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Victim-Blaming and the "Looping" Effect of Social Policy: The Case of Physician Maldistribution and Underserved Rural Communities

Curtis R. Bergstrand
Social Problems
Vol. 27, No. 1, Policy Processes (Oct., 1979), pp. 62-68
DOI: 10.2307/800016
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/800016
Page Count: 7
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Victim-Blaming and the "Looping" Effect of Social Policy: The Case of Physician Maldistribution and Underserved Rural Communities
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Abstract

Ryan's (1971) description of the ideology of "victim-blaming" is briefly reviewed. It is then shown how this strategy for obscuring the causes of a social problem is used against rural, medically underserved communities by health care provider and planning interest groups to "explain" critical shortages of physicians in their areas. In addition to lending further support for the existence of this ideology, a "looping" effect of social policy designed to deal with physician maldistribution is identified. It is argued that this can be viewed as analytically distinct from the ideology itself and that it serves the purpose of further obscuring the larger structural sources of the social problem.

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