Symposium 6: Nordic elder care in transition – exploring dynamics of change

Convenors/discussants: Mia Vabø (Oslo Metropolitan University) Annette Kamp (Roskilde University)

Since the golden age of welfare expansion, ranges of reform steps have been taken to make elder care services more cost- efficient. Many steps have been inspired by NPM– a global wave of reforms based on market-oriented logics aiming at enhancing organizational efficiency and accountability, but failing to address other political/administrative values such as fairness, equity, safety and reliability.
NPM doctrines have been widely criticized by social scientist, exactly because they are disconnected from the political and practical world they aim to change. However, this critique have often taken reductionist forms, implicitly assuming that all changes belong to NPM paradigm, thus disregarding how NPM intertwines with classical bureaucracy aiming at legal security or with structural reforms inducing professional logics. They tone down how ‘old’ relational modes of care lingers on or how care practices are challenged or revitalized by new global visions of ‘active ageing’ and person-centred care and reablement.
In this symposium, we emphasize the need for more context- and time-sensitive approaches. Rather than seeing contexts as static ‘scene settings’, we regard contexts as made up by multiple agents who are actively interpreting what is going on.
Moreover, we regard contexts as temporally interconnected: Drivers of change may be located in the past, present and future time and may influence reforms as ‘path breaking’ events, by ‘collision of trajectories’ and ‘reactive sequences’. Time is not necessarily a progressive movement forward, but can often mean going backwards.
Papers presented will highlight how complex and shifting contexts influences the practical world of front line staff and the ones they care for. Papers will pay attention to the way in which tension and dilemmas are interpreted, resolved and handled – in processes of needs assessment and service allocation; in inter-professional practices and in interaction with care recipients.

Paper presenters and tentative titles:

  • Lea Graf: Is NPG the new black? The interplay between new and old modes of governance in Nordic elder care systems
  • Helle Cathrine Hansen: New reform trends in the making: the process of rebuilding trust in public home care.
  • Maya Flensborg Jensen: Valuating care for ageing bodies: valuation devices and negotiations of care in the context of reablement
  • Betina Dybbroe: Changing knowledge regimes and professional practices in rehabilitative care
  • Christine Øye. Keeping fitness at a distance: Maneuvering in the complex terrain of public day-care institutions in the era of
    `active aging`.
Posted in Conference 2021, Symposia.