The (In)credible Fiscal Prize: a critical examination of the discourse of evidence in Early Childhood Intervention.

Boyle, Clionagh (2021) The (In)credible Fiscal Prize: a critical examination of the discourse of evidence in Early Childhood Intervention. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. ISSN 1463 9491 (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

Abstract
In playing with the concept of ‘credibility’ this paper presents a critical examination of the discourse of evidence and the programming of upbringing in Early Intervention policy and practice. The truth claims of the evidence discourse in policy are explored through a single complex case study of an Early Intervention City in Northern Ireland. The framework for the study discussed uses Bourdieu’s thinking tools of habitus, capital and field alongside Foucauldian discourse analysis to explore the ways in which Early Intervention policy and practice impacts on children, parents and communities. A key question is to consider how evidence is constructed within the discourse and how this can be considered as a Foucauldian ‘regime of truth’ (1977:23). Building from the emerging body of critique around scientism and parenting (Ramaekers and Suissa 2011; Gillies, Edwards and Horsley 2017), the study extends this through a socio-political lens to the Northern Ireland context. Despite a strong tradition in Northern Ireland of community-based activism and political transition from direct rule to devolution, Early Intervention policy and programming has tended towards direct read across from Britain and the United States. The study documents that community based practice struggles within the policy field for recognition, yet ‘home grown’ carries significant social capital within and across communities. The dominant policy discourse of the In/credible ‘fiscal prize’, transformation through evidence-based interventions, contrasts with the backdrop of worsening child poverty in communities. Contrary to the truth claims, this suggests the reproduction rather than transformation of social disadvantage.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is the author's post peer review version of an article, the final version will appear in the Sage Publications journal Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood.
Keywords: Early Intervention- critical- discourse- evidence-Bourdieu- Foucault
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Early Childhood
Depositing User: Clionagh Boyle
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2021 07:56
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2021 07:56
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/3327

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