Social problems, social policy analysis, social work policy textbooks, social constructionism


This article reviews seven of the most frequently used policy textbooks in social work and examines how social problems are viewed in the narrative, and then analyzed in policy analysis frameworks. Questions include: (1) how the authors define social problems; (2) who they say "gets" to define problems in policy analysis; (3) how problems should be analyzed; and (4) whether contextual influences on the problem are considered. Findings include that most authors argue that social problems are constructions in their narratives, but do not transfer that perspective into their policy analysis frameworks. Implications for education and policy practice are explored.

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