Responding to the Troubled Families Programme : framing the injuries of inequality

Sayer, Richard Andrew (2017) Responding to the Troubled Families Programme : framing the injuries of inequality. Social Policy and Society, 16 (1). pp. 155-164. ISSN 1474-7464

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Government initiatives such as the Troubled Families Programme present a difficult problem for social scientists: how to discuss the policies without accepting and appearing to legitimise the problematic framing of social problems that they embody. The programme is characteristically neoliberal in its silence on structural inequality and in its targeting of certain families as deficient and wholly responsible for their situation. Like so many such programmes, its primary addressee is arguably not merely those targeted by the policies but the wider electorate. The paper discusses the dilemmas of challenging the policy's framing. First it makes some general points about the different characters of political and academic discourses, before examining some key features of the framing of TFP, its conceptualisation of social causes of problems and individual responsibility, and how social scientists might respond. It then draws upon the work of George Lakoff to comment on how the impact of policy and political discourse depends on the kinds of value systems it invokes, before concluding.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Social Policy and Society
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? sociology and political sciencepolitical science and international relations ??
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Deposited On:
08 Dec 2016 14:44
Last Modified:
13 Apr 2024 00:23