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Page 1

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Perspectives on Social Policy + Sociology:

Positivism and Functionalism:

Positivists: Durkheim + Comte

Sociology is a science + will discover both the cause of Social problems + scientifically
based solutions to them.
Enlightenment project : Using science + reason to improve society
I.E. Durkheim (Functionalist) Analysismeritocratic education system so abolition…

Page 2

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Perspectives on Social Policy + Sociology:

Social Democratic Perspective:

Favour major redistribution of Wealth and income from rich to poor.

Peter Townsend (1979):

Sociologists should be involved in researching Social problems + making policy
recommendations to eradicate them.
Conducted research on poverty
Made recommendations for policies, such as higher benefit…

Page 3

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Perspectives on Social Policy + Sociology:

Marxism Social Policy:

Social policies serve the interests of Capitalism not those of Society as a whole.

Sociologists main role: Criticise Capitalist Social policy not to serve the interest of the
Capitalist state
Must reveal exploitation that underpins capitalism and the way in which…

Page 4

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Perspectives on Social Policy + Sociology:

Feminism: Liberal Feminists

Society is patriarchal, benefitting men at the expense of women and the state perpetrates
women's subordination through its social policies.

Example: Family policies May be based on the assumption that the normal family is a
conventional Nuclear Family, with a heterosexual…

Page 5

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Perspectives on Social Policy + Sociology:

Radical Feminists:

Influence on Social policy: Regard men as the direct oppressors of women especially through the
family. Women are kept subordinate through the use or threat of physical or sexual violence

Separatism: Idea that women live separate to men to be free from…

Page 6

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Perspectives on Social Policy + Sociology:

New Right and Social Policy:

Minimal involvement in the state

State intervention in areas such as Family life, income support, education and health
care
Any more state intervention robs people of their freedom to make their own choices
and undermines sense of responsibility
Greater…

Page 7

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Perspectives on Social Policy + Sociology:

Influence of New right thinking:

New Labour policies have had some influence from new right policies

New Labour: See married couple as the best place to bring up children

New Right: Want strong law and order policy and research by right realist's criminologists I.E.…

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