This summer I completed my postgraduate dissertation on the welfare reforms and effective agency.
Although my academic subject is Political Theory I believe that it is important to support theoretical analysis with practical research, especially when engaging with such pertinent topics as welfare reform.
To this end I offered to carry out the Doorway Guest Survey 2012 and include a few questions for my research regarding what effects the welfare reforms are having on people.
I completed 50 surveys, with guests very willing to be included in Doorway’s research. The following report outlines the responses to the questions on effective agency and welfare reforms, with analysis of the other areas of the survey to be completed soon.
The concept of effective agency; that people should be autonomous and in control of their lives, is my main interest area within academia. This interest actually took shape while I was working at Doorway and I could see the effect that our guests not being control of their lives had on their mental and emotional well-being.
Through my MA I have been able to translate this idea into an academic concept and look forward to further work on this subject as part of my PhD. I see theory and practice as inextricably linked particularly in this time of social and political change.
Our guests’ lives are being greatly affected by current reforms and I believe that their experiences of this should be recorded, and their voices heard.
The ‘Doorway Welfare Reforms and Agency’ report on findings from the guest survey completed in 2012 is available from the Doorway Website
Article & Report written by Helen Taylor, Doorway Volunteer September 2012