Assembling and Dissembling: Policy as Productive Play

Jun. 01, 2012

Source: Educational Researcher, 41 (5), June 2012, p. 157-162.

The authors examine educational policy by focusing on the ways in which actors “play” or selectively follow, negotiate, and appropriate cultural instructions and rules.

The authors outline a framework that situates assemblage, a notion utilized in actor-network theory, within the critical cultural study of policy.
Treating policy assemblage as a dynamic cultural form, they argue, provides a way of revealing the complexities of sociomaterial connections inherent to policy implementation.

The authors pay particular attention to what happens when disparate actors join together to perform policy-directed tasks.
It is within these heterogeneous and hybrid linkages that policy negotiations and controversies can become productive play.

The authors briefly discuss the dynamic composition of productive policy play.

Updated: Aug. 20, 2013