Current welfare policy encourages “coproduction” between citizens and welfare workers so that “lay expertise” effectively becomes part of the provision of services. Drawing on fieldwork from Danish mental health services, this article analyzes how expertise and authority are organized and performed in a network linking welfare workers and users aswell as new participants (e.g., volunteers) and artifacts. Theoretically, the article employs Goffman’s dramaturgical distinction between “frontstage” and “backstage.” The findings indicate that welfare workers coproduce services by covering their authority and expertise in “frontstage” meetings with users. However, relational and material resources in encounters “backstage” make welfare workers appear as accountable experts, which both fosters and threatens their credibility.
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Publiceret iSymbolic Interaction