'Managing' the middle classes: urban managers, public services and the response to middle-class capture

Hastings, A. , Bailey, N. , Bramley, G., Croudace, R. and Watkins, D. (2014) 'Managing' the middle classes: urban managers, public services and the response to middle-class capture. Local Government Studies, 40(2), pp. 203-223. (doi: 10.1080/03003930.2013.815615)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03003930.2013.815615


There is a longstanding concern about middle-class capture of the benefits of public service provision, although relatively little evidence exists on the exact nature of any advantage or on the processes by which this comes about. Using a framework developed from Gal (J. Gal, 1998. Formulating the Matthew Principle: on the role of the middle-classes in the welfare state. Scandinavian Journal of Social Welfare, 7, 42–55), and via two case studies of street cleansing services in the UK, the article explores the ways in which middle-class service users assert influence in relation to service design, resource allocation and practice on the ground. It explores how urban managers respond to middle-class influence, revealing the ways in which influence is accommodated and the benefits of this to middle-class service users. It also evidences how urban managers attempt to resist aspects of middle-class advantage, and the challenges such resistance presents. The article concludes that the need to ‘manage’ middle-class influence permeates the routine institutional policies and practices of this key public service.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bailey, Professor Nick and Hastings, Professor Annette and Croudace, Mr Robert and Bramley, Prof Glen and Watkins, Mr David
Authors: Hastings, A., Bailey, N., Bramley, G., Croudace, R., and Watkins, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Local Government Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1743-9388
Published Online:20 August 2013

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
460721A clean sweep, delivering cleaner streets in diverse neighbourhoodsAnnette HastingsJoseph Rowntree Foundation (ROWNTREE)804876SPS - URBAN STUDIES