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Problemen förgår, lösningarna består : Organisering av kommunala insatser för unga arbetslösa med försörjningsproblem

Problems wane, solutions remain : Young unemployed and the organization of municipal welfare interventions


  • Katarina Hollertz

Summary, in English

In the beginning of the 1990s, Sweden experienced an economic recession. The unemployment rate increased significantly and the proportion of young adults receiving social assistance rose dra-matically. In response, municipalities initiated local intervention programs aimed at reducing the number of young social assistance recipients. In 2005, this population had decreased. However, the organization of local interventions targeting young unemployed recipients of social assistance remained intensified in the munici-palities. The aim of this study is to analyze social mechanisms that explain the increased importance of local intervention programs for young unemployed people.

The results of the thesis show how local intervention programs are justified by images of young unemployed people receiving so-cial assistance and their life situations, i.e their lack of education, their deviating norms and behavior, their personal social problems and the corruptive effects of social assistance. Three categorical pairs influenced the organization of (such) programs: a) clients over and under the age of 25 b) clients deemed deserving and un-deserving c) clients considered able and those considered unable to work. These categorizations have determined which types of inter-ventions have been organized. By organizing programs the munici-pal organizations have gained valuable resources aiding their ad-vancement and influence, such as financial funding, suitable clients and legitimacy.

The development of local intervention programs for young un-employed recipients of social assistance can be understood as a process of institutionalization; a certain way of organizing is unal-tered, remaining regardless the devolution of the initially perceived problem.

Publishing year





Lund Dissertation in Social Work



Document type



Lunds universitet, Socialhögskolan


  • Social Work


  • social assistance
  • unemployed
  • young adults
  • municipalities
  • Human service organizations
  • legitimacy
  • local intervention pro-grams





  • ISSN: 1650-3872
  • ISBN: 978-91-89604-48-3

Defence date

17 December 2010

Defence time


Defence place

U 202 Campus Helsingborg, Universitetsplatsen 2, Helsingborg


  • Christian Kroll (Universitetslektor)