Meaning in Action: Interpretation and Dialogue in Policy by Hendrik Wagenaar

By Hendrik Wagenaar

This available e-book provides lecturers, graduate scholars, and researchers a entire evaluation of the titanic, diverse, and sometimes complicated panorama of interpretive coverage research. it truly is either theoretically proficient and transparent and jargon-free because it discusses the categorical strengths and weaknesses of other interpretive approaches--all with a pragmatic orientation in the direction of doing coverage research

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The analogy here is with DNA. As DNA carries within itself the basis upon which a particular life form unfolds as a result of interactions of genetic and nongenetic factors, so the cultural life form in all its meaningful complexity emerges by individuals acting upon, in and with their environments. This plea for the careful observation of behavior as the royal road to interpretive analysis must not be mistaken for a call for behaviorism (the expulsion of meaning by reducing the world to observable behavior).

Compare Geertz’s famous observation in anthropology: “[W]hat we call our data are really our own constructions of other people’s constructions of what they and their compatriots are up to” (1973b, 9). Or Bevir and Rhodes’s statement that interpretive analysis comes down to telling stories about other people’s stories (2004, 133). , 1991, 5; Rouse, 1991, 44; Taylor, 1985a). 10. Often the term “subjective” is mentioned in conjunction with the method of verstehen. Verstehen refers to some special empathic identification of an observer with his or her subject (see Thomas, 1979, 81; and for his critique of verstehen as a method for the human sciences, 1979, 88–89).

By using such data the researcher unwittingly privileges the perspective of the state mental hospital in understanding recidivism. 30 POLICY INTERPRETATIONS: THEORY AND APPLICATIONS Despite their objective gloss, these data cannot but reflect the organizational goals and needs of the state hospital. They are intrinsic to these data. By sampling prospectively, on the other hand, we opened ourselves up to the perspective of the community, introducing the concerns of patients, their families, and their service providers, as they struggle to keep patients out of the hospital after release.

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