This dissertation is about how street-level bureaucrats categorize assistance-seeking citizens. What is the impact of the law, the political discourse and professional norms on street level bureaucrats’ compassion for others and determinations about obligations to work? I argue that among these factors influencing the discretion of the street-level bureaucrat, solidarity perceptions should be included as well. Two questions are central to my research. First, do different solidarity perceptions affect the way street-level bureaucrats understand political and social problems? And second, what impact do social workers’ solidarity perceptions have on the way citizens’ requests are perceived and managed within the frame of the law?
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