NYE STYRINGSREDSKABER I SOCIALT ARBEJDE: Arbejdsevnemetoden som et lovmæssigt imperativ


  • Ida Hammen




This article shows how the view of the citizen as a rational actor has become

an infl uential perspective in Danish social work. The perspective is represented

both by numerous researchers and leading politicians in Denmark. Politically,

the introduction of a new social work method, the “arbejdsevnemetode” (the

ability to work method), is an example of how the perspective is implemented in

practice. The method aims to cast the citizen as a competent, rational actor, and

the method’s use is mandatory in cases concerning early retirement, rehabilitation,

and fl ex- time jobs. The rational actor perspective is also supported by a prominent

group of social researchers who wish to challenge clientization in Danish

social work. Based on data from a fi eldwork conducted in three Danish public

administrations, the article explores the effects of the rational actor perspective on

everyday municipal practice, as it is implemented via the “arbejdsevnemetode”.

Furthermore it analyses the representation of the discourse from the infl uential

research group on the social fi eld. The main concern of the article is not so much

to argue for or against the rational actor perspective, but rather to analyse how

ideological changes occur in different areas of social work. It concludes that it

is the rigorous implementation of the rational actor perspective, rather than its

intent that leads to problems in both practical and scientific settings.





Hammen, I. (2008). NYE STYRINGSREDSKABER I SOCIALT ARBEJDE: Arbejdsevnemetoden som et lovmæssigt imperativ. Tidsskriftet Antropologi, (57). https://doi.org/10.7146/ta.v0i57.106805