Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Policy reconsideredMeanings, politics and practices$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Susan M. Hodgson and Zoe Irving

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861349132

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861349132.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Language, politics and values

Language, politics and values

Chapter:
(p.81) five Language, politics and values
Source:
Policy reconsidered
Author(s):

Marilyn Gregory

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861349132.003.0005

This chapter focuses on a specific kind of politicisation of social policy. It considers the nature of the language, the knowledge, and the values of policy, using the probation service as a sample case to study the values of ‘policy politics’. It links the case of the probation service to the wider developments in crime control policies. Faced with the socioeconomic features of late modernity and the penal crisis since the 1970s, the US and British governments adopted two strategies: an adaptive strategy that focuses on ‘preventive partnership’ and a sovereign state strategy that focuses on ‘punitive segregation’. In this chapter, focus is particularly given to the probation policy language since the 1970s up to the present time and to how language supports particular versions of values and practices. This chapter is not intended as a detailed discourse analysis of policy documents. Rather, it aims to demonstrate how attention to language enables assessment of some of the conceptual matters that underlie policy intent. It also seeks to demonstrate the power of language in the transformation of probation policy and practice, specifically, how changes in policy language became a vehicle for changing the way practitioners operate. This chapter begins with an overview of early social work/probation values. It also shows how this language of values became contested over time as the criminal policy agenda underwent transformations. It also traces how the policy discourse has shifted from ‘advise, assist and befriend’ to ‘manage, control and punish’. It is argued that this form of language or ‘punitive managerialism’ leads to differing forms of practice and consequences for service users. The chapter ends by considering the future of values and the possibility of alternative policy discourse.

Keywords:   politicisation, social policy, language, policy, probation, crime control, adaptive strategy, sovereign state strategy, probation policy

Policy Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.