American Social Policy

Discussion 1


What is the difference between an ideology, a theory, and a paradigm? Choose at least one of the ideologies, theories, or paradigms that resonated with you and discuss how it is relevant to the study of social welfare policy. 200 words



Reply 1 Giovanna


A person’s ideology is what influences their way of thinking. An ideology is a set of opinions or beliefs of a group or an individual. Often, ideology refers to a set of political beliefs or a set of ideas that characterize a particular culture. Capitalism, communism, socialism, and Marxism are ideologies. (Cranston, 2020) A theory is a carefully thought-out explanation for observations of the natural world that are constructed using a scientific method and brings together many facts and hypotheses. Social work theory is a general explanation supported by evidence provided by the scientific method. (Stewart, 2011) Lastly, paradigms are patterns or models built on both ideologies and theories. The three most common paradigms are positivism, constructivism or interpretivism, and pragmatism. (Daigneault, P-M, 2014)

Even though I do not like to talk about politics, I would say that I’m a liberal So, my ideology is liberalism. As a liberal, I believe that we can change and create new policies that would benefit as a whole society. I believe that national prosperity requires government management of the macroeconomy in order to keep unemployment low, inflation in check, and growth high. I also value institutions that defend against economic inequality. The theory I believe in is the theory of international relations. International relations are constructed from an idea such as all states in the U.S. always act in accordance with their National interests, or the interests of that state. State interests often include self-preservation, military security, economic prosperity, and influence over other states. Sometimes, two or more states have the same national interest. For example, two states might both want to foster peace and economic trade. And states with diametrically opposing national interests might try to resolve their differences through negotiation or even war. I think that we need a new paradigm on racial justice. A new paradigm must be ingrained in the values of today’s racial justice movement: “repair and redress; material equity; and freedom and liberation. Moreover, it must center the role of race in our economic policy debates and in our broader politics.” (Wong & Strickland, 2021)

Reply 2 Amberlin


Ideologies, theories, and paradigms are often used interchangeably within the context of social welfare policy (Segal, 2015). While these conceptual foundations play a role in constructing social policies and legislation, they do have some differences. According to our textbook, “ideologies are ideas or bodies of thought that offer guidance, theories are systems of ideas that explain a phenomenon, and paradigms are patterns or models that provide a conceptual framework” (Segal, 2015). Most individuals have ideas, beliefs, and opinions that guide their thinking process. An example of these ideologies a person possesses would be their political party affiliation. Both liberal and conservative parties have standing principles in which they approach important issues which help their decision-making. While ideology influences thinking, theories explain why certain behaviors or phenomena occur, which I like to compare to philosophy. Examples of philosophical theories explaining human behavior are cultural relativism, utilitarianism, and casual determinism. Theories can provide evidence-based insight on why events are occurring and give a basis for how to reform policy. However, opposing theories can always challenge an existing one and potentially complicate the process. Lastly, paradigms are patterns that encompass both ideologies and theories to view the big picture of an issue or topic. These lines of strategic thinking serve as a framework to draft various policies and programs and guide the legislation process. Opposing views, ideologies, and theories on economic, social, and political life are reflected in conservatism, liberalism, and radicalism. All individuals view the world through their own life experiences, resulting in a different moral compass to navigate these issues, which is why the theoretical framework of empathy is so important. Our textbook defines this perfectly in the conclusion of chapter 3 by stating, “if a person feels strongly that social responsibility is important, that person might be drawn to the paradigms of critical analysis and social empathy because both emphasize social change. If a person is more focused on individual change, then distributive justice or strengths-based paradigms may be a better fit” (Segal, 2015). There is no black-and-white answer regarding the correct way to approach social welfare policies. However, having a continued awareness and understanding of the ideologies, theories, and paradigms that influence decision-making can make for a more informed & competent human services provider.


Discussion 2


Go to the  Library of Congress website . Find a piece of legislation on a topic of interest to you. In your own words, report what you found. Identify a bill by name and number. Who is the sponsor of this bill? When and what was the last action taken on this bill? If this bill has already passed both houses and signed by the President, when did it become law? Is there a public law number? Briefly, tell us, in your own words, what this proposed legislation is about. Provide a direct link to this bill/law. Then, see if you can find this same bill on the website . Is there any additional useful information that you can find on this site? 200 words


Reply 1 ashley


The bill I chose was H.R.6236 – Veterans Disability Benefits Claims Modernization Act of 2008. The sponsor of the bill was representative Steve Chabot. The last ation that was taken on this legastion was on June 11,2008, it was taken and referred to the house committee of veterans affairs. This bill was only introduced, it was read twice by the senate and then sent to veterans affairs. Which means there is no pulbic law number.

This proposed legislation was to ammend title 38. Mrs. Clinton and others were trying to make it easier, more accture and faster for veterans and thier families that they deserve. I had trouble through out reading the peice of legalstion honestly but one I took it piece by piece I had a better understanding. I also used website to make sure my understanding was correct. The govtrack website had more details put into it and not just 2 sentence and then a paper. I also liked that it was easier to move through the website, congress one was hard for me to track everything.


Reply 2 gio


The topic I chose was the Student Debt Relief Act of 2019. The bill’s name and number is H.R. 3887-116th Congress. (2019-2020) the sponsor of this bill is Rep. Clyburn, James E. (D-SC-6). Student loan forgiveness relieves borrowers of their obligation to repay some or all of their federal student loan debt. The borrowers who have taken out loans to pay for their post-secondary education. Forgiveness applies to different types of loans, but those eligible for forgiveness tend to belong to certain public service, education, or military professions. The bill would help forgive up to 50,000 loans, meaning the payments would be forgiven or written off from debt.  Under this bill The last action taken on this law was on 08/12,2019 it was referred to the subcommittee on antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative law. The action was taken by: Committee of Judiciary. This bill was introduced on July 23, 2019, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote. Although this bill was not enacted, its provisions could have become law by being included in another bill. There is no additional information if there is another bill being proposed at this time. I know that they have a similar bill trying to be passed to relieve loan debt for 2021.

Legislative proposition means a bill, resolution, or joint resolution. Legislative proposal or “proposal” means any proposal relating to a bill that may be considered or is presently being considered by the general assembly for enactment. A bill is proposed legislation under consideration by a legislature. Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an act of the legislature, or a statute. Bills are introduced in the legislature and are discussed, debated, and voted on.