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2.4 Information and communication technologies

The new economy is much more than a shift from manufacturing to services and the increased integration of economies on a global scale. It is also strongly linked to the development of ICT, which has facilitated the development of new processes and products, especially ‘knowledge goods’ which are described below.

The internet has increased the ‘connectivity’ or interconnectedness between economies by making textual communication possible in real time as well as providing a new me
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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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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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2.2 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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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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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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3.2 Poverty as natural/inevitable

There is a construction of poverty that identifies it as a necessary feature of social life: some people will be better endowed, try harder or be more successful than others, and inequality will be an inevitable result (see, for example, Herrnstein and Murray, 1994, who argue that low levels of intelligence are the main determinants of poverty in the USA). Interfering with this natural order of things is dangerous, particularly because it prevents poverty acting as a spur to try harder. This
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2.1 Common sense and social problems

This concern with social construction may seem troubling or even a distraction from the real business of studying social problems. However, it is built on one of the starting points of the social scientific approach, namely that in order to study society we must distance ourselves from what we already know about it. We need to become ‘strangers’ in a world that is familiar. The defining characteristic of a ‘stranger’ is that she or he does not know those things which we take for grant
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4.2.2 ATM layer

The primary functions of the ATM layer are associated with the routing and switching of ATM cells. Because ATM cells are packets, the switches are packet switches and the switching operation can be called forwarding, but by convention, because the ATM layer provides a connection-oriented service, the term ‘forwarding’ is generally not used.

The path cells take and the resources allocated to them depend on their service category. This is determined when a virtual connection is
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3.5 Internet protocol (IP)

At the time of writing (2002), two versions of IP are available: versions 4 and 6. In this section I shall describe version 4, which is abbreviated to IPv4, as it is the more widely available version. Version 6 may eventually replace version 4 because it has some additional features that may prove essential for multiservice networks.

IPv4 is the main TCP/IP protocol in the internetwork layer of the TCP/IP reference model. It supports a connectionless service between hosts in an interne
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2.2 Vertical communication

Figure 6 shows the OSI view of adjacent layers. The interface between two layers in the same system is called a service access point (SAP). One of the features of a service access point is that it has an identifier, or an address, which allows each communication between adjacent layers to be uniquely identified. The processes that communicate across the interface are called entities. These are typically software routines, but may also be hardware components. The notation in Figu
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6.7 Summary

This section has looked at simulations, in which digital models of key aspects of the real world can be manipulated by programs. The examples included models of the world's climate, the early cosmos, stock markets, biological evolution and fantasy worlds and personalities. I've offered the view that simulation has far reaching implications for science, politics and society and will invite you to question that view in the final section.


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5.5.5 Summary

In this section I've briefly considered the very contentious question of what digital representations mean, but this debate must be left to another course. I have also described some of the devices that take digital information back into the analogue world of sight and sound, presenting it in a form that is meaningful to human eyes and ears.


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