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SCLY 4 - Social Policy

A2 Sociology: Theory and methods - Social Policy

Alan Mears

on 8 February 2013

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Transcript of SCLY 4 - Social Policy

Feminist's Postmodernists Approaches to Social Policy Critical approaches to sociology & Social Policy Social Problems and Sociological problems The Product MARXIST'S SOCIAL POLICY Social Policy A Sociological problem is any social or theoretical issue that needs explaining, whether it is a social problem or not. EG - increasing levels of girls achievements in school is a sociological concern not a Social problem

But... Increasing levels of Boys under-achievement is a Sociological AND Social problem. Social problems and sociological problems are NOT the same!! Remember... The ways sociology contributes to social policy New Right V New Labour Resources Social Policy refers to the packages of plans, and actions by national and local government and/or voluntary agencies to solve social problems or to achieve other goals which might be seen as important Social Policy Not all sociological problems are Social problems


All Social Problems are Sociological Problems Providing an awareness of cultural differences: By seeing society from a different perspective and developing an ' informed awareness' of and sensitivity to the ways of life, needs and problems of others. Sociology explains why people behave the way to do, and explains what changes have happened in society - this also helps the government to make policies which link to key social changes Helps to challenge stereotypes held by society - EG all crime is committed by the young sociological work can have a strong influence on the government's policies.
for example: The conservatives were strongly influenced by the work of Charles Murray Sociologists also work in a range of occupations, including as civil servants within the home office. Sociologists here can help the Government with policy. For example; helping to improve the Validity of crime statistics by developing the British crime survey Sociologists provide the statistics, conduct surveys, analyse problems and provide explanations for the government - a lot of sociological data has provided evidence for the government to create policies New Right

Believe the state should have minimal intervention in the lives of individuals & that social policy contributed to social problems.

The new right sociologists were a strong influence on the conservative policies of Margaret Thatcher. The work of Murray and his ideas on poverty and state scroungers led to major cuts to welfare support, benefits and council housing New Labour

Believe that social policies establish a sense of cohesion in society and support the individual.

New Labour was strongly influenced by the work of Anthony Giddens who provided a theoretical basis for the new policies on social cohesion, social solidarity and reducing social problems. Boutique Marxists are very critical of the role of sociology in social policy.
Marxists do not see the states benefits helping the individuals in society

Social policies such as the NHS & the minimum wage are just ideological devices, which creates a false conscious among the proletariat that they are benefits from the policies. However,

The NHS just ensures that there is a healthy work force, while the minimum wage sets a low bench mark for all employers to set wages too. Designer dresses According to Feminists - mainly Liberal feminists - Social policies have had some success in bringing about equality such as equal pay act & the sex discrimination act.

According to Radical feminists - social polices are not sufficient enough as men and women have different pay and women experience a 'glass ceiling'. while other social policies see women as being the primary care giver of children. Postmodernists look at how most social policies refer to variables such as gender, ethnicity & social class. Most research is uncovers variables & structures. Postmodernists question the use of these categories and also criticise the assumptions that are made about society that is structured and that variables are not longer important. Take a social problem, such as Prostitution, and in pairs think of how it is seen by;


The prostitutes, sex workers, sex slaves themselves (what is the difference and what are the connotations behind the terms/language?)

Clients – who?

Government – how do they view prostitution and why?

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