Shaping client identities: Never before has there in our social system been so many professional aids working to help, treat and care for so many types of ‘problem identities’, e.g. the obese, anorectic, victims of incest, socially vulnerable and sexually harassed, etc. Add to this the work carried out by the classical welfare institutions related to addicts, homeless people, unemployed people, families in crisis, etc. But what kind of identity work is taking place? The analysis of this anthology breaks with a psychological approach that characterizes the social work of today (both in practice and in the literature) by shifting the focus away from the individual – the client – and to the institutions carrying out the work. Seven researchers demonstrate how institutional conditions and different types of clients are two closely linked elements. A welfare institution always reflects a specific way of perceiving the world. For any of the social areas of concern that the anthology illuminates, there are specific identities that the clients are expected to adopt, if they want to get help, mind you! ‘Shaping a client’ demonstrates how institutions shape problem identities.

The book has been published in eight editions.