Sociology Does And Should Influence Social Policy Making’

969 words - 4 pages

Sociology has had some influence on social policy, and varies from government to government but the extent of which has been thoroughly debated. Social policies are put in place in order to address the needs of the population in terms of welfare, housing, health, education, law and order and employment. The influence sociology can have on social policy includes; electoral popularity, ideological policy and preferences of government, interest groups, globalization and its impact, critical sociology, costs and funding sources. However, there is a definite correlation between the sociological researches being compromised by too close a relationship with the funding bodies. Modern sociologists ...view middle of the document...

Townsend, a social democrat, agrees that the state should be researching social policies and recommending adjustments to existing policies or demanding new ones in order to eradicate the problems within today’s society. One can extend this point through the example of the ‘Black Report’ carried out in the 1980s. It was used to survey society and revealed the inequality within society and that social policies put in place to fix these problems in fact seemed to be successful and settle this matter of inequality.
Conversely, Marxists reject the idea that the issues within society can be addressed by social policies and hence disregard the findings of the ‘Black Report’. However, Marxists do agree that society is riddled with inequality from class to class, but they do not expect that this will be something that social policy can fix. They believe that the state represents the ruling class and that social policies are made in their favour, in the interests of capitalism and not society as a whole. However, the social policies written by the state do; provide an ideological legitimation to mask capital exploitation, help to maintain the labour force with the NHS, and prevent revolution by the working class by buying them off through giving them the welfare state after WWII. Social policies, in the eyes of a Marxist, such as Marx, sociologists should work with government to improve existing social policies and to put in place new research that justifies society to help create a better society.
Post-Modernists however, hold the view that a sociologist can only take on the role of ‘interpreter’ whilst conducting sociological research. Bauman holds the view that sociologists are prone to become influential when carrying out research about society, the research then becomes tampered with and social policies based upon this research become ineffective. Moreover the interpretivist Becker stated that it is almost impossible to conduct any amount of research that is ‘uncontaminated’.
On the other hand, feminists view society as based in...

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