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Creating Citizen-Consumers
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Creating Citizen-Consumers
Changing Publics and Changing Public Services



© 2007 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
`This is an illuminating and topical study, which skilfully blends together theoretical and empirical analysis in search of the "citizen-consumer". It should become a key text for all with an interest in public service reform and the "choice" agenda, as well as consumerism and citizenship' - Ruth Lister, Professor of Social Policy, University of Loughborough

Political, popular and academic debates have swirled around the notion of the citizen as a consumer of public services, with public service reform increasingly geared towards a consumer society. This innovative book draws on original research with those people in the front-line of the reforms - staff, managers and users of public services - to explore their responses to this turn to consumerism.

Creating Citizen-Consumers explores a range of theoretical, political, policy and practice issues that arise in the shift towards consumerism. It draws on recent controversies about choice to examine the tensions of modernising public services to meet the demands of a consumer society. The book offers a fresh and challenging understanding of the relationships between people and services, and argues for a model based on interdependence, respect and partnership rather than choice.

This original book makes a distinctive contribution to debates about the future of public services. It will be of interest to those studying social policy, cultural studies, public administration and management across the social sciences, as well as for those working in public services.

John Clarke is a Professor of Social Policy at the Open University. Janet Newman is a Professor of Social Policy at the Open University. Nick Smith is a Research Officer in the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the University of Kent. Elizabeth Vidler is a Project Officer in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Open University. Louise Westmarland is a Lecturer in Criminology at the Open University.

 
Introduction
 
Changing Times
Perspectives on the Citizen-Consumer  
 
Public Service Reform
The Rise of the Citizen-Consumer  
 
Delivery Problems? Consumerism and Institutional Variation
 
Unstable Encounters
Users, Staff and Services  
 
Managing Consumerism
From Policy to Practice  
 
Sites of Strain
Consumerism and Public Services  
 
What's in a Name? In Search of the Citizen-Consumer
 
Beyond the Citizen-Consumer

Recommended text as useful for seminar discussions and essay topic selection.

Dr Margaret-Anne Houston
Division of Public Policy, Glasgow Caledonian University
February 9, 2010

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