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Critically Discuss the Issues of Applying Sociological Knowledge to Public Issues - Essay Example

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Sociology is one of the most human-oriented disciplines focused on the study of human problems and developing solutions. Sociology is a unique way of viewing human behaviors through the prism of their relationships and not through their individual attributes. …
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Critically Discuss the Issues of Applying Sociological Knowledge to Public Issues
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Critically Discuss the Issues of Applying Sociological Knowledge to Public Issues

Download file to see previous pages... s had to be used, to support theoretical sociology with the models and data from social realities (Andersen and Taylor 2007; Bruhn and Rebach 1996; Macionis and Plummer 2008). As a result, sociology continued to evolve along the two distinctive lines – theoretical and practical. The issues of practical sociology application can be traced back to the works of Albion Small (Bruhn and Rebach 1996; Small 1916). As a result, it is possible to assume that the problem of applying sociological knowledge in public issues has always been a matter of real professional concern (Gans 1989). Understanding the social issue and enhancing social life is possible only by solving many of the existing public issues and improving the quality of social interactions (Steele and Price 2007). Therefore, solving public issues without applying to applied sociology is absolutely impossible (Mauss 2005). Many researchers tried to combine sociological scholarship with action, but even now it is difficult to understand how successful they have been in their endeavors (Bruhn and Rebach 1996). Sociological problems, including public issues such as drug abuse, family violence, and political discord, are too complex to be solved at once (Furstenberg 2003). Simultaneously, the development of new sociological perspectives slows down their application for the benefit of societies. Unfortunately, these are minor issues compared to the fact that sociologists generally lack any agreement as to how and to what degree sociological knowledge can be applied in practice. For many years, “practical sociology has been presented as if it were, by its nature, unscientific. Some have also incorrectly treated practical sociology as if it were only an interest of the earliest sociologists, or the students – and an...
The complexity of public issues and social phenomena is claimed to be one of the major barriers to applying sociological knowledge to public issues. The complexity of public issues themselves is also claimed to be a serious problem. However, is complexity a real problem in applying sociological knowledge in public issues? More often than not, the complexity of social phenomena and public issues is not a barrier but, on the contrary, a favor was given to applied sociologists in their analysis of the major social evils. Certainly, the inhibiting nature of the social life complexity and its potential implications for the application of sociological knowledge cannot be easily dismissed. Even Emile Durkheim recognized that complexity could produce inhibiting effects on the sociological subject matter. However, and according to Durkheim, the overall complexity of the social phenomena is hardly a permanent and impenetrable barrier to obtaining a better, practical understanding of public issues. The complexity of various social phenomena may result in an inadequate understanding of certain public issues but cannot prevent practical sociologists from developing potentially effective solutions. Therefore, the complexity of the social phenomena is hardly the biggest barrier to applying sociological knowledge in public issues. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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