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SOC 320 Week 2 Discussion 2

Examine and evaluate the problem identification and agenda setting stages of the policy process in this week’s required reading assignment. Discuss the process whereby a problem ultimately ends up on an agenda to be discussed.

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Every policy begins with identifying that a problem exists; however not all problems can be solved, making problem identification important. According to our text, “Problem identification, however, remains a perceptual exercise, and not an exercise based on objective fact. Reasonable people can disagree about whether an issue is a problem, because reasonable people can and do have differing social realities and sets of beliefs.” (Theodoulou & Kofinis, 2012) Problem identification occurs in several different stages. In the first stage, policy actors will identify a problem. These problems can be determined through an event or crisis that has taken place that has brought attention to said topic. The next stage in the process would be informing the public and releasing information that will bring attention to the problem. After that, the personal beliefs and principles of policy actors’ will force them to pay attention to the matters they believe are

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