Categorization among
Danish Street-Level Bureaucrats

Politics and policy-decisions are fundamental processes in a democratic society. Values, interests and political preferences are transformed by politicians to policies, rules and regulations and are then integrated in the practices of public administration.

But policies need to be implemented, and often it is not until the state interacts with citizens that policies are realized in everyday life. In this process of implementation, political and social categories are crucial, since they facilitate the individual decision-maker’s decisions on eligibility, i.e. whether citizens are entitled to a specific welfare benefit, or whether this citizen is in a situation that calls for special attention and the initiation of a special program.

The aim of this research project is to investigate categorization practices of three different types of street-level bureaucrats: home nurses, teachers and pree-school teachers. The objective is to investigate how and by what means they understand the manifold and differentiated social realities confronting them every day, and further to understand the crucial factors shaping the categorization of citizens.

The project is funded by FSE - Det Frie Forskningsråd, Samfund og Erhverv.

 

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