The quasi-market revolution in the head: Ideology, discourse, care management

Malcolm Carey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Summary: The article explores the use of ideology by a group of care managers in the United Kingdom (n = 44) in their work environments. It draws upon ethnomethodological research which investigated the motivations of qualified employees for entering and remaining within state social work. As well as exploring the impact and uses of ideology, the article also questions the disparagement of universalism in the postmodern inspired critique of welfare. This is sustained by highlighting the broad and universal impact of neoliberalism in relation to the care management labour process. • Findings: Care managers utilize ideology throughout their practice, although this is predominantly inspired by external factors, notably legislation and policy. Despite this, there is evidence of some application of professional, and/or critical ideologies, which can offer respite from, and act as a form of resistance against neoliberal ideology within the care management labour process. Nevertheless, in practice, such resistance tends to be dispersed, sporadic and often individualistic. • Applications:It is proposed that the greater use of 'emancipatory' ideology in the education and practice of care managers may help in resisting further deskilling and disenfranchisement. Also, the work of Gramsci and Foucault offers a potential framework to contextualize forms of anti-market resistance. © 2008 Sage Publications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)341-362
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Social Work
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


    • Care management
    • Ideology
    • Labour process
    • Neoliberalism


    Dive into the research topics of 'The quasi-market revolution in the head: Ideology, discourse, care management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this