Delves into history to find out if sociological knowledge can be applied successfully to policy making. Explains that society is based on the use of multiple knowledge structures and belief systems. Cites examples of centres which were set up in the USA to improve understanding and knowledge in a specific area, which could then contribute towards policy making and, ultimately, improved practice. Discusses the application of knowledge at various points in history, indicating that ruling elites are not motivated by knowledge (intellect) but by sentiment, and that this is still the case today. Refers to various literary works on sociological practice. Advocates that modern social research should be driven by policy issues and that sociologists should seize the opportunity, presented by decentralization, to become policy makers in their own communities.
Shahidullah, S.M. (1998), "Useful sociology: can sociological knowledge be valuable in policy‐making?", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 86-112. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443339810788335
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