Power and ideology become established and (re)produced in social policy through its discourse and language. Critical analysis of policy discourse, thus, enables social work to make that power and ideology visible and then make challenge. This course will examine social policies by looking at the narratives, frames, representations, values, priorities, and omissions that are produced and reproduced in policy, and ways of challenging. Students will examine how discourses of deservingness, worth and productivity are deeply entrenched in US policies on various domains, such as public assistance, refugee resettlement, climate change, disability, health and poverty. Students will complete a mini or abbreviated Critical Discourse Analysis of policy of their choice by the end of the course.
● Develop critical analysis of social policy by specifying the ways through which power and ideology are produced in policy language and discourse, drawing upon theories of social constructionism and discursive institutionalism
● Demonstrate knowledge about Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as a tool for social work policy practice and policy advocacy work
● Gain skills in qualitative analysis and use of qualitative analysis programs
● Develop the ability to conduct Critical Discourse Analysis of social policy (ie. policy documents, legislative hearings, public testimonies, media documents) and apply to practice
The course will utilize a hands-on, workshop approach, and well as discussions and lectures.
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 South University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106