Social Science and Social Policy
First published in 1986, Social Science and Social Policy addresses major questions concerned with the social utility of social science. The book is divided into four parts. The first part considers the place of social science in the policy-making process and criticizes the rational model which gives a central place to analysis. In part two, five different methodologies for policy research are considered: the use of continuous surveys, public opinion polls, social indicators, evaluation research and social experimentations and the use of qualitative methods. The advantages and drawbacks of each are considered with extensive use of examples. In the third part, the role of theory is examined. Particular attention is paid to the issue of health inequality. In part four, general questions are raised about the use and abuse of social science, including questions about how it can be most effectively disseminated to make maximum impact.
The book is aimed at a general readership and requires no special methodological expertise. It will appeal particularly to undergraduates and graduate students taking courses in social policy, public policy applied sociology and a range of applied social sciences such as criminology, health studies, education and social work.
List of Figures and Tables Acknowledgements Abbreviations Preface Social Science and The Policy-Making Process 1. The Policy Process and the Place in it of Social Research Martin Bulmer 2. The Many Meanings of Research Utilization Carol H. Weiss 3. The Social Policy Process Keith Banting Types of Research Utilization 4. Types of Research Utilization: An Overview Martin Bulmer 5. Continuous Social Surveys: Monitoring Social Change and Analysing Interrelationships Martin Bulmer 6. Public Opinion Polls Martin Bulmer 7. Tools for Policy-Making: Indicators and Impact Assessment Michael Carley 8. Evaluation Research and Social Experimentation Martin Bulmer 9. The Value of Qualitative Methods Martin Bulmer Problems of Analysis and Inference 10. The Role of Theory in Applied Social Science Research Martin Bulmer 11. The Ecological Fallacy: Its Implication for Social Policy Analysis Martin Bulmer 12. Explanation and Social Policy: ‘The’ Problem of Social Inequalities in Health Stuart S. Blume Policy Implementation 13. The Use and Abuse of Social Science Martin Bulmer Bibliography Index