de Middelaer, Trevor Adam (2016) Alienation and Control: A study of alienated labour in two Youth Offending Teams across England and Wales. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis provides an empirical, qualitative, study of nuances of the labour process in the context of Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) and how detectable indications of alienation may be present in the perceptions of front-line practitioners. The study also focuses on government policy and the views of management and trade union officials to gain a broader understanding of factors that affect employment in this sub-sector of the public services. To provide a rich source of qualitative data, 33 interviews were conducted across two research sites, which fall under the operational remit of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB).
Initially, the focus of the thesis is structured around political impositions and management regulation of the employment relationship in the wider public services with particular reference to its impact on the organisation of work and work degradation. This is set against previous theories and frameworks of alienation to form an analytical model, adapted from Blauner’s (1964) research, accounting for criticisms of the study from a Marxist perspective. The thesis then provides a contextual grounding of the politicised nature of the youth justice sector and the related criminological debates which affect the perceptions of work and policy from front-line practitioners in YOTs.
Interview data is analysed against the theoretical model employed, signified by a broad analytical approach, which not only addresses the effects of a loss of practitioner control of the labour process in YOTs and the related indications of alienation, but also investigates their relevance to wider aspects of the political economy. Findings suggest that alienation is intensified in practitioners when they experience a dislocation between their personal ideals and the prescriptive work practices to which they abide, with their skills and knowledge of front-line practice perceived as undervalued in state and management policy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2016 09:38
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2016 09:38
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/2393

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