• ‘How you keep going’: Voluntary sector practitioners’ story-lines as emotion work

      Quinn, Kaitlyn; Tomczak, Philippa; Buck, Gillian; University of Toronto; University of Nottingham; University of Chester (Wiley, 2022-01-16)
      The voluntary sector acts as the last line of defense for some of the most marginalized people in societies around the world, yet its capacities are significantly reduced by chronic resource shortages and dynamic political obstacles. Existing research has scarcely examined what it is like for voluntary sector practitioners working amidst these conditions. In this paper, we explore how penal voluntary sector practitioners across England and Scotland marshaled their personal and professional resources to “keep going” amidst significant challenges. Our analysis combines symbolic interactionism with the concept of story- lines. We illuminate the narratives that practitioners mobilized to understand and motivate their efforts amidst the significant barriers, chronic limitations, and difficult emotions brought forth by their work. We position practitioners' story- lines as a form of emotion work that mitigated their experiences of anger, frustration, overwhelm, sadness, and disappointment, enabling them to move forward and continue to support criminalized individuals. Our analysis details three story- lines— resignation, strategy, and refuge—and examines their consequences for practitioners and their capacities to intervene in wicked social problems.
    • This is how it feels: activating lived experience in the penal voluntary sector

      Buck, Gillian; Tomczak, Philippa; Quinn, Kaitlyn; University of Chester; University of Nottingham; University of Toronto (Oxford University Press, 2021-10-21)
      Increasing calls for ‘nothing about us without us’ envision marginalised people as valuable and necessary contributors to policies and practices affecting them. In this paper, we examine what this type of inclusion feels like for criminalised people who share their lived experiences in penal voluntary sector organisations. Focus groups conducted in England and Scotland illustrated how this work was experienced as both safe, inclusionary and rewarding and exclusionary, shame-provoking and precarious. We highlight how these tensions of ‘user involvement’ impact criminalised individuals and compound wider inequalities within this sector. The individual, emotional and structural implications of activating lived experience therefore require careful consideration. We consider how the penal voluntary sector might more meaningfully and supportively engage criminalised individuals in service design and delivery. These considerations are significant for broader criminal justice and social service provision seeking to meaningfully involve those with lived experience.