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Assess the Relationship Between Sociology and Social Policy

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Assess the relationship between sociology and social policy

Social policy is the actions, plans and programmes of government bodies which aim to deal with a problem or achieve a goal .e.g preventing crime and reducing poverty. Policies are often based on laws that provide the framework within which these agencies operate. The following essay will argue for and against the relationship between sociology and social policy.

It can be argued that the relationship between social policy and sociology is not always consistent because sociological funding may not be implemented. This is because of a range of factors such as electoral popularity. This is the perception that social policy will not be used to if citizens will not like the policy. Also current government bodies and their ideologies will also influence the implementation of government polices. This means research findings may have to fit into the governments’ values and set of beliefs before the social policies can be implemented. Finally, funding sources are another important factor. This is the view that the government essentially influences what area of research the sociologists researches and it is essentially a reference to the phrase “He who pays the piper call the tune” this is the view that the policies suggestions are initiated by the government.

The relationship between sociology and social policy according to Functionalists and Positivists such as Durkheim is that an objective and scientific approach should be used in order to generate social facts which can be used by the government to develop patterns of behaviour that can be used to implement policies that benefit society as a whole. This provides the state with objective information about their extent and explanation of their causes as well as possible cures. Critics of the positivist and functionalist approach to social policy argue that…...

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