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Policy Process and Public Opinion

Discuss 4 Policy Process and Public Opinion

Managing public opinion and understanding the balance between its influence and your advocacy goals is a delicate matter. It is a task fraught with uncertainty because, as a policy advocate, you must navigate through the territory of politicians, bureaucrats, and lobbyists whose primary goals are to appease and please their constituents. 

The policy advocate must have a plan or a policy road map to help navigate through a complicated system of institutions, legislatures, and funding bodies that provide the ecology of policies in local, state, and national settings. Having a solid plan is the first step in preparation for successfully handling the sensitive issues that may arise when public opinion influences the policy process.

For this Discussion, you will identify how public opinion influences the process and political approaches involved in addressing the social problem you selected earlier in the course.

To Prepare:

Review Chapter 4 in the Jansson text. 

Review the article by Rome and Hoechstetter in the Learning Resources this week. 

Search for and select at least one scholarly article that explores the intersection of your selected social problem and the influence of public opinion. 

By Day 3

Post a brief reminder of your social problem and address the following: 

How does public opinion influence political approaches to the problem? Explain.  

What policy advocacy approaches and skills can you use to address the problem with political leaders?  

What are the social justice implications of your approach? 

Be sure to cite the article you selected to inform your Discussion this week, as well as additional sources from the Learning Resources this week. Provide full APA-formatted citations for your references. 

By Day 5

Respond to at least two of your colleagues. Address at least one of the following in your response: 

Explain how public opinion can be influenced or shaped to help address the problems identified by your colleagues. 

Suggest policy advocacy approaches and skills your colleagues can use to address the problems with political leaders. 

Comment on the social justice implications of the approach(s) your colleagues proposed. 


Jansson, B. S. (2018). Becoming an effective policy advocate: From policy practice to social justice (8th ed.). Cengage Learning. 


Chapter 4, “Understanding the Ecology of Policy in Governmental, Electoral, Community, and Agency Settings” (pp. 100–140)

Rome, S., Harris, S., & Hoechstetter, S. (2010). Social work and civic engagement: The political participation of professional social workers. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 37(3), 107–129.


Council on Social Work Education. (2018). Specialized practice curricular guide for macro social work practice.


Review Appendix 5N, “Legislative Proposal Assessment” (pp. 117–119)



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