Case history discourse. A rhetoric of troublesome youngsters and faceless treatment

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In numerous social control settings, staff routinely write case histories on clients to assist colleagues and authorities in treatment decisions. In this article, we examine how such institutional writing constructs ‘working versions’ of youngsters, portraying their objects of care as personally troublesome. Simultaneously, the institution is portrayed as facelessly, uniformly and collectively remedying their behaviour. Using material from a centre for juvenile delinquents in Sweden, we analyse three discursive techniques that accomplish this documentary reality: (1) trouble zooming, (2) mood notes and (3) deflecting staff agency. We also reflect on the social conditions for the recurrent rhetoric.
TidskriftEuropean Journal of Social Work
StatusPublished - 2015

Bibliografisk information

First published Online, 13 April 2015

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi)


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