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Community and Social Policy – Case Study on a Policy Document

Assignment – Case Study – Due: 4th May 2015

Students are required to analyse a policy area with an intensive focus on one policy document. The case study requires three component parts:

1. Provide a background summary of the policy area
2. Identify and discuss the key themes developed within the policy document
3. Identify and discuss the language and kinds of metaphor in your chosen policy document and discuss the implications of these for policy document

>>> Please read the powerpoint slides with lecture notes I noted down, and the journal articles that I have provided for a better understanding of the language and rhetoric use in social policy (in week 5), and the use of metaphors in social policy (in week 7). The files I have sent you are essential components to understanding the whole idea of this assignment. <<<

More details on assignment below..

– It is a document analysis of a particular policy document.

– Not all policy documents are called ‘The Australian Government Policy on Single Parent Family’. They might be a framework, or a strategic plan. Not all are necessarily a government document as we all know policy environment is complex and have a lot of different players. It doesn’t have to be a legislation as it is hard to analyse.

– For example, analyse a policy like ‘our social media policy for Anglo care’.

>> What is a policy document?

A policy document sets out an agenda for change.
For example, a document released by the liberal party saying: this is our policy for tackling the boats: for people seeking asylum by boats. It wasn’t a government document.

Can look at government departments, but not all of it is social policy documents. Some are frameworks, plans, and agenda for change.

Some policies are procedural policy. For example, the use of social media by staff. Don’t look for what people in the organization should or should not do. Look at a policy that address particular certain challenges.

– It needs to be a document about a social policy field. Look at what social policy is, process of social policy and what’s involved to make it clearer about your assignment. Look at government website – state, local, and also NGOs.

– The main focus is the language analysis. Look at these ideas about metaphors and rhetoric, and identify them.

>> Find some pedagogical, constitutive & heuristic metaphor in the policy document that will help you look at the document policy more carefully. The detailed descriptions of these are in the PowerPoint slides and article readings.

– Find these kinds of metaphors in your policy document.
Look for a document where rhetoric and metaphors is there.

>> Look for specific metaphors and the language in the policy document. What agenda has been seen to be carried by the policy maker?

– e.g. homelessness and opendoors – look at that. In what way (pedagogic, constitutive, heuristic metaphors) has it constructed the policy of homelessness & opendoors policy?

>> Look for a policy that has a lot of language in it.

Language in the social policy sphere often says we’re dealing with vulnerability. A lot of power is constructed upon stories that are told. Stories matter.

HAVE to identify language in the policy document.

>> Style of Assignment

– Use headings to have an easy essay structure.
– The style of the assignment has to be descriptive, analytical, and structured.
– You have to think: What is this issue? What is the document talking about?

>> How do we reference our analysis of the document?

– As you are doing a case study, everything you write don’t have to be referenced. However, it is important to be sure that you have to be clear about what you are talking about.

– Bring literature to your discussion.

– Identify the three metaphors (as discussed in the lecture slides) in the policy document. What are they? And reference the literature where you understand the meaning of what pedagogical, constitutive & heuristic metaphor means to you – in which literature did it say that pedagogical means this? And then identify these metaphors in the policy document.

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