Turning Sociological Analysis into Public Policy
Making Problems Public Issues
In this course, we have analyzed a number of social issues. A constant theme has been that society can and does change. Most change occurs because individuals and groups work to make change happen. Voting rights, civil rights, marriage equality are just a few examples of social/cultural changes that have been supported by public policy. For this short paper select one social concern that you believe is of significant importance. This does not have to be a major issue it can be something local even limited to the UMass campus. Explain why you selected this issue. Briefly analyze the issue using a sociological perspective. Put together a strategy for alleviating or reducing this problem. Then reflect on your role, as a global citizen, to remedy this concern and reshape the world to be a better place than it was when you entered it.
Please stretch your sociological imagination so that you consider actions that are pragmatic (i.e. feasible and in keeping with your personal life goals) and effective (a change will result). Try to go beyond simplistic analyses such as “I will try to live a good life” or “If I only make a difference in one person’s life, that will be enough.” Neither answer will be considered sufficient. By now, you should recognize that the type of change needed generally requires changing both the structure and culture of society. How will YOU do that?
Some of the things that you should consider are who might help you accomplish these changes. How will you get others to help you or join in? What kind of time frame will be needed to get the change desired? A SWOT analysis may be helpful: What are the Strengths that you have to address this issue, Where or what are your weaknesses, what are the Opportunities out there that will help you accomplish your policy goal, what external elements will be Threats to your success?
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