Identity as Discourse: 'The Person in Need of Guardianship'

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents a critical discussion of the legal institution of adult guardianship in Israel. Based on a critical discourse analysis' study of official guardianship reports for older adults submitted by social workers to family courts in Israel, findings reveal how guardianship institutional procedures construct the personal life stories of older persons into legalistic guardianship paradigm, and in doing so they create a new identity of 'a person in need of guardianship'. The article further delineates how 'a person in need of guardianship' (as well as a 'guardian') is a discursive identity, a subject who never existed prior to the guardianship proceeding, a legal creation which does not reflect the complexities and realities of older persons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2608-2625
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Public Management Research Association. All rights reserved.


  • Critical discourse analysis
  • critical theory
  • discursive identity
  • guardianship
  • social worker's report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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