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Title: The origins and development of social service positions in Mauritius
Author: Lingayah, Siramloo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 9587
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 1995
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This is a 'client-oriented' study, initiated for the first time in Mauritius in the area of research in social welfare, aiming specifically at outdoor relief or residential institutions, and health services. It is postulated that the service--users are the best judge of their needs. Thus, departing from the colonially inherited research methodologies and techniques by applying a down-up approach, 225 respondents, 25 from each of the 9 Districts in the island. were interviewed. using a combination of open-ended interview schedules, audio-tape, observational techniques for data collection. Also interviewed were some key senior and junior members of staff from the relevant government departments, politicians, and the ordinary folks. Covert and observational processes were used in relation to some residential establishments and the psychiatric hospital because of the problems of access. The findings have shown that 98% of the recipients experience physical difficulties and 40% of this figure also have one or another form of mental illness. Other problems encountered by them include inadequate income, loneliness, alienation, the stigma attached to disabilities, and abuses and violence of all forms, bureaucratic, racist, physical, mental, verbal, and emotional, inflicted, in some cases, deliberately by the carers, relatives, staff, and, in others', unconsciously. It was not an uncommon sight during fieldwork to witness recipients being strapped to cots or beds, locked out during the day, kept in specially built tin sheds, hidden inside the house, transferred to remote corners at the back of the house beyond the public's view, or administered overdose of medication to exercise control. Welfare support is principally confined to a pension much below subsistence level and some health care. 81% of the respondents receive these two services, but 19% of the sample population receive no welfare support at all in spite of their disabilities and inability to support themselves. No less than an average of 86% of the respondents are dissatisfied with both the quantity and quality of services received, whilst, in the context of residential care, there is an impression of gratitude for the services. With the industrialization of the country, there is a corrosive impact on informal support in the family and in the community, which is resulting in a growing dependency culture and increasing reliance on the Welfare state across the socio-economic spectrum. 91% of the sample population believe that the government has a constitutional and moral duty to provide welfare assistance in time of need, thereby confronting the Mauritian society with difficult and complex issues, requiring honest and experienced leadership and determined and pragmatic political will to resolve.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available