LT8- The relationship between Sociology and Social policy

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 11-05-16 20:59
What does social policy refer to?
Social policy refers to the activities of governments and their agents to meet social needs and solve social problems,
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Give an example of what the government have recent set up in education?
They have set up, in partnership with businesses, city academies to raise educational performance of poor perfroming inner city schools.
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What is the definition of a social problem?
Something that is harmful to society,
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What is the definition of a sociological problem?
Any social issue that needs explaining.
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What Research Council has a budget of how much in 2007-08 demonstrating that sociological research is important?
The Economic and Social Research Council, -A budget of £100 million in 2007-08,
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What do some researchers believe about Sociology's role in social policy?
Some researchers believe sociologists should be and are actively invoved in making social policy recommendations,
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What did what sociologist say about sociologys postive influence and how does it help us?
-Giddens, -'Sociology can help us in our lives'
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What three things do sociologists believe offering practical measures will reduce?
Social inequality, social injustice and social exclusion,
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For ways in which sociology contributed to social policy, what differences do they provide an awareness of and why?
-An awareness of cultural differences, -Sees society from different perspectives develops sensitivity to the needs of others,
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What is another contribution sociologists make based on a theory?
They provide a theoretical framework,
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Give an example with Thatcher and Postmodernism?
-Thatchers view of individualism is similar to postmodern ideas that there is no such thing as society,
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What is another contribution of sociology based on idenfitying and evidence?
-It identifies social problems and provides evidence,
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Give an example with feminism?
Feminist research helped to identify the extent of discrimination,
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What is the last contribution of sociology to social policy based on solutions?
Sociology offers possible solutions to these problems,
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What give theories/ perspectives suggest that sociology should be closely related to social policy?
-Social democratic research, -Feminists, -Left Realists -Functionalists -New Labour,
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For Social Democratic research, what does this perspective favour about distribution?
This perspective favours a major distribution of wealth and income from the rich to the poor,
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What Social Democratic researcher argues that sociologists should be involved in what and why?
-Townsend, -Argues that sociologists should be involved in researching social problems and making policy recommendations to eradicate them,
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What did Townsend study and what recommendations for policies did he link to this?
-Conducted major research into poverty, -Recommendations such as fairer, higher benefit levels, more public spending on health, education and welfare services,
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This research influenced which Governments?
Labour Governments of the 1960s and 70s and the New Labour in the late 90s,
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What report recommended a range of policieis based on class inequalities in what?
-Black Report, -Class inequalities in health,
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Give an example of some policies to improve these inequalities?
Free school meals, improving working conditions,
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However, why was the report ignored and not implemented?
It was completed a year after Mrs Thatcher's government came into power and refused to implement the recommendations,
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What theory agrees that social problems such as class inequalities are deep rooted?
Marxists,
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However, why do they criticise Social Democratic researchers?
AS they believe the problem can't be solved without abolishing capitalism and policies such as those proposed in the Black report aren't enough to deal with the problem,
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For Feminists, how do they view society?
They believe society is patriarchal and benefits men at women's expense,
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How do feminists believe the state allows a patriarchal society?
Through social policies which benefit men,
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In Education, what feminist research has influenced policies such as what?
-Liberal Feminism -Learning materials that promote more positive images of females, -Training teachers to avoid gender bias,
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What do Radical feminists believe women should do to stop patriarhcy?
They believe females should separate themselves to be free from patriarchy such as physical and sexual abuse,
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What ideas does this reflect, which many have recieved funding from local and central governments?
Women's refugees,
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However, who has criticised feminism and why?
-Marxists and Marxist feminists, -As they want big changes that the state can simply not deliver at this time,
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Give an example of a Left Realist who have used what surveys to put forward a range of practical solutions for what?
-Lea and Young, -Local victim surveys, -To reduce crime,
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What two things do Lea and Young believe are essential to halt the spread of crime?
State intervention and community involvement,
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For example, who have they encouraged a close partnership between?
Police and the local communities,
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What do they also make a strong case solutions to crime for fewer what and more what?
-Fewer custodial sentences, -More community service orders,
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However, who criticises Left realists and why?
Feminisrs as they don't consider how patriarchy is involved in crime and therefore cannot offer practical solutions to it,
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For Functionalists, how do they see society? What is society free from?
They see society as based in value consensus and free from fundamental conflicts,
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Whose interests do they see the state serving?
The interests of society as a whole,
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What do they argue is the function of policies?
To help society run smoothly and efficiently,
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What did Durkheim conclude about Sociology as a science benefittin social problems?
Durkheim believed sociology could help discover the cause of social problems and offer solutions to these,
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For example, what social policies did Durkheim suggest would promote social cohesion?
-A meritocratic education system, -The abolition of inherited health,
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However, who criticises Functionalists and why? What do they argue needs to happen which social policies can't achieve?
Marxists- Argue social problems such as under-achievement are part of wider class inequality and therefore need to change the structure of society itself to solve specific problems,
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For New Labour, what sociologist was one of Tony Blair's advisers?
Giddens,
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Which government was Giddens part of?
New Labours victory in 1997
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What philosophy did Giddens create combining what two policies?
-Third Way-Combines both left and ring wing policies,
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What idea did this influence as well as the whole direction of what?
-Idea of active welfare, -And the whole direction of social policy for recent labour governments,
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Sociologists who work for who/ what are often involved in shaping or evaluating social policy?
-Those who work for government departments or local government authorities such as police forces,
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Researchers from where have been involved in assessing the successfulness of what crime prevention techniques?
-Home Office, -Success of ASBOs and electronic tagging,
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Sociologists ofen have an indirect role in shaping social policy by creating what?
A 'climate of opinion'
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What do Governments then do with this 'climate of opinion'?
They act on it,
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For example, evidence of cultural deprivation in Britian in the 60s led to what?
A wave of compensatory educational policies such as Operation Headstart, EMA,
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However, what three sociologist theories argue socioloy shouldn't be closely related to social policy?
-New Right theorists, -Marxists, -Postmodernists,
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What are the two reasons why they believe sociologists should be independent from governments?
1) Sociologists should be independent so they can be critical 2)They are ideologically opposed to policy making,
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Why are the New Right against sociologists making social policy reccomendations?
As they believe that the state should have a minimal involvement in social problems,
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What do they stress instead of state intervention?
They stress individual responsibility,
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What New Right sociologist mainatian that providing the generous welfare as a social policy does?
For poverty, it acutally makes the problem worse E.g. crime and deviance,
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What two things does Murray beleive the welfare system creates?
-A culture of dependency, -A dangerous underclass dependent on benefits,
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Give an example with reliance on benefits with irresponsible fathers?
Irresponsible fathers who have many children and abandoned these in the knowledge they will be provided for,
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However, why is there a contradiction in New Right thinking?
The New RIght believe that governments should intervene when it suits their beliefs,
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For example what does social policy initiatives encourage for family types?
It props up the traditional nuclear family which the New Right favour,
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In addition, what New Right theorists article about Broken windows has been influential with what policies?
-Wilson and Kelling's article. -Influences zero tolerance policies,
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For Marxists, who do they beleive the state and its social policies serve?
The interests of the ruling class and capitalism,
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Give an example with the NHS?
The NHS serves capitalism by keeping workers fit enough to work,
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Marxisrs such as who are against social policy reccomendations on welfare?
Westergaard and Resler
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What do they beleive will happen is sociologists such as who encourage more benefits?
-Townsend, -This will serve to reduce class solidarity because welfare 'buys off' the working class and stops them from reasling their true class interests,
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What do Westergaard and Resler argue is the only way social problems faced by the working class can be overcome?
By a proletarian revolution, not social policy, whose end aim would be to create a communist society,
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However, who criticises Marxisrs and why?
-Social democrats. -They argue sociological research can help bring about change without abolishing capitalism,
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For Postmodernists, what do they claim about sociologists influencing social policy?
They believe sociologists are in ni position to make social policy recommendations,
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Why do they believe that Sociologists shouldn't be related to social policy?
AS it isn't possible to objectivley identify the truth and therefore all sociological knowledge is 'uncertain,
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What do they therefore claim about valid basis?
They therefore claim there is no valid basis for sociological policy intervention,
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This has led what sociologist to claim that in 'postmodern times'. sociologists should take what role?
-Bauman, -They should take the role of 'interpreters',
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What does he claim they shouldn't be seen as like in what times?
They cannot and should not be seen as 'legislators' as they did in 'modern times'.
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For critical points, although left centre sociologists are keen to make social policy reccomendations, what is the problem?
Their views are not always listened to,
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Give an example in 2008 with cannabis and the Labour Government?
Although empirical research found that cannabis use among young people had fallen from 13.4% to 9.4%, Labour still decided to reclassify the drug from Class C to class B,
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For another critiucal point, what four factors may affect whether or not research succeeds in influencing social policy?
-Electoral popilarity, -Ideological preferences of Government, -Globalisation, -Cost,
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Why does Electoral popularity affect whether research successed in influencing policies?
Findigns may lead to policies that would be unpopular,
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Why is ideological preference of governments a factors?
If the researcher's values are similar to that of the government, they may have more chance of influending policies,
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Why is globalisation a factor?
International organisations may influence social policies of individual governments,
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Why is cost a factor whether or not research succeeds in influencying policy?
Although governments may agree with sociologists ideas, they may not have the funds to implement them,
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For another critical view, the policies sociologists put forward may be compromised by what?
Their funding agencies e.g. some sociologists won't want to threaten agencies that fund them,
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For another critical view point, what two problems is it important to varify between and why?
-A social problem, -A sociological problem, -AS not all sociological research will be relevent to social policy,
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Give an example of what the government have recent set up in education?

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They have set up, in partnership with businesses, city academies to raise educational performance of poor perfroming inner city schools.

Card 3

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What is the definition of a social problem?

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Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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What is the definition of a sociological problem?

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What Research Council has a budget of how much in 2007-08 demonstrating that sociological research is important?

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