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Postmodernism and Social Policy: a small step forwards?

Hedley-Penna, Susan and O'Brien, Martin (1996) Postmodernism and Social Policy: a small step forwards? Journal of Social Policy, 25 (1). pp. 39-61. ISSN 0047-2794

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Abstract

The term ‘postmodernism’ has recently entered the study of social policy, prompting debate over its usefulness for social policy analysis. Peter Taylor-Gooby's (1994) appraisal of literatures often described as ‘postmodern’ leads him to reject them as having little to offer the discipline of social policy. This article argues that such a view derives from a confusion about the field of ‘postmodernism’; in particular, from a conflation of several different theoretical positions and schools of thought. This article provides a clarification of these literatures in order to argue that the issues they raise have important implications for the way in which we might understand the prospects for policy formulation and implementation. The article distinguishes between the political economy strand of the ‘post’ literatures – postindustrialism and postfordism – and the cultural studies strand – poststructuralism and postmodernism – showing that the different issues they highlight, and the ways in which they conceptualise power and control will lead to different theoretical connections between social policy and political action.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Social Policy
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Applied Social Science
ID Code: 53602
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 20 Apr 2012 08:55
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 23:20
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/53602

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