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American Policy Making

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American Policy Making

Welfare as Ritual



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American Policy Making by William M. Epstein
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Wiliam Epstein points to the perils of unrestricted subjectivity - "the corruption of both social science and social discourse" - and argues for a more disciplined approach to policy making. Rather than scientific theory and applied scientific practice, the social sciences have been appropriated to create ideology - "corrective myths in support of social denial". Epstein contends that the social sciences script fables of cure, prevention and rehabilitation that falsely testify to the feasibility of inexpensive and culturally compatible solutions to deep social problems. Rather than providing effective service, social welfare programmes are rituals of social values, expressing, proselytizing, reaffirming and strengthening factional preferences. This is an unsentimental analysis of American social policy making and a call to action to create more effective policies for social welfare.

Author Biography

William M. Epstein is professor of social work at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Release date NZ
December 1st, 2001
Country of Publication
United States
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
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