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Women, policy and politics : the construction of policy problems /

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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.Carol Bacchi uses this approach to focus on a range of policies commonly associated with the problem of women's inequality: pay equity, antidiscrimination and affirmative action, education, child care, abortion, domestic violence and sexual harrassment. In each case Bacchi looks behind the policies and questions how the problem has been construed, what assumptions ground the problematizations, what follows from particular problematizations, and what remains unproblematized within them. The insights offfered in this text shift policy studies from an examination of responses to presumed social problems to an interrogation of problem representations and their effects.This accessible and engaging text will be an invaluable tool for students and academics in women and policy, policy studies, social policy, politics, women's studies and the sociology of social problems.

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