Cops, Teachers, Counselors

Stories from the Front Lines of Public Service
Second Edition, New and expanded edition
Steven Maynard-Moody and Michael Musheno
A penetrating look at how government workers make sense of their work, ascribe identity to the people they encounter, and account for their decisions and actions


Since the 1980s, street-level bureaucracy research and theory has deeply shaped scholarship and practice in the US and globally and in a wide-range of disciplines: public administration, political science, law and society, social work, education, criminal justice, to name just the most prominent. The 2003 edition of Cops, Teachers, Counselors has become one of the more visible books in this field of research. It was based on NSF-supported field research in two US states and five different agencies. This research employed an innovative story collection and analysis approach that examined how frontline workers understand and interpret fairness in the delivery of government services. The 2003 book gave voice to these police officers, teachers, and social workers. It also provided an initial theoretical framing that began to move scholarly attention away from seeing frontline workers as exclusively agents of the state and more as defining their judgements in their direct interactions with various publics. 

This new edition wraps an expanded theoretical framing around the original chapters. Steven Maynard-Moody and Michael Musheno’s “reframing of frontline inquiry” is based on a reinterpretation of the original stories and fieldwork that was guided by scholarly conversations since the 2003 publication and by their own separate and original research on schools and policing.

Steven Maynard-Moody is Professor, School of Public Affairs & Administration at the University of Kansas.

Michael Musheno is Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Oregon and Professor Emeritus of Justice and Social Inquiry at Arizona State University.

Product Details

  • 280 pages.
  • 5 drawings, 1 table.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2022
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-12998-0

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