The Case of Independent Living
In the Introduction and Part I we made the case for the importance of cultural context in understanding public services and public policy. Specifically, we identified the tension between our role as consumers/purchasers/managers of a public service, and that of citizens. We are particularly interested in whether and how people resolve the conflict for a complex issue like in-home care for independent living. In order to pursue this work, we needed to accomplish two major tasks. The first was the creation of a typology of cultural context: how will we identify, evaluate, and compare disparate cultures and countries? The first part of this chapter presents such a typology, with a detailed explanation of model components and metrics. The second major task is the study of specific cultures. The second part of this chapter describes the four chosen countries and regions (the United States, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, and Japan) in terms of the typology.
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