The theory and methods used in social work are

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The theory and methods used in social work are derived from the social sciences. Social work involves applying the methods of sociology and psychology to solve human problems. Some examples of applied social science may include: Industrial relations City planning Criminology Social Work D. Policy Sciences Policy science is very big in political science, but to some extent all social sciences attempt to influence policy. Often, managers, administrators, leaders, and especially those involved in the political environment make decisions based on hearsay, and opinion rather than objective evidence. Even when such evidence is available, it may be ignored because it goes against what people want to believe. For example, Max Weber (German sociologist) told German leaders that unlimited submarine warfare would bring the U.S. into World War I and lead to Germany's defeat. He was ignored and his prediction came to pass. Unlike business, government has no objective basis for making choices, no profit and loss statement. Instead, decisions are often made subjectively and foolishly. Many social scientists therefore work to encourage government decision-makers to use objective evidence gathered via social science research to make better decisions. This is not to say that social scientists and social science is always right or always objective. Furthermore, decisions may be made even if it is counter to social science evidence because it is morally justified. The policy sciences hope to: Understand societal change Clarify appropriate goals Understand a particular social problem and how to solve that problem by identifying most effective alternatives Aid in effective prediction Deepen and broaden policy-maker's capacity for judgment Counter the inadequate data often available to decision-makers For example, social science research was used in Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) to support the decision that separate but equal education did not work and could not be 6
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Power, Authority, and Exchange – ISS 225 Intro. Social Science equal. This involved a sociological study called the Doll Study. The lawyer representing the NAACP was Thurgood Marshall. See http://varenne.tc.columbia.edu/class/common/dolls_in_brown_vs_board.html for an account of the famous doll study. See also http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/New_doll_test_produces_ugl y_results_2919.shtml for an update of the doll study. The problem is that social scientists and policy-makers live in separate worlds with different and often conflicting values, reward systems, and languages. Policy makers don’t listen. Research reports often use jargon that is difficult for the layperson to understand. Normally, social science research takes too long to answer today's problems (unless begun several years ago). Policy makers find research findings too qualified and not generalizable enough to apply to large populations. Policy makers may find research findings too radical, and they fear change in the social order. Research findings may be
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