Key Concept: Policy

Addressed in class on 3/29, I covered a very brief overview of policy as it relates to the new social problems.  Policy is a fascinating multi-faceted playing field where numerous stakeholders and interests come into play.  Policy makers range from local municipal organizations to federal government agencies and congressional/executive leaders.  In class I listed a number of policy stakeholders that includes but is not limited to: interest groups, lobbyists, private firms, advocacy groups, non-profit organizations and NGOs.

While the government instantiation of policy is meant to equate justice to all of these voices, we also discussed in class how this is not always the case.  From readings in my Social Stratification and Inequality Textbook (Harold Kerbo) we looked at the number of key policy makers that are associated with major corporations and industries throughout presidential administrations, congressional committees, and even supreme court justices.  We also discussed the power big money has to influence policy making where major funding can effectively align itself with major academic institutions to create policy research groups, with biased results.

Stemming from the topic of policy creation, we also talked about policy fulfillment and execution.  Not all policies are held to the same scrutiny and there is often policy-breaking or simple lack of enforcement.  We discussed the “fire alarm” versus “police patrol” methods of policy enforcement.

Finally I offered some advice in policy research in the larger picture of our research projects.  I hope that I offered a good look at the multidimensional aspect of policy and if anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me!


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