PhD Studentships Austerity Localism & New Spaces of Care in a Post-Service Landscape

Supervisor: Dr Andrew Power

With the increased commitment by national governments towards personalization in adult social care, allied with rising international obligations towards independent living from rights treaties, support is increasingly becoming more ‘place-less’ and woven into everyday spaces within the community such as libraries, museums and cafés. Consequently, support is becoming re-framed from ‘care’ in care settings towards enabling meaningful lives nested in local neighbourhoods and mainstream community settings. At the same time, formal support has become eroded, as evident in a decline in support hours, closure of day care centres, and higher eligibility criteria.  This PhD project seeks to explore the complex relational intersections involved in delivering personalized support within this context between an increasing breadth of stakeholders, including support managers, key workers, families, and volunteers. It aims to contribute new understandings of the geographies of care, through exploring emergent forms of resistance, politics, and alternative responses to austerity. The student will develop a qualitative research design using photo diaries and focus groups with adult social care users, as well as interviews with service providers and community support officers.  It shall examine the complex and delicate work involved in creating and sustaining meaningful lives in the community.

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