Analyzing Social Policy: Multiple Perspectives for Critically Understanding and Evaluating Policy / Edition 1

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From formulation to implementation, an approach to the analysis of social policy through the lens of research

Analyzing Social Policy prepares professionals and students to make better informed decisions related to identifying and understanding the intricacies and potential impact of social policymaking and enactment on their organization as well as their individual responsibilities, goals, and objectives.

Authors Mary Katherine O'Connor and F. Ellen Netting thoroughly examine various approaches to the analysis of social policies and how these approaches provide the knowledge, multiple perspectives, and other resources to understand and grasp the nuances of social policy in all its complexity.

Comprehensive and based on research, Analyzing Social Policy explores:

  • An overview of the practice of social policy analysis
  • The role of research in guiding policy analysis
  • The idea of policy analyses as research
  • Themes, assumptions, and major theories that undergird rational models of policy analysis
  • Nonrational themes, assumptions, and major theories informing nontraditional interpretive and critical approaches to policy analysis
  • Strategies for applying selected models and approaches when engaging in policy analysis as research

Providing practitioners and students with a set of tools that can be used to enhance an understanding of what constitutes policy as well as acceptable standards for critical analysis of policy, this resource enables policy advocates—regardless of their level—to be political, strategic, and critical in their work.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470452035
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/26/2010
  • Series: Wiley Desktop Editions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 909,523
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Katherine O'Connor, MSW, PhD, is a Professor in the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University where she has taught in the MSW and PhD programs for over twenty years. She has authored or coauthored numerous books, chapters, and journal articles in the areas of public child welfare practice, services to street children, and qualitative research method development.

F. Ellen Netting, MSSW, PhD, is a Professor of Social Work and Samuel S. Wurtzel Chair at Virginia Commonwealth University where she teaches in the BSW, MSW, and PhD programs. She has authored or coauthored numerous books, chapters, and journal articles in the areas of health and human service delivery issues for frail elders, as well as nonprofit management concerns.

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Table of Contents




1 An Overview of Social Policy Analysis 1

Necessary Groundwork 2

Identifying Definitions and Forms of Policy 10

Recognizing Levels and Scope of Social Policies 19

Conceptualizing Policy Analysis 28

Conclusion 34

Discussion Questions 35

2 Thinking of Policy Analysis as Research 36

The Role of Research in Guiding Policy Analysis 37

What Constitutes Research? 41

Focusing the Policy Analysis 46

An Expansive View of Policy Analysis Research 53

Conclusion 60

Discussion Questions 61

Case Study 63

Service, Engagement, and Volunteerism: What's the Policy All About? 63

3 Rational Policy Analysis 75

Reason and Rationality 76

Rational Assumptions of the Positivist/Positivist Paradigm 78

Rational Models of Policy Analysis 79

How to Assess the Degree to Which an Analysis Approach is Rational 99

Conclusion 102

Discussion Questions 103

4 Application of Rational Policy Analysis 104

Using the Chambers and Wedel Policy/Program Analytical Framework 106

Using Jansson's Six-Step Policy Analysis Framework 111

Using Huttman's Policy Analysis Model 115

Using Holcomb and Nightingale's Implementation Analysis Model 123

Using Segal and Bruzuzy's Questions for Social Welfare Policy Analysis 128

Discussion 134

Concluding Remarks About Rational Policy Analysis 135

Discussion Questions 136

5 Nonrational Policy Analysis 137

Reason and Nonrationality 137

Nonrational Assumptions of the Interpretivist/Constructivist Paradigm 139

How to Assess the Degree to Which an Analysis Approach is Nonrational 165

Conclusion 168

Discussion Questions 169

6 Applications in Nonrational Policy Analysis 170

Using Stone's Policy Paradox Approach 172

Using Kingdon's Policy Primeval Soup or Garbage Can Approach 182

Using Prigmore and Atherton's Policy Analysis Approach 188

Using Guba's Policy-in-Action Approach 193

Using an Impact-Analysis Approach 197

Discussion 202

Conclusion 204

Discussion Questions 204

7 Critical Policy Analysis 206

Reason in Radicality 207

Assumptions of the Critical Paradigm 208

Critical Approaches to Policy Analysis 210

How to Assess the Degree to Which an Analysis Approach is Critical 232

Conclusion 236

Discussion Questions 237

8 Applications in Critical Policy Analysis 238

Using Marx's Historical or Dialectical Method 241

Analyzing Cultural Responsiveness in Policy Formulation at the Organizational Level 248

Using Lejano's Normative Policy Analysis 254

Using Moser's Approach to Gender Policy Implementation 260

Using Schiele's Afrocentric Framework of Policy Analysis 265

Discussion 271

Conclusion 273

Discussion Questions 273

Epilogue 275

References 285

About the Authors 293

Author Index 295

Subject Index 299

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