A Matter of Definitions: The Profiling of People in Italian Active Labour Market Policies

Resource Type
Text : Journal article
  • Mozzana, Carlotta
Collective Title
  • Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung
    Vol. 44, No. 2 (2019)
Publication Date
Embargo End Date
Publication Place
  • GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften (Editor)
  • GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Free Keywords
Quantification; key indicators; Profiling system; sociology of quantification; active labour market policies; Youth Guarantee; public action; depoliticization; Italy
  • Abstract

    The article explores the implications for public welfare policy of the current reliance on quantification tools to assess both people and programs. In this context, profiling has recently acquired a key role in active labour market policies, because it allows policy administrators to distinguish among different levels of risk in individuals approaching the labour market. After discussing the issue of the deployment of numbers in policies, I present and contextualize a recent case study: a national profiling system adopted in Italy in fulfilment of Youth Guarantee, a European public policy whose aim is to support young people entering the labour market via dedicated services. In the second part of the article, I outline how the profiling system was devised and how it works, going on to report a qualitative study on the implications of using the Disadvantage Index - the core of the profiling model – and how it was modified after an initial test phase. The research findings suggest that, in contradiction with the Index’ original goals, it has ended up screening out the more disadvantaged NEETs, with the risk of perpetuating their disadvantage. In the conclusions section, I return to the role of numbers and indicators in governing public policy, as well as their contribution to the depoliticization of public action.
  • Series Information

    Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung Vol. 44, No. 2 (2019): Special Issue: Governing by Numbers - Key Indicators and the Politics of Expectations.

    Starting Point and Frequency: Year: 1979, Issues per volume: 4, Volumes per year: 1

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  • Is part of
    URL: https://www.gesis.org/en/hsr/full-text-archive/2019/442-governing-by-numbers
  • Is part of
    ISSN: 0172-6404
  • Is identical to
    URL: http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?vid=18&sid=7010ea0d-cdd7-427f-bf94-fffeb8e807ba%40sessionmgr101&bdata=Jmxhbmc9ZGUmc2l0ZT1lZHMtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=edsgso.61837&db=edsgso

Update Metadata: 2020-02-12 | Issue Number: 4 | Registration Date: 2019-03-14