Managing the flow of private information on children and parents in poverty situations : Creating a panoptic eye in interorganizational networks?
Haute, D. V., Roets, G., Alasuutari, M., & Vandenbroeck, M. (2018). Managing the flow of private information on children and parents in poverty situations : Creating a panoptic eye in interorganizational networks?. Child and Family Social Work, 23(3), 427-434. https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12433
Published inChild and Family Social Work
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
In this article, we discuss how the flow of private information about children and families in poverty situations is managed in interorganizational networks that aim to combat child poverty. Although practices for sharing information and documentation between child and family social work services are highly encouraged and recommended to create supportive features for parents and children, this development often results in undesirable forms of governmentality. Interorganizational networking also creates controlling side effects because the exchange of information in networks of child and family services may wield a holistic power over families. We theorize this issue by using the Foucauldian concepts of the panopticon and pastoral power, which allows us to grapple with the major tension between support and control in the information‐ and documentation‐sharing practices of social workers. A critical analysis of our empirical data reveals four central fields of tension in which social workers and their organizations must position themselves: (a) craving control and handling uncertainty, (b) using and misusing private information and trust, (c) constructing families as subjects and objects of intervention, and (d) including and excluding families. ...
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