Excerpt from the introduction:

The development of social policies, in American and in many other societies usually proceeds in fragmented fashion in relation to different substantive issues such as economic security, housing, education, physical and mental health, social deviance, child and family welfare, aging, intergroup relations, etc. The fragmentary-nature of processes of social policy formulation reflects their political nature and their roots in conflicts of real or perceived interests among diverse social groups. Were existing processes of policy development to result in social orders in which all members of a society could lead meaningful and satisfying lives, there would be little reason to explore alternative approaches. Since, however, conditions of life of large segments of many societies continue to be unsatisfactory in many respects and in varying degrees, it seas imperative to search for more constructive and effective approaches to the analysis and development of social policies, and to explore potential contributions of social theory to the design of such alternative approaches. The present paper is one contribution to this search.