Modes of Relational Agency among Welfare-reliant Mothers

Hagit Sinai-Glazer*, Boris H.J.M. Brummans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How do welfare-reliant mothers enact their agency in relationships with social workers and social services? The present article addresses this question by investigating how twenty Israeli welfare-reliant mothers expressed different modes of human agency in in-depth interviews. Results show how research participants enact agency through (i) expressing anger, (ii) seeking help, (iii) resisting and (iv) engaging in non-action. By highlighting the multidimensional and situational nature of agency, this article offers a new relational lens for conceptualising and empirically studying human agency in social work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-553
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Helping relationship
  • Relational agency
  • Social services
  • Social work
  • Welfare-reliant mothers


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