IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Engaging in ‘Loose Talk’: Analyzing Salience in Discourse from the Formulation of Welfare Policy

Listed author(s):
  • Nancy Kinney


Registered author(s):

    Attempts to explain the emergence of policy innovation are regularly constrained by the complexities of political processes and the vagaries of social circumstance. Content analysis of media reports has been used routinely to provide an outline of policy change. However, the results of content analysis can be simplistic and lacking in depth of meaning. This study added the use of principal components analysis (PCA) of media text content to more substantively examine the evolution of a policy “sea-change.â€\x9D Both the manifest and latent content of newspaper accounts were analyzed to measure the salience of a public policy innovation that expanded religious group utilization with the 1996 welfare reform act. In addition to tracing variations in the flow of policy deliberation, the analysis more fully captured the character of public discourse that surrounded the adoption of this controversial policy. Unexpected findings from analysis of the accounts included limited concern for Constitutional infringement and no evidence of a regional bias toward increased religious group utilization. Furthermore, principal components analysis of textual structure exhibited patterns of discourse indicative of privatistic (rather than communal) religious response, limited concern with diverse social groups and pronounced reliance on “praise and blameâ€\x9D persuasive strategies. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Springer & Society of Policy Sciences in its journal Policy Sciences.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 251-268

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:38:y:2005:i:4:p:251-268
    DOI: 10.1007/s11077-006-9009-4
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. A. E. Fernández Jilberto, 1991. "Introduction," International Journal of Political Economy, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 21(1), pages 3-9, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:38:y:2005:i:4:p:251-268. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

    or (Rebekah McClure)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.