Nordic Journal of Social Research 2019-07-09T11:47:54+02:00 Anne Sigfrid Grønseth Open Journal Systems <p>The Nordic Journal of Social Research (NJSR) is a multidisciplinary, open access, peer-reviewed journal that publishes high quality papers from social, cultural, political and economic research in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It presents new empirical data, and endeavours to advance theoretical development and/or enhance discussion of policy implications. More specifically, the journal publishes articles that examine social issues in one of the Nordic countries, compare such issues among Nordic countries, or offer comparisons of the Nordic countries with other parts of the world. The overarching objective is to enhance our understanding of the social processes and values that govern the welfare state and the course of everyday life. This includes tensions in securing viability of welfare structures and services, social integration, diversity and mobility, identity politics, policy development and innovation, life-span opportunities and security, and inequality, among other topics. A core aim is to facilitate a window for engaging the Nordic societies and Nordic researchers with the larger global world and international scholarship.</p> Scaling Up Housing First Pilots – Drivers and Barriers 2019-07-09T11:47:54+02:00 Marcus Knutagård Arne Kristiansen <p>There has been an increased interest in Housing First services in Sweden over the past few years. The model was first developed in New York by the organization Pathways to Housing. The growing interest in Housing First as a response to ending long-term homelessness is seen not only in the US and Canada, but also in Europe. One reason for this is the mass of evidence showing high housing retention rates with Housing First services as compared with traditional services. This article aims to analyse the drivers and barriers that hinder or facilitate the scaling up of Housing First pilots. The research question is: Is it possible to incorporate lessons learned from the Housing First pilot into the existing system of homelessness services? In other words: Is it possible to put new wine into old bottles?</p> <p>This is an ongoing research project on Housing First services in Sweden, with the specific focus on the Housing First pilot in the city of Helsingborg. The empirical material consists of in-depth interviews and focus group interviews with project managers, support workers and other stakeholders. The main results show that leadership is essential and a key driver for the scaling-up process. Another driver is the importance of repeating the vision and goals of the idea to keep the story alive. A third key driver is that the staff has identified the Housing First approach as a <em>relative advantage</em> and believes in the idea. The main barrier to the scaling-up process lies in the structures that maintain and surround the social housing programme.</p> 2019-05-14T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Marcus Knutagård, Arne Kristiansen Establishing Individual Care Plans for Rehabilitation Patients: Traces of Self-Targeting in the Norwegian Universal Welfare State 2019-07-09T11:47:28+02:00 Ivan Harsløf Mirela Slomic Ole Kristian Sandnes Håvold <p>Several countries have introduced devices for coordination of complicated individual cases across care, health and welfare services. This study examined one such device: the individual care plan (ICP), introduced in Norway in 2001 to enhance user involve­ment and coordination across sectors and service providers. Despite strong political imperatives, however, ICPs have remained significantly underused. To understand why, this study investigated the experiences with ICPs among staff in municipal coordinating units, tasked with organising rehabili­ta­tion efforts and case­workers in local labour and welfare services. In focus groups, participants discussed the fictitious vignette of a patient with traumatic brain injury, a person clearly within the ICP target group. They praised ICPs for advancing the rehabilitation process but acknowledged that they were applied too rarely. Through abductive-retroductive recontextualisation, this study identified a practice of de-facto self-targeting: in some municipalities, patients had to request ICPs themselves. We argue that this mechanism may have emerged from ambiguous propensities of rehabilitation, simultaneously emphasising needs and potentials, and ultimately from ambiguities in the Norwegian welfare model balancing universalism and local autonomy.</p> 2019-06-14T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Ivan Harsløf, Mirela Slomic, Ole Kristian Sandnes Håvold A matter of choice—professionals’ views on the incorporation of practical work with intimate partner violence into Swedish personal social services 2019-07-09T11:46:37+02:00 Lisa Lundberg Hugo Stranz <p>During the last decades, efforts have been made to increase local support provided to victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) in Sweden. As with other social problems, responsibility to address IPV falls on the municipal personal social services. The present article draws upon data obtained via structured telephone interviews with designated personal social services staff members from a sample of 99 municipalities, focusing on aspects of potential progress in social work with IPV. The results show that successful incorporation of IPV into personal social services largely seems to depend upon the commitment and dedication of individual actors within the organisations. Furthermore, the data indicate that competence in this field depends on personal inclination, with attention to IPV appearing as ‘a matter of choice’. The results are analysed using neo-institutional theory as well as concepts related to social movement studies, with focus on individual agency in organisational change and the potential relevance of IPV as an issue related to gender inequality to gender inequality. The analysis suggests that while IPV social work may challenge institutionalised practises within social services, change may go both ways with IPV being reframed to fit within the established framework of social services.</p> 2019-06-24T15:39:52+02:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Lisa Lundberg, Hugo Stranz Welfare transformations and expectations of sameness. Living on the margins in Denmark. 2019-07-09T11:47:03+02:00 Camilla Merrild Rikke Sand Andersen <p>In Denmark, as in other welfare societies worldwide, the organisation and ideology of welfare are becoming increasingly influenced by neoliberal ideas. In practice, this means that the original intention behind the provision of social support, which was grounded in the notion of social responsibility, is gradually being pushed aside by notions of responsibilisation, with concepts such as deservingness and work ethic appearing to dominate the discourse. Based on long-term fieldwork and interviews conducted with socially disadvantaged Danes living on social security, this article engages with the current debates regarding responsibility and highlights some of the challenges arising from living a life that diverges from what has been termed Danish ‘in-between middle-classness’. We argue that the divergence between the promise of welfare, the current landscape of political regulation and expectations of individual responsibility leads to new forms of uncertainty, as experienced by those who depend on the services provided by the welfare state. One implication of this is that welfare seems to increasingly be tied to an agenda of sameness, whereby citizenship stems less from a imagination of sameness than from an expectation of sameness.</p> 2019-06-14T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Camilla Merrild, Rikke Sand Andersen