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The Good GlowCharity and the Symbolic Power of Doing Good$
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Jon Dean

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447340027

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447340027.001.0001

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Charities, expertise and policy

Charities, expertise and policy

(p.71) 4 Charities, expertise and policy
The Good Glow

Jon Dean

Policy Press

This chapter investigates charities as organisations, often experts in their field or bestowed with the image of expertise. It studies how and why the UK government has sought to involve the charity sector in the delivery of social policy. The chapter then outlines new challenges to charity trust that have emerged, and how the public–voluntary sector relationship has become more complicated as a result. It also discusses recent attempts to ‘gag’ charities in receipt of public income from criticising officials, because charities are holders of automatic symbolic prestige, as well as several cases in which charities may have misused the automatic assumption of goodness and expertise they have received from the public and policy practitioners. Interviewee data presents a story from sector leaders that the environment for charities has become significantly tougher in recent years, partly because of funding, but also because charities are no longer seen as special by default.

Keywords:   charities, UK government, charity sector, social policy, charity trust, public income, symbolic prestige, goodness

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