SOCW6361- Discussion: Policy Process and Public Opinion (WK4) Response to 1 student

Respond to a colleague who has chosen a social problem that is different from the one you selected, addressing the following: (be detailed in response, use subheading, and 1 peer reviewed reference)

  • Offer an explanation of how public opinion can be influenced to address the problem identified by your colleague.
  • Suggest policy advocacy approaches and skills he or she can use to address the problem with political leaders.
  • Comment on the social justice implications of the approach or approaches you suggested.

Response to Judy

a description of the importance of public opinion in addressing the social problem you have selected.

Sex trafficking of minors is a mounting and massive problem in all areas of society. The issue is public opinion views this issue in my community as a nonproblem or a problem that happens anywhere else, USA. Most of the people that have been approached with this issue have stated things such as, “well I am glad we do not live in Memphis.” Child sex trafficking is a small town, medium town, massive city problem. It can happen anywhere, to anyone. It is problematic to convey the understanding of the scope of the problem, to a population that chooses to deny the problem exist. Massive statistics of a societal phenomenon was exploding across the United States, and other countries simply dismissed. The mainstream civilization cannot fathom the possibility of a horrific abduction of an innocent child or teen in an area close to home or in the community that is so known and loved. The community was offering no education on such subjects, leaving our children ignorant of the facts of this issue. One may try to explicate the threats and dangers; however, it seems impossible to make the others understand how very close this horrible issue could be. Until society is willing to recognize the problem, the enormity and depth as it is, it is difficult to take safety measures.

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

Small-town politics in this small community bind small town law enforcement. When Local Politician’s become embroiled or concerned, the potential or likelihood of change will present itself. Local Politicians will only become interested in a horrific incident igniting the community or the upper levels of government force the presentation of the social issue. Schools remain unconcerned until policy forces the change and education of the subject are forced. This subject was broached at a parent meeting. Local law enforcement, as well as school officials, resonated the impression of not a problem in this community. Young people were counseled not to worry in this small community about sex trafficking and to be concerned predominately upon traveling to a city like Memphis. The officials did mention if suspicious activity noticed to notify law officials. The impactor severity is not comprehended in small local communities. Due to local area population unconcerned, there are no approaches. It will not be approached until a traumatic event happens. Young women have disappeared in many small towns around my area. However, sex trafficking is not thought to our law enforcement agencies.

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

The problem of educating the local authorities could be brought by Addressing perhaps further up the line of government. Providing community mapping, using a survey of the understanding or lack thereof, of the rising problem in all areas. Conducting interviews is a comprehensive way of collecting information from all types of audiences (Burns, Paul, & Paz, 2012). The mapping could be one piece of information to illustrate the lack of knowledge and understanding to further the agenda of the need for education for the community.

What are the social justice implications of your approach?

The social implication could be community anger. Many people do not desire to acknowledge the evil and immoral that is present in the world and become annoyed when approached about an uncomfortable issue. The other implication could be educating a community that has slight to no knowledge of a mounting problem and possibly protects a community at the same time. Law enforcement and schools may obtain the tools needed to understand and educate on the scope of the issue. Hopefully, our community would gain social justice and become aware when traveling to other areas of what to look for as well. Even in “Memphis.


Burns, J., Paul, P. D., & Paz, S. R. (2012). Participatory asset mapping: A community research lab toolkit. Retrieved from…

Rome, Sunny Harris and Hoechstetter, Susan (2010) “Social Work and Civic Engagement: The Political Participation of Professional Social Workers,” The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare: Vol. 37: Iss. 3, Article 7.

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