The bureaucracy's voices in Norwegen client interviews
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionØrvig, K. (2011) The bureaucracy's voices in Norwegen client interviews. Journal of Social Work Practice, 25(3) pp. 323-334 10.1080/02650533.2011.59718
This article concerns a sociological study of face-to-face interaction taking place in social welfare offices in Norway. Qualitative data from interpreted dialogues between Norwegian social workers and their clients from minority groups of refugees and immigrants, bureaucratic voices and discourses are examined. For the social worker, face-to-face interaction is a matter of a professional performance characterized by an ambiguity between impartiality on the one hand and participatory involvement and understanding on the other. Power and control prevails significantly within the interactions as they strive to perform communicative actions between equals. Through some specific examples from my own observational studies, I have attempted to describe issues that can illustrate how the bureaucratic voice and prevalent discourses can be expressed in a variety of ways. For the social worker, it is a matter of a professional performance which is characterized by impartiality, counselling, objective verbal actions, the exercise of discretion, information distribution, etc.
This is an electronic version of an article published in the Journal of social work practice © 2011 Copyright Taylor & Francis; Journal of social work practice is available online at www.tandfonline.com at DOI: 10.1080/02650533.2011.59718