Browsing Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century (ISS21) - Journal articles by Title
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- ItemAfter the reforms: An analysis of the factors associated with the use of legal services in child welfare proceedings in Ireland(IJMESS International Publishers, 2019) Walsh, Edel; Murphy, Aileen; Halton, Carmel; Harold, Gill; Irish Research CouncilAgainst the backdrop of austerity measures and public sector reforms in Ireland, this paper examined legal costs incurred in child welfare proceedings by the State Child and Family Agency - Tusla, using a need-based allocation model. The direct financial costs of engaging with legal services, necessitated by the adversarial nature of child welfare proceedings, were scrutinized to determine if resources were allocated based on need. Adopting a cross-sectional research design, secondary data (obtained from the organization’s financial billing system. n =1032) were employed in an econometric analysis examining the factors influencing variations in Tusla’s legal expenditure. The dependent variable was total amount billed by legal firm per observation and the independent variables included type of legal activity involved (a proxy for need), geographical location and type of legal personnel (supply factor). Type of legal personnel, volume and type of legal activity have significant positive effects on legal spend. Administrative area does not significantly affect spending on legal services. We found that engagement with legal services, demanded by the adversarial nature of child welfare proceedings, has considerable cost implications; however, does seem to be allocated on the basis of need. The findings can be employed to increase the organization’s awareness of costs.
- ItemComplicating host-newcomer dualisms: Irish return migrants as home-comers or newcomers?(Dublin City University, 2008) Ní Laoire, CaitríonaPopular discourses of contemporary Irish society are often structured on the basis of dualisms which oppose a perceived native/Irish/host community to an imagined foreign/non-Irish/newcomer community. This paper uses the example of Irish return migration to challenge these pervasive dualisms and to highlight the blurred nature of boundaries between host and newcomer. The paper draws on life narrative interviews with recent return migrants to reveal the ways in which they constantly move between the shifting positions of ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’. Migrant narratives of home and return are conceptualised in terms of the ways in which home is inhabited and remembered differently with migration, and as a result is continuously being reprocessed. It is argued that neither home nor belonging are static constructs, and that return migrants constantly re-make and reproduce home and belonging. In this way, they ‘bring home’ to non-migrants the inherent instability of accepted concepts of place, identity and belonging, and in doing so, unsettle powerful imagined insider outsider dualisms.
- ItemFindings from a longitudinal qualitative study of child protection social workers' retention: Job embeddedness, professional confidence and staying narratives(Oxford University Press, 2019-06-25) Burns, Kenneth; Christie, Alastair; O'Sullivan, Siobhan; Department of Children and Youth Affairs, IrelandThe retention of social workers in child protection and welfare is an ongoing concern in many countries. While our knowledge based on the turnover of child protection and welfare social workers is growing, much less is known about ‘stayers’—those who undertake this work for over 10+ years. This article draws on the data gathered over a decade in Ireland on these social workers. The article addresses three questions: (i) What can we learn from social workers with 10+ years’ experience of child protection and welfare about their retention? (ii) Does job embeddedness theory help explain their choices to stay? (iii) Does the ‘career preference typology’ (Burns, 2011. British Journal of Social Work, 41(3), pp. 520–38) helps to explain social workers’ retention? The main findings are that if you can retain social workers beyond the 5-year point, their retention narrative intensifies, their embeddedness in the organisation and community strengthens and they have a stronger sense of professional confidence as they move out of the early professional stage. A surprising finding of this study was that nearly all of the social workers in this study had a staying narrative that changed little between their interviews a decade apart.
- Item'Girls just like to be friends with people: gendered experiences of migration among children and young people in returning Irish families(Taylor & Francis, 2011-10) Ní Laoire, Caitríona; European CommissionThe gendered nature of children and young people's experiences of migration are explored in this paper, drawing on research with children in Irish return migrant families. The paper focuses on the ways in which gender dynamics both reinforce and complicate the children's complex social positionings in Irish society. It explores the gendered nature of the children's and young people's everyday lives, relationships with peers and negotiations of identity, through a specific focus on the role of sport, friendship and local gender norms in their lives. I suggest that gender articulates with other axes of sameness/difference in complex ways, shaping the opportunities for social participation and cultural belonging in different ways for migrant boys and girls.
- ItemThe 'green green grass of home'? Return migration to rural Ireland(Elsevier, 2007-07) Ní Laoire, CaitríonaThere have been calls recently to challenge some of the orthodoxies of counterurbanisation. This paper contributes to this by highlighting the complexity of rural in-migration processes, through a focus on rural return migration. There has been a significant increase in return migration to the Republic of Ireland (ROI) since 1996. The paper is based on the life narratives of some of the 1980s generation of emigrants who have recently returned to live in Ireland. It focuses on those Irish return migrants who spent a substantial part of their lives in the large urban centres of Britain and the US, and are currently living in rural Ireland. Their narratives of return are explored in terms of discourses of rurality, in particular through notions of a rural idyll and belonging/not belonging. It is argued that return migrants draw on classic counterurbanisation discourses in their narratives of return, but that these are interwoven with notions of family/kinship. Furthermore, the idyllisation of rural life is complicated by aspects of the specificity of the position of the return migrant. It is suggested that rural return migrants are positioned somewhere between locals and incomers, reflecting the complexity of Irish rural repopulation processes, and that the phenomenon of rural return complicates accepted understandings of counterurbanisation.
- ItemNaming the parts: a case-study of a gender equality initiative with academic women(Emerald, 2015) Ó Gráda, Aifric; Ní Laoire, Caitríona; Linehan, Carol; Boylan, Geraldine B.; Connolly, Linda; European Social FundPurpose: This paper aims to seek to contribute to current debates about the effectiveness of different types of gender equality interventions in the academic context. This paper presents an argument for the need to move beyond an individual-structural dichotomy in how such interventions are perceived. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on an action-research case-study, the Through the Glass Ceiling project, to challenge the idea that “individual”/single-actor interventions serve only to reinforce underlying inequalities by attempting to “fix the women”. Findings: It is suggested that actions that support women in their careers have the potential to achieve a degree of transformation at individual, cultural and structural levels when such actions are designed with an understanding of how individuals embody the gendered and gendering social structures and values that are constantly being produced and reproduced within society and academia. The case study highlights the benefits of supporting individuals as gendered actors in gendering institutions and of facilitating the development of critical gender awareness, suggesting that such interventions are most effective when undertaken as part of an integrated institutional equality agenda. Originality/value: By calling attention to the ongoing mutual construction of actors and practices in organizations, this paper seeks to make both a conceptual contribution to how we understand the (re)production and potential transformation of gender relations in academia and to influence wider policy dialogues on diversity at work.
- Item‘Private Family Arrangements’ for children in Ireland: The informal grey space in-between state care and the family home(Oxford University Press, 2021-02-22) Burns, Kenneth; O'Mahony, Conor; Brennan, Rebekah; Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Ireland; Cloyne Diocesan Youth Service, Ireland; University College CorkThe literature on alternative care focuses overwhelmingly on formal, court-ordered placements; voluntary care placements are discussed less frequently. Least attention of all has been given to informal kinship care placements, where a child is cared for by relatives but is not formally in the legal care of state authorities. In Ireland, these placements, when facilitated by state authorities in lieu of a care order or voluntary care agreement, are known by professionals as ‘private family arrangements’. This article explores evidence which shows that the use of such arrangements is motivated partly by a concern for subsidiarity, and partly by necessity: they provide a source of placements in cases where regulatory requirements and a lack of resources would otherwise make the placement challenging or impossible. However, this strategy carries significant risks. Private family arrangements receive less support and oversight from state authorities than formal care placements, and family members providing care under this model have no legal rights or responsibilities in respect of the child(ren). This places the child(ren) in a precarious position and raises concerns regarding a lack of equity of care. The article will illustrate the impact of these concerns and make recommendations for reform.
- ItemReimagining care discourses through a feminist ethics of care: analysing Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality(Bristol University Press, 2022-12-16) Loughnane, Cliona; Edwards, Claire; Carolan Research Trust, IrelandThe COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore stark gendered care inequalities and the inadequacy of care provision across states. This article presents a feminist-ethics-of-care-informed discourse analysis of the representation of care that emerged at the Irish Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality – an innovative government-created citizen deliberation process. It identifies how care was represented as a ‘problem’ of both gender inequality and the market, and uncovers key silences, which ignored care as a universal need of all citizens and the significance of care networks to sustaining caring. We propose the necessity of ethics-of-care-based understandings to address post-pandemic care challenges.
- ItemThe rights of the child in voluntary care in Ireland: a call for reform in law, policy and practice(Elsevier, 2021-03-15) Brennan, Rebekah; O'Mahony, Conor; Burns, Kenneth; Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Ireland; Cloyne Diocesan Youth Service, Ireland; University College CorkVoluntary care agreements form a significant part of child protection systems in many jurisdictions. From a children’s rights perspective, they enjoy numerous advantages over court-ordered removals of children. However, when loosely regulated, voluntary care agreements can give rise to significant concerns in respect of compliance with international children’s rights law. This paper will present findings from the Voluntary Care in Ireland Study, one of the first in-depth empirical examinations internationally of voluntary care agreements. It will present qualitative data on the system in operation in Ireland that indicates that voluntary care agreements are less adversarial, time-consuming and costly than court proceedings. This frees up resources for early intervention and facilitates a more collaborative relationship between parents and social services, making it more likely that children will remain at home or eventually return home from care. At the same time, the findings suggest that the voluntary care system currently operated in Ireland suffer from numerous flaws, including absence of independent oversight; unlimited duration; potential instability (since parents can withdraw consent at any time); weak mechanisms for child participation; and inferior resource allocation compared to court-ordered care placements. The paper examines legislative provisions from a number of comparable jurisdictions and makes recommendations designed to ensure that the voluntary care system in Ireland complies more strongly with principles of international children’s rights law.
- Item'Settling back'? A biographical and life-course perspective on Ireland's recent return migration(Routledge, 2008-07) Ní Laoire, CaitríonaThis paper uses a biographical and life-course perspective to explore some of the key narratives of return among return migrants to Ireland, focusing in particular on the themes of family, child-rearing, relationship breakdown and ‘settling down’. The ways in which return migrants use the concept of life-course transitions in order to make sense of and narrate their migration stories is explored. I argue that their narratives reflect a normative association of life stage with place, and that return migration reflects the ways in which key events in the individual life course transitions and family life cycles of 1980s emigrants have intersected with processes of economic and social transformation in Ireland. This occurs within the context of heteronormative and kinship-based ideals of Irish culture and of powerful myths of return. The data used in the paper is taken from the Narratives of Migration and Return research project, a north south cross-border project which assembled an oral archive of 92 return migrant life narratives. In the paper, I draw on 33 of the interviews conducted in the south, which focused on the cohort of return migrants who had emigrated in the 1980s.
- ItemShifting arrays of a kaleidoscope: The orchestration of relational value cocreation in service systems(SAGE Publications, 2019-11-06) Kelleher, Carol; O'Loughlin, Deirdre; Gummerus, Johanna; Peñaloza, Lisa; Irish Research CouncilThe predominant value discourse among scholars characterizes value cocreation as involving multiple actors at the micro-, meso-, and macrolevels in service systems. This research contributes to the knowledge of the interdependencies among multiple resource-integrating actors and value outcomes by employing a relational perspective on value cocreation within the empirical context of family caregiving. The findings reveal how interdependent actors orchestrate value cocreation in service systems, how this impacts value, and how orchestration precipitates system adjustments, which form the recursive context of value cocreation over time. We differentiate and delineate three multi-actor orchestration mechanisms—assembling, performing, and brokering—through which nonreferent beneficiaries coordinate value cocreation on behalf of dependent referent beneficiaries. We term the mutually generalized oscillating multiform negative and positive well-being outcomes that emerge from orchestration among interdependent actors as relational value. In employing the metaphor of the kaleidoscope to emphasize system dynamism, our discussion of relational value cocreation deepens our understanding of how nonreferent beneficiary-led orchestration, founded on generalized mutuality and on behalf of referent beneficiaries with reduced agency, enhances and balances multiform, oscillating and positive and negative well-being outcomes in service systems. This will help service practitioners facilitate orchestration and optimize value for all.
- ItemShifting sands: Actor role and identity reconfigurations in service systems(Elsevier Inc., 2021-08-20) Gummerus, Johanna; O'Loughlin, Deirdre; Kelleher, Carol; Peñaloza, Lisa; Irish Research CouncilBuilding on previous actor-to-actor perspectives in service systems, this study mapped the dialectic trajectory of actor role and identity transitions in the context of family caregiving. The study employed the theoretical lens of role and identity transitions and drew on in-depth, qualitative interviews with 22 unpaid family caregivers caring for dependent relatives to demonstrate how family caregiver roles and identities co-evolve throughout the caregiving journey. Our findings elucidate three dynamic reconfigurations of role and identity transitions in family caregiving. We evince how such transitions vary in both degree and type, and range from incremental to disruptive, as actors assume and detach from roles and associated identities. Theoretical contributions shed light on the emergent and nuanced nature of role and identity transitions, as roles and identities synchronously and asynchronously co-evolve in a service system in conjunction with changed relations between actors, society, and the service system. The paper concludes with implications for enhancing actor engagement in dynamic service systems.
- ItemTo name or not to name: reflections on the use of anonymity in an oral archive of migrant life narratives(Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2007) Ní Laoire, Caitríona; Higher Education AuthorityThis paper draws on an oral archive project on narratives of return migration in contemporary Ireland, as the basis for a discussion on the potential of life narrative research to destabilize meta-narratives and to contribute to the mapping of transformative geographies. It is argued that this kind of research requires the creation of safe spaces within which participants can tell their stories and articulate counter-narratives. At the same time, it is important to make their voices available to a wide audience and to recognize their authorial roles. There are contrasting perspectives in oral history and life narrative research on the use of anonymity to protect participants' identities, which reflect different disciplinary traditions and practices. The paper reflects on these different perspectives and on the process of designing a research project that draws on multiple methodological influences. It concludes that it is possible to facilitate access to these voices, while at the same time providing safe conditions for the articulation of counter-narratives, by providing anonymity where possible and desirable in agreement with the participant.