Higher education policy: Disrupting the structures that bind us

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Iverson and Allan describe how feminist poststructural perspectives, and policy discourse analysis in particular, serve as tools for uncovering gendered assumptions embedded in policy and practice in US postsecondary education. Policy discourse analysis exposes how some policy assumptions, and dominant discourses framing those assumptions, can serve to undercut intended outcomes of the policy. This finding is particularly troubling when policies are implemented to promote equity and advance social justice. Through analysis of university policies on sexual violence, these authors illustrate how policy discourse analysis can provide researchers and practitioners with a lens for “unthinking” and thinking differently about research questions, analyses, and interpretations of data.




Iverson, S. V., & Allan, E. J. (2017). Higher education policy: Disrupting the structures that bind us. In Critical Approaches to Women and Gender in Higher Education (pp. 87–112). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-59285-9_5

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