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Laypersons, professions and governance in the welfare state: the Swedish child protection system
University of Gothenburg.
University of Gothenburg.
University of Gothenburg. (RISCY)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5644-2455
2014 (English)In: Journal of Professions and Organization, ISSN 2051-8803, E-ISSN 2051-8811, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 161-175Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article describes and analyses laypersons’ role in networks of expertise and their relationship to professions. It is suggested that networks of expertise are a profitable way of analysing claims-making activities, as it opens up for groups other than professions to be included in the discussion. In the first part of the article, three interest groups—professions, laypersons, and service users—who base their legitimacy on knowledge, are described, analysed, and compared. It is argued that what is special about laypersons’ claims-making activities is that they are built on general common sense instead of the more specialized knowledge that professions and service users build their legitimacy on. In the second part, child protection systems in three countries are compared. The US system is described as professionalized, the English one as semi-professional and the Swedish case as deprofessionalized (or laypersonalized). The third part of the article looks closer at Sweden and asks: who are the laypersons in the Swedish child protection system? How much can the laypersons be regarded as professionals working in a layperson system and how strong is the political affiliation? The conclusions include that laypersons are identified as having two roles: holding executive powers, as in child protection in Sweden and England, and a more consultative and supervisory role. Either way it can be seen as a weakness for a profession to be subordinated to laypersons, yet it can also be a strength for a specific network of expertise.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2014. Vol. 1, no 2, p. 161-175
Keywords [en]
Laypersons, Decision making, Sociology of profession
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-71892DOI: 10.1093/jpo/jou005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-71892DiVA, id: diva2:1193871
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2010:0821Available from: 2018-03-28 Created: 2018-03-28 Last updated: 2018-08-14Bibliographically approved

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Forkby, Torbjörn

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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