Do personalisation and person-centred care ensure service provision that takes into account a service user’s identity?
This essay will try to establish what identity is and if personalisation and person-centred care can ensure a service user’s identity is taken into account when accessing health and social care services. It will look at the work of Berger and Luckman and their suggestion that identity is always ‘socially constructed’, and will also explore Goffman’s concepts of
‘stigma’ and ‘spoiled identity’ which explore stereotyping. Recent developments towards
‘normalisation’ and personalisation and person-centred care policies will look at examples of what these changes mean for service users, including Mitchell and that of
Jane and her family who do not necessarily think all the changes they face are beneficial.
It will be seen that whilst the intentions of service providers is to improve and empower service users to make choices which best suit themselves, thus building and improving their identities, it is not always true in every case.
It could be argued that a person’s sense of personal identity depends on how they see themselves and how other people view them. The sociologists Peter Berger and Thomas
Luckman suggested that identity is always socially constructed and that children first learn who they are and about the world through their parents or ‘significant others’. They also learn how they should behave within that world (K217 Chapter 5, p7). Later on they encounter schools, universities and different types of work environments in what they called ‘institutional sub-worlds’ where they experience specialist use of language, roles, expectations and cultures. To successfully take part in these new domains, Berger and
Luckman suggested that they learned their place within these sub-worlds and adopted
their identity. They saw the role of society as crucial in creating and maintaining identity and suggested that individuals can, to some