Sociology Social Policy Notes

Topics: Sociology, Marxism, Social class Pages: 4 (1262 words) Published: October 20, 2013
Assess the relationship between sociology and social policy (33 marks) Sociology has been related to the making of social policy, sociologist’s role of conducting research on both social problems and sociological problems are bought together for the creation of a social policy. A social problem is a way of social behaviour that causes public and/or private conflict and calls for action to solve it. A sociological problem is ‘any pattern of relationships that calls for an explanation’ (Peter Worsley) this could be something that society regards as a social problem but can also be something that society regards as ‘normality’. For example, Georg Simmel was interested in revealing the universal characteristics of all social relationships whether in the family, an office or even in a bus stop queue. Many sociologists are interested in solving social problems through their research and many are employed by the Government departments. These sociologists often have direct input into the making of policies and evaluating their effectiveness. Sociology has had an influence on social policy in many factors. Electoral popularity can have an impact on whether a sociologists research findings and recommendations point to a specific policy that maybe popular or unpopular with voters. Also, if a researcher’s perspective is similar to that of the Government, the researcher may stand more chance in influencing the policies. Therefore, having the same ideology and policy preferences of the Government would put the researcher at an advantage. Interest groups and pressure groups seek to influence Government policies in favour of their own interests which creates competition for the sociologist putting forward their policy. Globalisation may influence social policy through international organisations influencing individual Governments. Also, sociologists that are critical of the state and powerful groups (e.g Marxists) may be regarded as too extreme and therefore unlikely to...
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