Cover: Alternative Orientations to Social Science Utilization.

Alternative Orientations to Social Science Utilization.

Published 1970

by Kathleen Archibald

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Although the social science literature tends to assume either an academic or a clinical role for the applied social scientist, another approach--here called the strategic role--is common among economists and military analysts. The clinical or "change agent" approach seeks to solve problems by freeing the decisionmaker from personal hangups. The strategic approach--broadly, systems analysis--works at the intersect of the practical problem and the client's capabilities, analyzes problems in detail, explicates alternatives, and may make specific recommendations. The approaches are illustrated by quotations from interviews with 13 contributors to the war/peace discourse and by examples of the clinical vs. strategic approach to problems ranging from SAC basing to unwanted pregnancy. No single orientation can handle all the complexities of the real world.

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