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NCJ Number: 51649 Find in a Library
Title: POLICY AS THEORY - A FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING THE CONTRIBUTION OF SOCIAL SCIENCE TO WELFARE POLICY (FROM POLICY STUDIES - REVIEW ANNUAL, V 2, 1978 BY HOWARD E FREEMAN - SEE NCJ 51647)
Author(s): S S BLUME
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS IS MADE OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIOLOGY AS A CONCEPTUALIZING SCIENCE AND SOCIAL POLICY AS AN APPROACH TO DEALING WITH A SPECIFIC SOCIAL PROBLEM.
Abstract: THE SCHEMA DEVELOPED IS BASED UPON A VIEW OF SOCIAL POLICY AS AN EVOLVING SEQUENCE OF ORIENTATIONS, THEORIES, CONCEPTS, AND PROBLEMS, WHICH ARE IMPORTANT RESPECTS COMPARABLE WITH THE COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENCE. THIS EVALUATION OF SOCIAL POLICY IS DESCRIBED AS INVOLVING A NUMBER OF COMPETING ORIENTATIONS OR THEORIES ('PARADIGMS'). THE PROCESS BY WHICH PARADIGMS BECOME EMBODIED IN PRACTICAL PROGRAMS FOR DEALING WITH SOCIAL PROBLEMS IS CALLED 'TESTING.' CONSIDERED CRUCIAL TO THE 'TEST' ARE THE FEEDBACK PROCESSES WHICH ASCERTAIN THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROGRAMS. EVALUATION RESEARCH, THE ADVICE OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICE-GIVERS, AND THE GENERAL POLITICAL PROCESS ARE DISCUSSED AS THE MOST FREQUENTLY USED MEANS OF TESTING. SYSTEMS OF SOCIAL STATISTICS PROVIDE AN IMPORTANT CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT OF BACKGROUND SOCIAL CHANGE. WHERE SOME SIGNIFICANT DISCORDANCE IS NOTED BETWEEN THE PROBLEM AND THE PROGRAM DEVISED TO RESOLVE IT, IT IS BELIEVED TO BE THE DEMONSTRATED TENDENCY OF POLICYMAKERS TO INITIATE ADJUSTMENTS WHICH WILL PERMIT THE RETENTION OF THE BASIC PARADIGM UNDERLYING THE PROGRAM. WHERE THESE MINOR CHANGES, USUALLY OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE NATURE, DO NOT SUFFICE TO CORRECT DEFICIENCIES, IT IS ADVISED THAT THE STAGE IS SET FOR A FUNDAMENTAL RECONCEPTUALIZATION OF POLICY FROM OUTSIDE THE EXISTING PROGRAM. SOCIAL SCIENCE, AS THE SOURCE OF CODIFIED KNOWLEDGE OF THE SOCIAL WORLD, IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE LOGICAL AUTHORITY FROM WHICH NEW PARADIGMS ARE SOUGHT FOR THE FUNDAMENTAL RESHAPING OF SOCIAL POLICY IN PROBLEMATIC AREAS. IT IS INDICATED THAT DIFFERING SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC ORIENTATIONS MAY HAVE DIFFERENT KINDS OF RELATIONSHIPS TO THE COMPETING APPROACHES WHICH CONSTITUTE POLICY DEBATE AT ANY TIME. IT IS INTENDED THAT THIS ANALYSIS BE USED TO GUIDE DETAILED RESEARCH UPON SOCIAL POLICY. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Analysis; Decisionmaking; Policy; Sociology
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. REPRINTED FROM ACTA SOCIOLOGICA, V 20, N 3 (1977), P 247-262
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51649

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