Personalisation: from Day Centres to Community Hubs?

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33 Citations (Scopus)


The article explores the relationship between personalization reforms of social care services in England and the redevelopment of day centres for older people and people with a disability. Recognizing the ways in which personalization reforms have been driven by a rejection of institutionalization, it considers how intersecting story-lines delegitimize the day centre model and promote alternative shared spaces such as ‘community hubs’. Using responses drawn from a small survey of day centre workers and case study interviews with social care managers, the article argues that the personalization narrative has been much more effective in legitimizing the closure of day centres than in stimulating the emergence of new collective spaces. There are a range of possible explanations for this apparent disconnect between the narrative and the practice context, including a neo-liberal agenda which uses the community hub story-line simply as cover for retrenchment of the welfare state, or an assumption that the financial context has knocked the story off track. However, a broader explanation was considered to be more plausible, acknowledging the difficulty that ambiguous narratives have in marshalling resources and ‘freezing’ change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-108
JournalCritical Social Policy
Issue number1
Early online date17 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014


  • community hubs
  • interpretive policy analysis
  • narrative
  • social care


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