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Policy reconsideredMeanings, politics and practices$
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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

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The meaning of policy/policy as meaning

The meaning of policy/policy as meaning

(p.21) two The meaning of policy/policy as meaning
Policy reconsidered

Richard Jenkins

Policy Press

This chapter discusses policy from the anthropological standpoint. It discusses the notion of policy as something to be interrogated rather than taken for granted. It specifically seeks to ask: ‘what is policy, what does it do, and what does it mean?’ from the perspective of a stranger. It also asks what ethnography can do for policy and what policy can do for ethnography. From an anthropological perspective, the chapter questions received wisdom around the nature and purpose of policy in modernity. It also argues for the recognition of policy as more than simple frame and backdrop to everyday life. It argues for the greater appreciation of the centrality of policy in ethnographic research.

Keywords:   policy, anthropological standpoint, ethnography, ethnographic research

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