Home Space Two: Home Spaces in social policy and governance
21 March 2013, The Open University, Michael Young Building Rooms 1 and 2
This seminar explored home as a setting for welfare in policy and practice, at a moment of the reconfiguring of roles and responsibilities between household, state, market and voluntary sector. Some key terms which recurred during the day included notions of ‘personalisation’ and ‘co-production’ in public services. Questions for the day included:
• How does thinking about 'home' enable analysis of changes to public and welfare service provision?
• How should we analyse power, experience and inclusions/exclusions in different kinds of home space?
• How can the home be understood as the site of different forms of labour?
Audio recordings of the individual sessions from the day are available by clicking here.
Abstracts and powerpoints from presentations can also be downloaded to the right. Some brief notes about the sessions are included below:
Introduction - Jane Franklin, The Open University
Session One: Home unbounded: reworking the spaces and boundaries of care (Chair: Dr Ellie Jupp, Open University)
Changing boundaries, changing lives: the paradoxes of ‘home’ in contemporary governance - Professor Janet Newman (Open University)
Janet Newman’s paper introduced themes including the home as a site of different forms of labour, and of consumption as well as social reproduction; and of the home as a potential starting point for different forms of politics. It discussed the movement of people from the public to the private sector creating hybrid organisations and cultures and of this work involved in ‘connecting up’ different spheres as forms of ‘relational labour’.
The spaces of personalisation - Dr Catherine Needham (Birmingham University)
Catherine Needham’s paper discussed the use of personal budgets and personalisation in health and social care, and different paradigms of choice and risk implied. She suggested that the potentials in such concepts may be more to do with opportunities for new relationships as much as financial control. Ideas of the ‘relational state’ highlight the importance of relationships between service providers and users, but of course such relationships are also expendable and fragile.
Discussions following these papers touched on themes including new forms of ‘economic affectivity’ around the home; whether we still have a vision of welfare or social security or collective risk? What are acceptable behaviours and interventions in the home environment? Also issues of co-operative living, energy and food poverty; social care as a very particular kind of ‘market’; new welfare landscapes and displacement.
Session Two: Home care: policy prescriptions and personal experiences (Chair: Dr Alison Clark, Open University)
Changing private behaviours for the public good? Dr Jessica Pykett (Birmingham University)
Jessica Pykett’s paper discussed the behavioural turn with public policy (and social science) and the ways in which this frames new subjects/spaces/experts around governance. The behaviour change agenda can be seen to be ‘domesticating’ global issues, eg climate change and obesity through new technologies and interventions in the home, raising questions about what constitutes the public good.
Home as a site of in/dependence, Julia Slay (new economics foundation)
Julia Slay’s presentation focused on ‘co-production’ as a model for reciprocal relationships between service users and providers. Research showed a splitting of service provision between those using such approaches and those still using a ‘deficit’ model of needs as default. Dependence and independence need to be seen as inter-related (ie interdependence). Curent welfare reforms may result in people being pushed back into narrow spheres of home and undermine the importance of wider connections and relationships, of ‘getting out and about’.
Discussions following these papers touched on themes including home as a site of citizenship; current funding environments in the community and voluntary sector. What kinds of equipment and behaviours bring institutional affectivities into the home, and when is intervention self determination or intrusion? Also the notion that home can function as isolation and trap or security and safety
Panel discussion (Chair: Professor Sheila Peace)
Dr Sophie Bowlby (University of Reading); Dr Sarah Carr (Social Care Institute of Excellence); Rachel Scicluna (Open University); Dr Jerry Tew (Birmingham University)
Themes from this discussion included:
· How power is manifested in relationships at home, and whether it functions as productive or abusive, and notions of safeguarding (Jerry Tew)
· Friendship practices and the home. Home as a ‘node’; going out of the house is what makes it a productive place: role of transport and of IT (Sophie Bowlby)
· Symbolic and material aspects of home for older LGB people; home as a sanctuary for certain groups; ‘community of affinity’ (Sarah Carr)
· Home as a political resource, with kitchens in particular as potential sites of organising (Rachel Scicluna)