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Assembling Advice: Ethnographic Explorations of the Changing Relationship Between Voluntary Advice Services and the Welfare State

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-124
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Studies
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Dec 2018
DatePublished (current) - 4 Dec 2018

Abstract

Voluntary sector advice agencies play, for many in the UK, a key role in accessing and understanding public services. As such, whilst fiercely ‘independent’, their relationship to the welfare state is a complex and conflicted one. Presenting data from participant observation, interviews and focus groups with advisers and managers within the Citizens Advice Service, this paper explores this relationship by focusing on two particular areas of the service; the voluntary provision of advice, and the different funding streams that enable this provision. The paper draws upon assemblage theory, focusing as it does upon elements of an organisation in their ongoing practices and relationships; a processual approach that allows us to reflect upon the broader implications of our ethnographic data. Whilst this approach was motivated by our interest in how the Citizens Advice service endures, we conclude by reflecting upon the ‘fragile futures’ of advice in the context of aggressive budget cuts and the welfare reform agenda.

    Research areas

  • advice agencies

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    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via State Library & Aalborg University at https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/104898. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

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