Citizenship, social inclusion and confidentiality

Evans, Tony and Harris, John (2004) Citizenship, social inclusion and confidentiality. British Journal of Social Work, 34, (1), 69-91. (doi:10.1093/bjsw/bch006).


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Confidentiality has tended to be disconnected from wider debates about citizenship and social inclusion. It has been hived off into self-referential legal and professional discourses concerning the principles that should inform social workers' conduct. The lacuna concerning the significance of confidentiality in wider debates is made more remarkable by the shift towards consumer citizenship, a shift that has ostensibly emphasized service users' rights, including their capacity for active participation in service provision. The rights discourse, as a component of active consumer citizenship, is considered in relation to the perspectives of ‘interests’ and ‘will’. The arguments that support moving in the direction of a critical ‘will’ perspective, through deliberative processes that involve service users in developing and framing information rights, are highlighted and linked to data from a small-scale empirical study. This perspective is regarded as consistent with a politically dynamic formulation of social citizenship. Such a formulation involves seeing citizenship as a practice that requires on-going debates about claims to rights, moves in the direction of seeking to rectify imbalances in power and recognizes the capacity of service users to act in their own interests as citizens.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1093/bjsw/bch006
ISSNs: 0045-3102 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Social Work Studies
ePrint ID: 48085
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
January 2004Published
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2007
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2015 02:39

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