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Social Problems and Sociological Problems

Social Problems:

Worsley (1977):

Social problem is a piece of Social behaviour that causes public friction, private misery
and calls for collective action to solve.
E.G. Poverty, educational underachievement etc. Government may be called upon to
produce policies to tackle them.

Sociological Problems:

Worsley (1977):…

Page 2

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The Influence of Sociology on policy

No guarantee policymakers will study findings or use any solutions.

Many factors affect whether or not sociological research succeeds in influencing policy

Electoral popularity:

Research findings and recommendations might point to a policy that would be unpopular
with voters

Ideological and policy preferences of…

Page 3

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Research findings used to justify policies that are implemented
Research institutions often have political sympathies E.G. some are generally seen as
left while others are seen as right
Governments who want particular findings can be selective over which think tank they
use

Social Scientists

Ideas sometimes become part of mainstream…

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