Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Deron R. Boyles
The term policy has many uses and, as a result, is difficult, if not impossible to define in a meaningful way that is free from controversy. Arguably, the disputes over such definitions are largely what create policy in the first place. Said differently, the arguments concerning what should or should not be guaranteed by law are the arguments that give rise to the implementation of policy. In a stronger sense still, policy exists to define (and redefine) what is real. “It is our policy that…” and “The policy clearly states …” place ontological boundaries on what actions, behaviors, or ideas will be accepted. Such boundaries dictate the experiences undergone by those affected by policy and serve to circumscribe the meanings created by those experiences. When understood as a major impetus for policy authors, these boundaries become part of the larger narrative which defines what is “real” not only regarding rules, ...