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Introduction

This course helps you to explore the extent to which death and dying in western societies are medical events and what aspects of death and dying might be neglected as a consequence. The course covers the way that such things as medicine provide the context of the experiences associated with the end of life.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course : Author(s): The Open University

An introduction to social work in Wales
Respecting the individuality of each person is a central value of social work but, as the term suggests, social work is not only about individual perspectives: it also takes place in a social context. Society, demography, geography, national legislation, national policy, and language all play an important part, both in the lives of service users and carers and in the practice of social work practitioners. This free course, An introduction to social work in Wales, will introduce you to the import
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1.8.2 Summary

  • A variety of factors will decide the future of Europe, including the success or otherwise of EMU, the results of expansion, and the evolving global situation.


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1.3.1 Europe and the EU

Is there a Europe beyond the EU? This is a question that becomes more and more difficult to answer. It is quite common for example to hear of such or such a country wishing to ‘join Europe’, when what is meant is that they wish to apply to join the EU.

The criteria for joining the EU were laid down in the summit of Copenhagen, 21 and 22 June 1993. Candidates must have reached an institutional stability that guarantees democracy, legality, human rights, and the respect and protection
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Introduction

The problem of who, or what, are ‘Europeans’ is at the centre of many of the most acute political and social issues confronting contemporary Europe. Can a genuine European identity be constructed within Europe, and if so on what basis? This question is of even greater importance as the European Union expands and becomes ever more multicultural in character. This unit examines the ways in which European identities are – or are not – being forged across Europe. It assesses the various
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1.12 The politics of representation

We turn now to consider Diana as an icon, as the subject of discourse. It could be said that Diana and the many words written about her form a discursive space (Gilbert et al., 1999; Silverstone, 1998). She is the rather enigmatic centre of many competing representations of royalty, femininity, democracy, the family, morality, celebrity, fashion, private versus public life which jostle with each other. Such a discursive space is a place of argument. To use another metaphor, it i
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1.6 Discursive practices

Some of the thinking behind the claim that discourse is social action has now been unpacked. But what explains the order and pattern in this social action? One source of regularity is the discursive practices which people collectively draw on to organize their conduct. Take a look back again at Extract 1. Even this short piece of discourse reveals many complex layers of these practices. It reveals that there is such a thing as an interaction order to use a concept developed by
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1.2.1 The EU economy

Just to put things into perspective and remind ourselves of some basic background features of the EU, it is useful to provide an outline picture of the size of the EU compared to the USA and Japan. While a lot is made of the rise of China and India as potential competitors to these and other economies, as yet they remain rapidly expanding economic giants whose main impact will probably arise in the next decade. Comparative data on these two economies, and on the EU-12, the USA and Japan, is g
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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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