The Troubled Families Programme: in, for and against the state?

I am giving what has been given the grand title of a ‘public lecture’ on the Troubled Families Programme in Sunderland on Wednesday. It’s essentially me talking for a round an hour or so (I think), supported by a few powerpoint slides. There will hopefully be plenty of time for questions and discussion afterwards.

If anyone is interested, the full details, including my abstract, are below:



Presents the First in a Series of Public Lectures

November 25th 3-5pm

Room 118, Priestman Building, City Campus, Sunderland

Stephen Crossley

University of Durham

The Troubled Families Programme: In, for, and against the state?

The Troubled Families Programme (TFP), established by the Coalition Government in the aftermath of the 2011 riots, set out to ‘turn around’ the lives of the 120,000 most ‘troubled families’ in England. When the rhetoric surrounding ‘troubled families’ is closely examined, a number of competing, and often contradictory, messages begin to emerge. This paper will examine the ways in which the Troubled Families Programme is positioned firstly by central government and secondly by local authorities and practitioners. Adopting a ‘street-level lens’, interviews with managers and workers in one local authority area are analysed in order to examine ‘the complexity of interactions concealed beneath the apparent monotony of bureaucratic routine’ (Bourdieu, 2005: 140). The paper concludes with reflections on the Janus-faced nature of the Troubled Families Programme and a discussion of its role in the crafting of a new ‘smart’ state.

If anyone would like a copy of a version of the paper, or a version of the presentation I’m giving, please get in touch at and I’ll gladly oblige.



One thought on “The Troubled Families Programme: in, for and against the state?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s