• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Evaluate the view that sociological arguments and research findings generally have little influence on the social problems of governments

Extracts from this document...


Evaluate the view that sociological arguments and research findings generally have little influence on the social problems of governments (40 marks) There are two opposing sides to this debate, those who suggest that sociology and government policy are not connected, and those who believe that both are closely linked. For many sociologists, sociological research is carried out to inform and influence governmental social policy. This is particularly true if the government or pressure group provides the funding for the research. The significance of sociology on policy has led to growth of the academic subject known as social policy, which studies and tries to influence how governments responds to social problems. Many of the founding fathers believed that sociology had a central part to play on society such as reforming social institutions, solving problems and improving the human condition which will help move society forward. Auguste Comte saw sociology as a practical subject. He believed it shouldn't remain in the universities and it should be applied to wider society. ...read more.


For example, where the government restricted the publication of the Black Report over the Bank Holiday Weekend of 1980 by the Thatcher Government signalled the end of the hopes of improvement in public health for twenty years. It was clear that the Government would have preferred to suppress the whole thing, and it is greatly to the authors' credit that this did not happen. However you do not need to read very much to see why the Government wanted to. This suggests that sociological arguments and research findings have little influence on social problems of governments. According to Giddens, there are four practical benefits of studying sociology. Firstly, he believed it allows us to understand the world around us, giving us knowledge and insights. This understanding can be factual and provide us with 'facts' which allow us to develop a theory. It can also be theoretical as it provides people with an explanation as to why something is happening. ...read more.


Gidden's and 'The Third Way' and 'The Renewal of Social Democracy' in 1998 stressed the importance of social solidarity and social cohesion. It included that strong society needs active citizens concerned about society; Government should encourage people to have a sense of civic duty. Giddens believed social exclusion is the main threat to social order and society will fracture if groups become excluded from mainstream. He believed Government can help exclusion, for example, with the poor they can raise benefits or improve healthcare and education. This suggests that sociological arguments and research findings do have influence on social problems of governments. The fact that Giddens has been described as Blair's favourite 'Guru' backs this argument up. In conclusion, there are many arguments for and against the view that sociological arguments and research findings generally have little influence on the social problems of governments, but it is evident that since Blair's New Labour Government, there has been more interaction with sociologists to improve human conditions and to resolve old policies that aren't as effective in modern society. It could be asked that maybe sociology has been revitalised in terms of their influence over the government. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Assess the view that cults, sects and new age movement are fringe organisations that ...

    The reason this type of group has become to increase is due to the fact celebrities are now beginning to follow this religion. Examples of these are Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and John Travolta. Their influence in society means the membership of this particular NRM is increasing in size and

  2. essay question sociology - education

    Mentioning gender now, biologically boys and girls are different, boys do well while girls don't.Trowler says that there are few differences in boys and girls IQ scores.Differences in ability are more likely to be based on social rather than biological differences.

  1. Assess the nature and extent of secularization in society today. Evidence surrounding church attendance ...

    This along with the global nature of society, creates individual choices an uncertainty, NRMs may offer a solution to this uncertainty. This logic has also been used to explain the rise of Functionalism in the twentieth century.

  2. Sociological theories and Healthcare.

    We can't rely on Functionalism or Marxism these days. Functionalists believe society needs social institutions to be corrected before it can run smoothly. One of these social institutions is family (the typical family). Functionalists believe that with out family an individual would turn out different which could cause the society to become chaotic.

  1. Social policy

    Illness is what a particular society, at a specific point in time, for certain groups or individuals, views it to be, with the medical profession playing a critical role in the labeling of illness and ill people.

  2. Social research

    Ermisch concentrates on the actual 'formation' of a household. He found that one of the main reasons for young people living in their parent's home was the high house prices. This research was more difficult to relate to my question because it was based around quantitative and qualitative data.

  1. Introduction to social policy-To what extent is social policy fair?

    2003, Edited by Pete Alcock, Angus Erskine and Margaret May, p.114 From this quote, it can be established that social policy obviously isn?t very fair, in reference to the question posed in my introduction, I would say that this evidence suggests that there obviously is a need for a stronger

  2. Participant observation studies have little value in sociological research because they are too subjective. ...

    It is impossible to say whether a suicide had taken place or not. 17 cases resulted in suicide verdict, 5 were classified as accidental deaths and remaining 10 produced open verdicts. Thus we can see that the methods used by quantitative research methods are questionable because of being too objective in their study to produce useful information with high validity.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work