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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should understand:

  • changing constructions of ‘refugees’ and ‘asylum seekers’ over the last century;

  • ways in which the study of refugees and asylum seekers raises profound questions about the basis and legitimacy of claims for ‘citizenship’;

  • how the personal lives of refugees and asylum seekers have been shaped by social policy that constructs them as ‘other’;

  • how refugees and asylum seekers
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4.1 4.1 Introduction

Since the ending of the long post-war boom in the early 1970s, the EU has developed in response to intensified competition in global markets, the member states have been progressively ‘pooling’ their sovereignty in economic matters, and globalisation's political consequences have gone furthest in the EU, not least in its regions. There are thus additional, specifically EU, factors in the growth of regionalism. It has been encouraged directly by the EU's regional policies and the regional
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3.2 3.2 Growth of Europe's regions

In the 1960s and 1970s some states, including the UK, contributed to politicising regional economic development by first defining ‘problem regions’ (for example, Central Scotland) and then failing to solve their problems. Here central states were still setting the agenda, but increasingly the lead was taken within the regions themselves, especially in regions with past experience of autonomy or their own nationalist tradition.

Nationalism had a ‘bad press’ from the 1930s and 194
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9.5 Social work and the law in Scotland

In this unit you will be asked to reflect on the meanings of both social work and law. You will find that these concepts are open to a range of possible definitions, and that the functions of social work and law can change depending on the practice context. Their meaning is also affected by the perspective from which they are viewed, for example, the service user's experience of social work and law will not always match the expectations of the professional, or the perceptions of the general p
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8.2 Nationalism, self-determination and secession

What makes a ‘nation’ and what makes peoples strive for nationhood? This unit will provide you with an introduction to studying political ideas by looking at how people who see themselves as nations challenge the existing order to assert their right to a state of their own.

To access this material click on the unit link below. It leads to a separate OpenLearn unit and will open in a new window.

4.5 David Hume

This unit examines David Hume's reasons for being complacent in the face of death, as these are laid out in his suppressed essay of 1755, ‘Of the immortality of the soul’. More generally, they examine some of the shifts in attitude concerning death and religious belief which were taking place in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century, through examination of this and other short essays.

Hume was a pivotal figure in the Scottish Enlightenment and his death in 1776 was widely anti
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Introduction

This unit looks at identity, focusing upon the individual's perception of self in relation to others; the relationships between multi-ethnicity, cultural diversity and identity; and the effects of inequality and social class upon identity. It also looks at inequality and social class as they relate to perceived identity.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Introducing the social sciences (DD100) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you
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3.2 Urban unrest: the case of the French urban periphery

‘France had a rebellion of its underclass’, argued American social scientist Immanuel Wallerstein (2005). He was referring to the ‘unrest’ or ‘riots’ which began on Thursday 28 October 2005 in Clichy-sous-Bois, a large public housing estate, or banlieue, on the outskirts of Paris, and then spread to a number of other areas across urban France. The riots were sparked by the accidental deaths of two young boys fleeing the police. The boys were subsequently referred to by the
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Introduction

Some commentators argue that social justice as an idea and an ideal is interwoven with issues of inequality, poverty and social exclusion. It is a comparatively straightforward task in the era of World Wide Web access (though by no means everywhere or for everyone) to locate sources of information illustrating the extent of poverty and inequality, though much of the latter, particularly in relation to the ownership and distribution of wealth, or undocumented labour or unpaid care, remains con
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Acknowledgements

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

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary and used under licence (not subject to Creative Commons licence). See Terms and Conditions.

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3.1 Studying families

However, if the concept is so tremendously complex, how then can we study family?

Activity 3

Please read the following piece from Jaber Gubrium and James Holstein (1990), where you are introduced to Borg, the extraterrestrial cyborg.
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2.2 Responding to the problems

Consequently, some academics have increasingly voiced concerns about whether it is possible to define family satisfactorily at all – or, indeed, whether it serves any useful purpose even to try. The extract you will look at in the following activity is taken from an Introduction to a four-volume collection of readings on Family: Critical Concepts in Sociology. In this Introduction, the author seeks to find a way of defining family that will work across the four volumes of readings on
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1.3 Exploring values and assumptions

As you progress through this unit, we would like you to consider how values and moral assumptions are deeply embedded in family meanings. A central argument of the book is that ‘family’ is a notion which is suffused with values, desires and fears. This results in ‘family’ being a powerful ideal to which we may all react strongly, with regard to both our own lives and the lives of others. It is therefore very rare for people to discuss families without making judgements. Sometimes such
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the concept of ’ (knowledge and understanding);

  • Engage with and review debates about selected key concepts relevant to the study of families and personal relationships;

  • Identify connections between concepts and the themes they raise for research and for social policy;

  • Understand some of the social processes underlying research around family issue
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1.3 Nick Ut's 1972 Vietnam war photograph

Figure 1 Huynh Cong (Nick) Ut, 1972.
Figure 1: Huynh Cong (Nick) Ut, 1972: ‘Phan Thi Kim Phuc, centre, her burni
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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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4.3 Structural explanations I: biology

There is a long and uneven tradition of claims that the origins of crime and deviance are biological. In the nineteenth century it was claimed, for example, that brain sizes and skull shapes could explain criminal behaviour. This kind of crude biological determinism has long been discredited, but it gave way to a more subtle and notionally scientific model of genetic determinism.

In the early twentieth century advocates of eugenics claimed to have created the science of improving
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3.3 Quantitative and qualitative evidence

The Tables above provide official quantitative evidence: evidence, data or information which is expressed in numerical terms. On the face of it, this clearly shows that recorded crime increased significantly throughout the twentieth century, albeit with some ‘dips’ in recent years. Common sense is confirmed. But there are problems with these data. Remember, we are looking here at crimes recorded by the police. Do you think that all crimes are recorded? There might be different reas
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Introduction

‘Tough on the causes of crime.’ A famous phrase, but what is crime? This unit examines how we as a ‘society’ define crime. You will look at the fear that is generated within communities and what evidence is available to support claims that are made about crime rates.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Introducing the social sciences (DD100) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish t
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1.3 Summary

  • Modern sport and the media are closely linked in a variety of ways.

  • One area of connection is through big events and sports celebrities.

  • The media also provide routine coverage, scores, results, venue and scheduling details and everyday information, often at speed; for example, through the internet, and satellite and mobile phone technologies.

  • This type of coverage is illustrated by the example of English p
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