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.

Discrimination: Who is Responsible?
Discrimination: Who is responsible?

In Chapter 2, I spoke about the importance, within a What's the Problem? approach, of paying heed to the effects of discourse, amongst which I included the discursive constitution of subjectivities. The goal in this chapter is to illustrate what this means and how to produce an understanding of the process. As with the other chapters in this part of the book, its purpose is to provide a guide to method through the application of a What's the Problem? approach to a particular issue. Methodologically we need to find ways to uncover the implicit (and sometimes explicit) characterizations of policy ‘targets’ and to reflect upon the implications of those characterizations, particularly for members of these ‘target’ groups. In ...

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