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5.6 The history of medicine: a Scottish perspective

This unit looks at how historians seek to understand past diseases and epidemics. These had social, political and medical implications as they inevitably damaged the economic resources of a community. An example based in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary is used to illustrate how changes in medical delivery affected the local population.

In addition there is a description of the work of the eminent Scot William Cullen, professor of medicine at Edinburgh University (1752), who described the
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5.5 Science in the Scottish Enlightenment

This unit is concerned with science in Scotland, one of the most dynamic centres of Enlightenment thinking. Writers speak of the mid-eighteenth century as Scotland's ‘Golden Age’. In order to get a flavour of this age, it is necessary to take a very broad view of what we mean by ‘science’. Staying within the boundaries recognised by modern science faculties misses most of what is distinctive about eighteenth-century Scotland. The interconnections and cross-fertilisation between discip
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5.3 Heritage case studies: Scotland

These case studies introduce various typologies of heritage and the methods used to study them. They help draw attention to the fact that the heritage traditions in England, Scotland and Wales are not the same and are enshrined in slightly different legislation. Every study of heritage requires an understanding of the legal context and the traditions and history governing the object of heritage.

The first case study, by Mary-Catherine Garden, involves public memories of two significant
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5.2 The origins of the wars of the three kingdoms

From Catholic rebellion to Civil War, what happened during the latter years of the reign of Charles I that caused people to take up arms against their fellow citizens? This unit looks at the background of the wars between England, Scotland and Ireland and how the King's actions led to the rift between royalists and parliamentarians.

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


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1.1 What is identity?

This unit is about questions of identity. Identity itself seems to be about a question, ‘who am I?’ We are going to focus on three key questions in this section:

  • How are identities formed?

  • How much control do we have in shaping our own identities?

  • Are there particular uncertainties about identity in the contemporary UK?

First, we need to think a bit more about what we mean by identity.

If id
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3.4 Council estates: a symbol of failure?

From the earlier extract it is clear that Lynsey Hanley sees estates as a symbol of failure for everyone but particularly for those who live in them. Estate life forms a ‘wall in the head’ (Hanley, 2007, pp. 148–9), a particular state of mind producing a distinctive set of aspirations. These social psychological claims strongly parallel ideas that council estates generate their own subcultures that signal such places as different from others. This is also replicated by some journalists:
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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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3.1 The idea of problematic places

Katrina offers us a rich case study through which we have begun to explore some of the concerns surroundng problem places or populations. In reflecting on the controversies that emerged in the aftermath of Katrina, we can see that for some commentators it was a ‘problem place’ long before the hurricane struck in 2005. The idea that different places can be seen as problematic is a recurring theme that emerges in the context of ongoing debates around poverty and inequality, and the relation
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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.

Figures

Figure 2 Co
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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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Module team

Prepared for the course team by Peter Hamilton and Kath Woodward


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The 1990s wedding photograph

Figure 3
Figure 3: Wedding group in 1997.

Now let us look at the 1990s image. This too depicts a wedding. What makes it different from that of
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3.6 Summary

  • The common-sense narratives of the crime problem in the UK can be broken down into a series of distinct claims that make assessing them easier.

  • Those claims can be tested against quantitative and qualitative evidence. Both types of evidence suggest that the narrative of change from a secure to an insecure society is at best partial, overestimating the tranquillity of the past, and the uncertainty and riskiness of the present.


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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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3.1 Claims about crime

Definitions beg questions. So do social narratives and stories. Again, we need, as social scientists, to begin with an analytical task. What are the key claims that are being made in the common-sense story of the problem of crime? What are the core arguments that hold the whole thing together? There are a number of these, but two seem to be particularly important.

Claim 1: UK society in the immediate
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Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • give a definition of crime (in terms of society);

  • state the steps and factors that lead from a crime to conviction;

  • illustrate how society views crime ‘with fear and fascination’;

  • give examples of the relationship between crime rates and the evidence to support these claims.


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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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Introduction

The media play a huge part in sport; we find out what's happening, how our team is doing and it creates great sporting moments and sports celebrities and stars. This unit looks at the role played by the media in sport and how this has changed with the development of internet and satellite TV. Who calls the shots – athletes, teams or the media moguls? How do social scientists explain this relationship between sport and the media?

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extr
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7.4 Conclusion

Despite their very considerable differences, and the very different kinds of evidence they draw upon, it is clear from these brief exchanges between theoretical frameworks that ‘the personal’ and social policies meet and remake one another in multiple and complex ways. Making welfare directly conditional upon work represents an unusually focused response to particular perceptions of personal lives, and the material circumstances and social conducts associated with them. And as policies be
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