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Understanding assistant roles in social care

Ian Kessler, Stephen Bach and Paul Heron
Work, Employment & Society
Vol. 20, No. 4 (DECEMBER 2006), pp. 667-685
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23748467
Page Count: 19
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Abstract

This article re-connects with structure-agency debates to explore the development of the social work assistant role. Drawing upon an analytical framework based on the tenets of critical realism, it seeks to explain the evolution of this role across three local authorities by looking at the interaction of structure and agency at different societal levels: the sub-sector, the organization and the workplace. In doing so, it establishes the analytical value of the structure-agency dualism in studying occupations and, at the same time, provides data on what employees do in the type of role increasingly likely to characterize the modern service economy.

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