Social policies for 33 marker

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  • Created by: lottiem98
  • Created on: 12-06-16 16:48
What is a social policy?
The actions, plans and programmes of government bodies that aim to deal with a problem/ achieve a goal
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Worsley (1977): define social problem
Piece of social behaviour leading to social friction and calls for collective action to solve it
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Worsley (1977): Example of social problem
Educational underachievement
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Worsley (1977): define sociological problem
Any pattern or relationship that calls for an explanation
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Worsley (1977): Example of sociological problem
Why are some people poor, or why do some people commit crime
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Why are sociologists involved with social policies?
Aim to solve problems with research, often directly employed by government departments for research
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Example of government departments
Department for children, schools and families, sociologists may be involved with raising pupil achievement
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Issue with this?
Researchers may not accept their findings, or not include any solutions into new policies (possibly due to practical factors)
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Impact of electoral popularity
Research findings may produce a policy that is unpopular with voters, or voters dont regard as important
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Impact of ideological & policy preferences of government
Each political party has different agenda, research findings may only be used if they fit with current government ideology
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Impact of interest groups
Pressure groups aiming to influence government policies; these groups may influence the government away from findings
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Example of impact of interest groups
Confederation of British industry (CBI) may pursuade politicians not to raise the minimum wage through this would increase poverty
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Impact of globalisation
Social policies becoming increasingly influenced by global interests (such as EU)
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Example of impact of globalisation
Change in education policies, such as extending the hours of a school day after research in Japan with higher grades to the UK
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Impact of critical sociology
Critical of the capitalist state and large corporations so often ignored by social policy makers
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Example of critical sociology thinkers
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Impact of cost
The government may already have other spending priorities and commitments, even if they are sympathetic
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Impact of funding sources
Findings may be toned down to suit the ideology of funding source, so they continue funding for future research
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Research example
World health organisation (WHO) funded Bowlby in his study of maternal deprivation (1965): mothers to stay at home and care otherwise the child might become an affectionless psychopath
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Functionalist perspective
society based on value consensus; policies allow society to run more smoothly through value consensus
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Functionalist thinker
Durkheim: propose a meritocratic education system and abolition of inherited wealth to promote social cohesion
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What do functionalists compare sociologists to
A medical researcher, through cause of disease, basis for prevention/cure. Sociologists provide explanations for societies 'illnesses'
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Social democratic perspective
Favours a major redistribution of wealth and income from rich to poor
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Peter townsend (1979)
Entensive research into poverty and made recommendations into more public spending on health, education and welfare services
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Swann report (1980)
Class inequalities leading to 37 policy recommendations (including free school meals)
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How did the government respond to the swann report
Thatcher's conservative government decided against this (argued cost) but the following labour government implemented them in 1977
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Marxist perspective
Social policies are due to interests of ruling class. Act as 'smokescreen' to make WC feel cared for (such as by NHS) to avoid real exploitation
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How are social policies beneficial
Prevention of a revolution when class conflict intensifies and threatens stability of capitalism
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Feminist perspective
Society is patriarchal, and womens subordination is perpectuated through social policies
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What do social policies assume about family life
That there is a normal family life of a heterosexual couple with their own biological children
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Examples of policies for changing family life
Civil partnership act 2005 and childrens act 2007 (allowing gay couples to adopt children)
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Feminist research in education
For new learning materials (promote positive images of females) and teacher training (train to avoid gender bias and inclusiveness of both genders)
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Radical feminism in social policies
policy introduced to help women escaping domestic violence as they argue men are direct oppressors of women
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New right perspective
Argue state should involve minimal involvement. State intervention leads to people not taking responsibility
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Charles Murray (1984)
welfare benefits and council housing leading to state dependancy and formation of an underclass
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Murray with the conservative party
Murray favours reduction in state spending which conservative party supports
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New labour with new right
New labour regard some policies as beneficial (eg married couple being ideal and not relying on benefits)
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Worsley (1977): define social problem


Piece of social behaviour leading to social friction and calls for collective action to solve it

Card 3


Worsley (1977): Example of social problem


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Card 4


Worsley (1977): define sociological problem


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Worsley (1977): Example of sociological problem


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