Debates in Personalisation (Book Review)

Gardner, Ali (2015) Debates in Personalisation (Book Review). British Journal of Social Work, 45 (1). pp. 414-415. ISSN 0045-3102

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Debates in Personalisation, Catherine Needham and Jon Glasby, Bristol, Policy Press, 2014, pp. 232, ISBN 9781447313427 (pb), £17.59

As one of the editors suggests, personalisation is a bit like Marmite—you either love it or you hate it (Glasby, 2014). This book immediately challenges the reader to engage with perspectives from both advocates and critics in one space. This is a welcome approach to a limited body of literature on the subject which, to date, has struggled to provide balance and measure to the debate, as passion for the concept runs high at both ends of the spectrum. As the editors acknowledge, personalisation means different things to different people and Needham's insightful guided tour through alternative policy narratives demonstrates how different interpretations explain the past, the present and the future of personalisation. In her detailed analysis of core policy documents, spanning across a change in government, Carr skilfully highlights the contradictory nature of broader welfare reforms and its impact on implementation despite cross-party support for this agenda. …

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