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Shopping for support: personalisation and the new spaces and relations of commodified care for people with learning disabilities

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Original languageEnglish
Pages589-603
Number of pages15
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Journal publication date2011
Volume12
Issue6
DOIs
StatePublished

Abstract

The 'suitable' spaces of care for people with bodies and minds of difference have been rescaled from the socio-spatial exclusion of the asylum, to collective spaces within mainstream communities, and most recently to the normalised spaces of the home, employment and public space. The mechanism facilitating the latest spatial reconfiguration in the UK is 'Personal Budgets', part of a broader 'personalisation' of neoliberal state care provision, whereby disabled people and older people take on responsibility for the management of their care within a new 'care marketplace'. The paper examines the new forms, spaces and relations of care produced within this commodified system of welfare, focusing on people with learning disabilities. In doing so, the paper argues that the new care marketplace both transforms existing relations of care and constrains collective and interdependent forms of care that many people with learning disabilities (and many others) value. In conclusion, the paper contends that the 'lack of fit' between the needs of many disabled and older people and personalised care provision demands a reconceptualisation of the dominant notion of 'active citizenship'.

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