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ANALYSE DE L'INTERVENTION TECHNOCRATIQUE DANS LES SERVICES SOCIAUX ET DE SANTÉ AU QUÉBEC

Belhassen Redjeb and Marcelle Laforest
Canadian Social Work Review / Revue canadienne de service social
Vol. 1 ('83), pp. 106-128
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41669087
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
ANALYSE DE L'INTERVENTION TECHNOCRATIQUE DANS LES SERVICES SOCIAUX ET DE SANTÉ AU QUÉBEC
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Abstract

The sixties ushered in a new era of social reform in the province of Quebec. Education, health and social services are now being increasingly taken over by the government. Moreover, this period provides technologies whose operators are finding the government an ideal environment. This technocracy has penetrated the fields of health and social welfare to the extent of subjugating them. In 1970, when the reform project developed by the Commission of Inquiry on Health and Welfare was implemented in Quebec, these services changed from simple and practical operations to a complex organization reflecting the massive intervention of the government and its agents. The consolidation of the role of these government agents and their openness to new social engineering skills are the interdependent elements of the technocratie phenomenon as the great demiurge of the government of Quebec. Their speeches on healthy citizens, analyzed in the first part of this article, demonstrate their need to subject those citizens in many ways to the combined influence of the powers of science and the state. This combined influence is equalled only by the unifying power of the technocrat's language. The second part of the article discusses the mechanisms for setting up the new organization whose transcendent and technocratic alibi lies in cost benefits, an operation to find the effectiveness it lays claim to. These two parts reveal the technocratic paradigm of the reforms in health services and social welfare in Quebec. The third part explains that government technocracy has introduced a technological way of thinking by subjecting health and social service professions to a dual technical and political constraint whose symbiosis brings out the nature of technocracy: restrictiveness and dependence.

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