ABSTRACT

Human service professionals deal with a wide range of problems, from child abuse, parenting issues, and elderly care, to addictions, mental illness, sexual assault, unemployment, and criminality. These must be constructed as problems for professionals to appropriately respond to them. Human service provision starts from there. But in the everyday experience of service providers and users alike, there is a parallel world of ordinary troubles that remains professionally undefined but real, even when troubles are turned into problems. 

This book brings into view the relationship between these worlds as it bears on the process of clientization—the transformation of people and troubles into clients and problems. Rather than taking the process for granted as many critics do, the book examines the instability of the process on several fronts and highlights its surprising local complexity. Foregrounding everyday life, the leading idea is that the transformation of troubles into problems is not straightforward and that problems are continually subject to alternative understandings. This poses new what, how, and where questions. What are ordinary troubles and how do they relate to the construction, maintenance, or undoing of serviceable problems? Where is social policy and how does that figure in the front-line work of service provision? The questions point to the challenges of clientization at the discretionary border of troubles and problems in everyday service relationships. 

With chapters written by an international group of human service researchers, this book is an important contribution to the literature dealing with the construction of personal problems and will be useful to students and academics in sociology, human services, social work and policy, criminal justice, and health care.

chapter 1|14 pages

Troubles, problems, and clientization

ByJABER F . GUBRIUM AND MARGARETHA JÄRVINEN

part |2 pages

Part I Individual challenges

chapter 2|17 pages

Listening and the paradox of autonomy in elderly care homes

ByJENS KOFOD

chapter 4|15 pages

Untidy clientization: drug users resisting institutional identities

ByMARGARETHA JÄRVINEN

part |2 pages

Part II Collective challenges

chapter 6|17 pages

Wild girls and the deproblematization of troubled lives

ByKATHRINE VITUS

chapter 7|17 pages

The imagined psychology of being overweight in a weight loss program

ByNANNA MIK - MEYER

part |2 pages

Part III Competing perspectives

chapter 8|16 pages

Troubles? Problems? Comparing social workers’ and older persons’ perspectives on elder self-neglect

ByTOVA BAND - WINTERSTEIN , ISRAEL DORON AND SIGAL NAIM

chapter 10|16 pages

Constructing the system in a remand prison

ByTHOMAS UGELVIK

part |2 pages

Part IV Contending clienthoods

chapter 13|17 pages

From troubling actions to troubled lives: sex offender registration and notification

ByRICHARD TEWKSBURY AND DAVID PATRICK CONNOR