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Social Policy

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jennyt
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Assess the relationship between Social Policy and Sociology. (33 Marks)

Sociology is a subject that wants to study and understand society. Social policy or otherwise known as the law comes from research completed by sociologists, which is then proposed to the government. Social policy can be seen to change social problems such as the economy. Peter Worsley describes a social problem as “some piece of social behaviour that causes public friction”. For example poverty, educational under-achievement, and divorce can be seen as social problems that the government may be forced to tackle with social policies. Worsley thinks that a sociological problem is “ any pattern of relationships that calls for explanation”, meaning any piece of behaviour that we want to make sense of. For example why some families are richer than others? , Why people commit crime? Or why couples remain happily married? George Simmel was intrigued about the characteristics present in all social relationships and their different settings, be it in an office, in the family home or on a busy street. However many sociologists are interested in solving social problems through their research. They will conduct their research so it is aimed at the social problem they are most interested about. Government departments such as home office employ many sociologists. They will often have a direct input into making social policies. However sometimes sociological research does not effect social polices, and there are a number of reasons why. Electoral popularity, research findings and recommendations might point to a policy that would be unpopular with voters. Ideological and policy preferences of governments, if the researchers value stance or perspective is similar to the political beliefs of the government, they may have more of a chance in influencing polices. Interest groups, these are pressure groups that...

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