Okay, I am a very social justice minded person. I'm currently involved in a grassroots organization run by and for poor people.
I'm a second year college student, so I'm in my General Ed classes at this point. I've been considering Social Work because it makes a good deal of sense for someone who wants to make a positive change in the world. BUT, I have some major issues coming to me. There are plenty of Social Work jobs out there, but a good deal of the ones here are going to put me working directly for the state, or at an organization that works with the state and has the same vision (for lack of better words). I feel like I'm going to be working for a broken system and that I won't be able to do what I think is right. (Here's one example out of many. Foster care vs. Family Preservation. Where I live 85% of CPS cases are for neglect. There's no legal differentiation between neglect and neglect due to inadequate resources/poverty. The definition of neglect can apply to basically anyone who is in poverty. Out of home placement can be extremely damaging to all parties involved AND costs vastly more than providing supportive and/or financial services to families charged with neglect. BUT, our system rarely does that. It's focus is on adoption. It would pain me to be responsible for removing a child due to poverty when I know I could help the family keep the child.)
Over the years, I have also considered a degree in Psychology or Sociology. I feel that they have broader applications. (Ex. My professor used to put his Psych degree to work for him by using psych principles to help businesses meet needs of his customers.)
Then, I was talking to a friend the other day who brought up an interesting point. Instead of putting my focus on helping people who are hurting (largely because of flawed policy) why don't I put my passion into fixing the broken system directly through Political Science and Sociology/Psychology? His thought is by working in the political realm, you could use your understanding of both politics and sociology/psychology to advocate for a change in policy. I think this could be a valid point. The group I am involved in is involved in advocacy, but would it be taken more seriously from a person who has not just the social understanding but the political understanding? But then, that leaves me with assuming the worst case scenario, that I don't get the job I'm hoping for with the poli sci degree. What prospects would I then have?
Sorry, if this all sounds like rambling. I'm just trying to float some ideas around and get some opinions. I've got a few more months to decide (until Jan-Feb) before I have to apply to university and the program I choose. The Gen Ed for all the degrees are pretty much the same, so I'm not going to be "behind" by changing my degree goal at this point.