This book offers a powerful new approach to policy studies. Drawing on recent perspectives from social constructionism, discourse analysis, the sociology of social problems and feminism, Carol Bacchi develops a step-by-step analytical tool for deconstructing policy problems. Her `What's the Problem?' approach encourages students to reflect critically upon the ways in which policy problems get constructed within policy debates and policy proposals.

Sexual Harassment: What is Sexual about it?
Sexual harassment: What is sexual about it?

I have selected sexual harassment as the last chapter in the book for several reasons. It is among the most recent challenges posed by feminists to the sexual status quo and, arguably, it stands as ‘the success story of twentieth-century feminism [original emphasis]’ (Gallop, 1997: 27). We have here a classic case of the ‘creation’ of a ‘social problem’, using Murray Edelman's formulation (1988: 13), where behaviours which existed formerly emerge as a named ‘social problem’ and the target of selected interventions. As Julia Wood (1994: 18) describes: ‘[W]hile sexual harassment has always occurred, until recently it was not named and, thus, had no social existence [original emphasis].’ Sexual harassment appears also ...

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