Disability, Independence and Care in the United Kingdom and Norway: An International Social Research Methods Case Study


This cross-national project, funded by a Norwegian national research agency, was carried out in the United Kingdom and Norway by a lone researcher as part of a larger project. The aim of the project was to understand the impact of different welfare regime contexts on the implementation of cash-for-care schemes, which lay stress on the independence of disabled people by giving them more control and choice over the services allocated by local authorities. The empirical work included four types of case studies: disabled cash-for-care users in the United Kingdom and Norway; and care workers assisting disabled cash-for-care users in these two countries. The project investigated not only cash-for-care schemes in the United Kingdom and Norway but also the everyday life experience of the schemes from the perspective of users and care workers. In addition, the project considered the types of relationships that developed through user–care worker interactions within the options and limitations of the specific country schemes. A mix of qualitative methods was used in the project, including in-depth interviews, observations and policy analysis. The combination of methods enabled the researcher to make meaningful contextualised comparisons of the everyday life experiences of disabled people and care workers in the United Kingdom and Norway.

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