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Judge, nudge, or engage? Gender-related pressures and responses among street-level bureaucrats working with migrants

Glyniadaki, Katerina (2018) Judge, nudge, or engage? Gender-related pressures and responses among street-level bureaucrats working with migrants. Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe (124). Hellenic Observatory, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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This paper examines the ideology and identity conflicts related to gender, as experienced by street-level bureaucrats (SLBs) working with migrants in the capital cities of Athens and Berlin. More specifically, it examines the causes of these conflicts, how the SLBs make sense of them conceptually, and how they respond to them practically. This work incorporates theoretical perspectives from social psychology, namely identity theory and the concepts of multi-voicedness and dialogicality, in an effort to contribute to the public administration literature of ‘street-level bureaucracy’ and the ‘citizen-agent narrative’ in particular. The data used are based on 60 in-depth semi-structured interviews, conducted between December 2015 and December 2017, with SLBs who had frequent and prolonged contact with migrants, especially social workers, administrative employees, volunteers and activists. The research findings suggest that a) differences in gender identities and ideologies indeed constitute a significant source of tensions among members of the two groups; b) the SLBs develop different conceptual strategies to tackle these tensions based on either essentialism or social constructionism, as well as on how hierarchical they perceive their relationship with migrants to be; and c) the SLBs develop three practical strategies to respond to these tensions: they judge and maintain a distance from migrants, they nudge and try to change migrants’ behaviour, or they engage with them further in order to reduce the perceived gap between them.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author
Divisions: Hellenic Observatory
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2018 13:20
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:44

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