Government Notes 3

Government Notes 3 - How policy problems are presented to...

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How policy problems are presented to you o Not presented accurately but try to gain your support Symbols o Something that represents something else o Political symbols (cartoons, campaign ads, burning flags) o Used to define policy problems o Form of influence and control o Four aspects of symbolic representation o 1. Stories Choose form and tone to get response that you want, designed to reach the conclusion that they want Can go either way (war in Iraq) Types of stories: 1. “In beginning, going well, but now it’s getting worse…” o Assumes that things were better 2. Sytmie progress story (progress we have been making seems that we have stopped) 3. Change is only an illusion story 4. Stories wrapped around helplessness and control (thought helpless, but can control) 5. Stories surrounded by conspiracy 6. Blame the victim story All assume choice Notion that problem can be corrected Solutions must be provided According to Stone, assuming choice does not matter means that choice actually exists Person telling story will already have solution in mind and want people to choose it (…I think you should vote for me) Leads to specific actions Offer a choice the audiences wants to hear o 2. Synecdoche A part that represents the whole Create illusion that the part is the whole E.g. Choose a student to present to the dean to prove effectiveness Clinton reforms to welfare – tell story of woman who had twelve kids instead of reading statistics Done to suspend critical thinking Part their going to choose is going to serve their best interest o 3. Metaphor An implicit comparison E.g. Vietnam and Iraq
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Implies failure, ineptitude, poor use of military, too much political control A is like B (Iraq is like Vietnam/WW2) The correct policy solution in Vietnam will do well in Iraq Implies a solution, a form of advocacy People refer to society as an organism, crime as a cancer on society Using the right metaphor defines legitimacy of a political problem Use metaphors strategically o 4. Ambiguity Lack of clarity (UT hook em’ horns) Symbols can structure cooperation and overcome conflict People have different meaning on symbols, but people can rally around it (American flag) Much more difficult to make specific choices Patriot Act Numbers o Numbers in the Polis Bombarded by numbers by politicians (income, casualties, etc.) The way which we use numbers, measure things, and how we count matters Simple process of counting requires two decisions 1. Categorize things o Have to know what you are counting 2. Tally them Stone’s problem with counting – room for error and imperfect information Numbers can be manipulated to tell a story that you want to hear (crimes in Lubbock: more crimes but crimes per capita decreased, presented as crime increasing) o Numbers as Metaphors People with similar grades, age, incomes are seen as similar
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course POLS 2302 taught by Professor Arwine during the Spring '08 term at Texas Tech.

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Government Notes 3 - How policy problems are presented to...

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