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Power and translation in social policy research

Wilson, Gail (2001) Power and translation in social policy research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 4 (4). pp. 319-326. ISSN 1464-5300

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Abstract

Globalisation has increased the demand for policy transfer but also raises problems. There are international organisations that advocate common approaches to policy and better communication means that policy makers are more aware of what is going on in other countries. At the same time attempts to transfer policy highlight real differences in history and culture and what they mean for power relations. Within this context the development of large cross national data sets is growing fast. These mainly quantitative data are virtually all produced by governments or quasi governmental organisations. They embody top down power relations and belong to the scientific tradition of social research that assumes that terms can be translated exactly, even though the difficulties of doing so are recognised. The result is data sets that have enormous potential for social science but that are open to serious abuse unless it is realised that they minimise historical and cultural differences and reinforce dominant hierarchies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://taylorandfrancis.metapress.com/content/1464...
Additional Information: (c) 2001 Taylor and Francis Group. LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL (<http://eprints.lse.ac.uk>) of the LSE Research Online website.
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2007
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/1033/

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