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2.3 The representation of ‘celebrity’

We have already seen the way in which texts gain meaning from other texts by the operation of contrast, but multiple texts are useful to the textual analyst in another way. Looking at a large number of texts dealing with the same subject – celebrity – enables us to detect common themes and narratives (stories), to the extent that with enough repetition we become able to talk about the representation of that subject. Working through a large number of texts about celebrities, we beco
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able:

  • describe New Labour's approach to Welfare Reconstruction.


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Introduction

This unit will introduce the notion of social citizenship in relation to rights and obligations within society, with particular reference to women and disabled people. The material is primarily an audio file, originally 23 minutes in length and recorded in 1998.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Social policy: Welfare power and diversity (D218) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to e
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Acknowledgements

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

This extract is taken from D218: Social policy: welfare, power and diversity, produced by the BBC on behalf of the Open University.
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Acknowledgements

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

This extract is taken from D315: Crime, order and social control, produced by the BBC on behalf of the Open University.


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7.1 History

So far, I have provided a brief historical background for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, one that accounts for their distinctive identities and for the origins of their differing role within the UK. I have also defined devolution as an asymmetric decentralisation process which responds to the claims advanced by the nations constituting the UK state. What, then, do we mean by Britain? Is it a nation? If so, when did the British nation begin to exist? The historian Linda Colley
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6.4 Summary of Section 6

  • The Labour government introduced a Greater London Authority (Referendum) Bill in 1997. The referendum took place in 1998. A Mayor and Assembly for London were first elected in 2000.

  • At present the eight English regions have a tripartite structure with responsibilities and powers divided in each region between the Government Office for the region (GO), the Regional Development Agency (RDA) and the Regional Chamber (most of which have now ren
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6.3 What is the main requirement for regional government? Is it a shared identity?

If we compare the UK with other Western democracies such as Spain, Italy or Germany – all endowed with decentralised structures allowing various degrees of political autonomy for their regions – we discover that strong regional identity, as in Catalonia, the Veneto and Bavaria, is always a very important feature. However, some newly created regions such as La Rioja and Madrid in Spain also exercise devolved powers. What unites them is a common interest; the belief that regional government
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6.2 English regions

At present, regional government in England is divided between local government and central government agencies. Eight English regions have a tripartite structure with responsibilities and powers divided in each region between the Government Office for the region (GO), the Regional Development Agency (RDA) and the Regional Chamber (most of which have now renamed themselves Regional Assemblies).

The Labour government established Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) in April 1999. The role
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6.1 London

London's population and economic size are those of a region. As such it contains various peripheries within itself. Further to this, there are some issues, mainly economic planning and transport, which are closely connected with the rest of south-east England. The Labour government introduced a Greater London Authority (Referendum) Bill in October 1997 and organised a referendum on 7 May 1998 in which 72 per cent voted (on a low turn-out of 33.5 per cent) in favour of establishing a Mayor and
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5.6 Summary of Section 5

  • In 1997, the newly elected Labour government set in motion the asymmetric decentralisation of the UK by granting differing degrees of political autonomy to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • In 1997 referendums on devolution where held in Scotland and Wales. Their affirmative outcome in favour of devolution cannot of itself deliver constitutional entrenchment, but might reinforce its moral and political legitimacy.

  • <
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3.1 What makes a nation, a state or a nation-state?

Why do England, Scotland and Wales take part in the Six Nations rugby championship alongside Italy, Ireland and France? Are they all ‘nations’? What do we mean by calling them ‘nations’? The nation has become one of the most contested concepts of our times. Scholars, politicians and political activists present different definitions of the nation, usually focusing on a variety of cultural, political, psychological, territorial, ethnic and sociological principles. The lack of an agreeme
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2.5 Summary of Section 1

  • England, Scotland and Wales are nations.

  • Wales was conquered by the English in 1282 and its parliamentary union with England took place in 1536.

  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain was formed by the Act of Union of 1707, although the term Great Britain had been in use since 1603, when James VI of Scotland became James I of England (including Wales). Later unions created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
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2.4 Northern Ireland

Ireland was long considered a de facto province of England, a colonial possession dominated politically and militarily by its more powerful neighbour to the east. The English divided Ireland into counties for administrative purposes, introduced English law and established a Parliament in England and Ireland in 1297, within which only the Anglo-Irish were represented. By the fourteenth century Irish discrimination by the English had prompted widespread protests, which had resulted in a revival
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2.3 Wales

In 1282, Edward I conquered Wales and the Statute of Rhuddlan (or Statute of Wales, 1284) established English rule. Rather than involve the assimilation of the Welsh by the English the conquest saw ‘a colonial system … established in those parts of Llywelyn's Principality which were by 1284 in the hands of the king’ (Davies, 1991, p. 166). In 1400, Owain Glyndwr led the most outstanding and successful rising in Wales against the new order and the tyranny of the English border barons, wh
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2.2 Scotland

Having enjoyed political independence until 1707, the survival of many of Scotland's institutions – notably its systems of law, religion and education – after Union with England contributed to the preservation of its singular identity. The different way in which Scotland was incorporated into the UK, through a monarchical take-over rather than by conquest (as was the case in Wales and Ireland), may account for the lesser impact the development of the UK exerted on Scottish distinctiveness
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2.1 England

England played a dominant role in the medieval history of Britain, and the history of the UK is undoubtedly the history of the political and cultural domination of the English nation over those of Scotland, Wales and Ireland. In the making of the UK, each component nation played a different role: the English and Scottish kingdoms, the incorporation of Wales into the English Crown, and the subjugation of Ireland. The making of the UK was complex and fraught with violent confrontations, particu
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit, you should be able to:

  • understand the process of political devolution in the UK;

  • relate this process to both historical developments and to the wider context of contemporary events in Europe;

  • practise the skill of reading, summarising and evaluating academic arguments;

  • engage more actively as a citizen in relevant political debates (especially if you are a citizen of Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland!).


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6 Conclusion

The major thematic contrasts of European development in terms of unity and diversity, and conflict and consensus, thus persist at the beginning of the twenty-first century, although aspects of unity and consensus had tended to prevail following the relaunching of the European project after 1945. Although this represented something of a break with tradition for modern Europe, it was by no means clear that this represented a full-scale transformation or pointed to the emergence of a Europe that
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3.1 Gender-based disadvantage

The post-war period has seen a significant increase in the participation of women in the labour market, with women now making up around 45 per cent of the UK workforce. Although women still undertake the major share of family responsibilities and domestic activities, an increasing number of women are entering the labour market. This increase is evident in many countries and has been associated with an improvement in the relative earnings of women. This trend towards greater equality is eviden
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