more nuanced embrace of reflexivity within risk theorising in order to facilitate a more dynamic critique of the images of citizenship that such theorizing promotes.
    British Journal of Sociology 03/2010; 61(1):45-62.
  • The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 11/2009; 48(5):514 - 521.
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