Laboratories for professionalization? Associations and the coordination in the social welfare sector in Switzerland.

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Research shows that, up until the 80s, measures characterized by coercion and violence were hardly placed under supervision in Switzerland’s confusing and unclear welfare landscape. Thereby, it is often lost from sight that at the same time, an active professional public throughout all of Switzerland criticized the resulting arbitrariness and demanded the introduction of comprehensive guidelines.

  • Project description (completed research project)

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    The project investigates the situations in Berne and the Grisons from a historical and a sociological perspective, looking into the complex interaction between private and public bodies with regard to the out-of-home placement of children. It analyses how the transferring of state tasks to private – and in part commercially-oriented – institutions was, is, (and will be) legitimized as well as studying the impact of this mixed form of welfare economics on the children and their families. It raises the question as to the discourse and the conditions under which institutions and foster families taking on this task, “out of love”, become involved in the provision of these services. Within this context, e.g., the significance of gender-specific thought patterns as well as gender-oriented civil law and a gainful employment system discriminating women have coined the placement practices historically and still do so today.

  • Results

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    The summary of the results for this project are available here:

  • Original title

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    Laboratories for professionalization in social welfare. Central civic associations caught between standardization and plurality