Textual Analysis of American Government Reports on Aging

Author: Green, Bryan S.
This study demonstrates a textual approach to analyzing policy documents, to establish a method of study applicable to any social policy documents. This method will be analytically adequate to this kind of material and of critical interest both from the standpoint of substantive policy areas (here, policy on aging and 'the aged') and the broader standpoints of democratic practice, social stratification and the emancipatory possibilities of social theory. This study will interest policy analysts, critical discourse analysts, sociologists (especially those interested in language and social reality construction) and, due to the subject-matter, social gerontologists.


"Bryan Green's book is a highly original and deeply scholarly work. Textual analysis is far from being a well defined technical discipline and anyone working in this area is confronted with a formidable range of approaches developed in a number of different disciplinary contexts-ethnomethodology, critical theory, semiotics, literary theory, linguistics as well as sociology. Green is familiar and comfortable in this uncertain realm...I found his interest in the textual forms of the democratic process to be exceptionally interesting and original...His knowledge of the literature of an relevant to textual analysis is impressive and wide-ranging. I can't think of another piece of work in this area that draws on such rich resources."
Dorothy E. Smith

"This is a needed contribution to the developing methodology of textual analyses in the social sciences - in particular, sociology. Qualitative researchers will welcome the concepts and analytic strategies developed by Bryan Green in this work. Those working in the field of gerontology with a focus on policy studies would be wise to give the ideas explored in this book a close review...Of particular merit is Bryan's thorough, exhaustive review of the relevant literature and his chapters demonstrating the application of his textual analysis to the case of US government documents on aging policies."
Joseph Yenerall

Table of Contents

Preface and Introduction
1.Methodical Principles and Key concepts of Textual Analysis
2.What is a Policy Report
3.Policy Reports as Scripts of Government
4.Social Policy Reports and Cultural Coding Problems
5.Naming and Knowing:
6.Structures of Discourse
7.Means of Producing Reality and Knowledge Effects in Social Reality Reports
8.Educative Writing and Social Policy Reports