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Title:The politics of meaning in the entrepreneurial city
Author(s):Burnier, DeLysa
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wirt, Frederick M.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, General
Abstract:This dissertation rests on the premise that public policy possesses a symbolic dimension. Although such a dimension has been long acknowledged, little formal attention has been paid to it beyond noting the presence of symbols in policy language and actions. This dissertation has argued for an expanded conception of symbolic politics that encompasses both the use of intangible resources and the politics of meaning. The politics of meaning centers on how a particular meaning or interpretation for a policy, event, issue, or action is established. Furthermore, it raises questions about how policy problems are defined, whose definitions prevail, and what kinds of symbols and language are used in policy actors' definitions of the policy situation.
To explore the politics of meaning, this dissertation developed a symbolic interactionist policy perspective and applied it to Ohio's enterprise zone program. State and local officials involved in the program were interviewed, and from their interview statements program accounts were derived. These program accounts centered on officials' understandings of the zone program, its goals, tax abatement, and definitions of program success. From these accounts, the enterprise zone program's symbolic dimension, or its range of meanings as defined by policy actors, was established. Overall, the range of policy meaning for the zone program is fairly narrow. Ideological "free market" language has been replaced by pragmatic means-end language.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Burnier, DeLysa
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9026149
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9026149

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