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9.2 Lennox Castle Hospital

This unit looks at the history of institutions in the twentieth century, starting with a case study of Lennox Castle Hospital. It tries to make sense of the history of Lennox Castle, and of institutional life in general, through testimony of those who experienced institutions as inmates and as nurses, as well as through Erving Goffman's model of the ‘total institution’. It examines the social bases of segregation, the professionalisation of staff in asylums and institutions, and campaigns
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9.1 Overview

There are over 139,000 social service workers in Scotland, providing care and support to some of the most vulnerable sections of society. The Scottish Social Services Council is responsible for specifying the standards to which social service workers involved in providing or delivering social work, social care services, early education and child care will work.

In this section of the OpenLearn Scotland collection, we look at issues relating to social care by focusing on three particular
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8.5 Who belongs to Glasgow?

There are many different ways of interpreting and representing the character and identity of a place – many different geographical imaginations. Identities of places are a product of social action and of how people construct their own representations of particular places. Thus this unit explores ideas about place and identity using the concept of ‘geographical imagination’.

This is achieved by examining the images that represent a place, to reveal how those images came about and d
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7.1 Overview

Scottish literature is defined as literature written in Scotland or by Scottish writers, but is there such a thing as a literary and cultural identity which is distinctively Scottish?

This section of the OpenLearn Scotland collection is designed to stimulate thinking on the relationship between writing and identity. Learners are introduced to the work of two enormously influential figures in Scottish literature and culture: Sorley MacLean and Jackie Kay, the contemporary Scottish poet a
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2.2.1 Summary

  • Children's developing understanding of gender can be described as a search for certainty.

  • Young children make mistakes about gender illustrating their rigidity and their naive certainty regarding gender.

  • As children's knowledge of gender grows in complexity, basic biological knowledge is added to their social-cultural understanding.

  • Research by Francis illustrating girls' ‘sensible-selfless’ and boys'
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3.3 Bringing it all back home: the ‘problem estate’

It would be mistaken to deduce from the discussion thus far that problem populations and problem places only occur elsewhere. The focus of this section is to consider how such understandings also emerge in the UK. Our case study here is formed around a specific type of place which in recent decades has increasingly come to be perceived as a ‘problem’ – the deprived council estate.

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Acknowledgements

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

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1.4 Structures of power & inequalities

At the same time, such judgements and responses are not just personal matters: they are also embedded in all sorts of wider and interpersonal processes of power and inequality. These processes shape social policies, professional interventions, and representations in the media, as well as underpinning everyday social interactions in family lives and relationships. If we focus on family meanings, we may not always put issues of power, material inequalities, and moral evaluations at the centre o
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.This content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:


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5 Conclusion

Photographs can be used as documentary data in the social sciences. Although they may seem to have a special relation to the events they depict, the social processes of image construction must be considered when we look at photographs as documents. Photographs are depictions of what took place, but are produced through a series of operations that must be understood in terms of their social organisation.

Only by understanding these operations, their social, economic, political and psycho
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Visual Images in Social Sciences

How do social scientists use visual images?

What does a picture or image tell you? This unit is an introduction to analysing and interpreting photographs as social data. Who controls what the image is saying? You will look at how photographs provide visual evidence and how they can illustrate and support our ideas about society.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Introducing the social sciences (DD100) which is no longer taught by The
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4.6 Agency explanations: rational choice theory

The work of the Chicago School, despite the potential pitfalls of participant observation, does demonstrate that if you want to know why people commit crimes it makes sense to ask them. In his memoir of a criminal career in the early twentieth century entitled Jail Journey, Jim Phelan wrote:

The robber is a tradesman who, from economics or other motivation, chooses a trade with greater rewards and dangers th
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3 Personal agency, participation and refusal: gathering evidence

While it is difficult to exaggerate the impact of this construction of ‘welfare dependency’, particularly in the USA, this construction does not go unchallenged. A very wide range of groups of people who are poor or who are subject to discrimination succeed in shaping welfare arrangements by evading, refusing or resisting policies. Historically, there are numerous examples of collective agency in resisting and reshaping welfare policies. In the USA, Fox Piven and Cloward (1977) trace the
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2.1 Background and historical overview

As we saw in Section 1, everyday talk, public discourse and political debates sometimes treat the concepts of ‘welfare’ and ‘work’ as separate spheres of activity, or even binary opposites: welfare or work. This can occur in different ways, for example:

  • an explicit connection
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you will be able to:

  • outline the ways in which the relations between work and welfare are made and remade in different places and at different times;

  • explain how these changing relations contribute to constituting welfare subjects;

  • describe how welfare provision that is connected to work affects the lives of different welfare subjects in different and unequal ways;

  • assess the relative influences and effects of
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6 Further resources

Gilleard and Higgs (2000) more fully develop some of the ideas explored by Giddens (1994) in their useful and comprehensive introduction to post-structural readings of older age. Elder's (1977) life history account offers compelling insights into the intersections of class and gender through a socialist lens, and represents an early and interesting example of the life history and biographical method. Chamberlayne et al. (2000) provide comprehensive and thoughtful insights into biographical me
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4.1 Introduction

The 1970s marked a period in which the cessation of the ‘normal’ period of full-time employment at 60 or 65 years had become the accepted orthodoxy. The personal lives of older people had thus become constituted outside the domain of paid employment and within the arena of public and private welfare. As we illustrated in the preceding section, pensions, organised around fixed ages of retirement based on chronological measurements of age, played a crucial role in this process. Further, as
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3.2 The 1908 Pensions Act and the inter-war years: counting age and discounting older workers

The 1908 Pensions Act represented the first time welfare interventions in older age were based on chronological age. It set the pension age at 70 years. Prior to this, although chronological age was often noted in Poor Law records, it did not constitute the basis of eligibility. Rather, age, and older age specifically, was constructed in terms of particular forms of embodiment, with older people being defined as those whose bodies were ‘past’ work, ‘worn out’ by work or ‘too frail
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to look at how:

  • experiences of being an older person are shaped through a historical and mutually constitutive process involving an interplay between the personal, work and welfare; and the points of continuity and difference this interplay illuminates;

  • personal experiences of being older are constituted not only through age divisions, but also through loci of social difference and inequality organised around class, (dis)
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