Social policy and discourse analysis: policy change in public housing

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Ashgate, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 148 pages
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In a society mediated by mass communication, social policy changes are increasingly legitimated through political speeches and debates, media reports and in day-to-day interactions between policy actors. The cultural dimension of social policy is central to an understanding of contemporary forms of power, social relations and inequalities. However, orthodox social policy research and analysis has focused on variables and quantitative measurement, and has downplayed the importance of meaning and identity. Taking a critical examination of social policy on public housing by way of illustration, this book demonstrates how discourse analysis can be used in applied research and, in doing so, redress this imbalance. It shows how the theory and method of critical discourse analysis can be worked together in an intricate and accessible way to explore the cultural dimensions of social policy analysis. It argues that the discipline of social policy research and analysis must take the 'cultural turn' seriously and pay explicit attention to the intricate relationship between social power, inequality and welfare discourses.

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