3.2 Marriage

Like other areas of personal life and sexuality in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (see Section 1.4), marriage was emerging as a more explicit area of social policy and state regulation, and parenthood and sexuality were being re-examined and reshaped within marriage. In Section 3 we explore changes in the leg
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

2 Explaining fertility decline from a feminist perspective

Feminist theory underpins one of the most influential historiographies of fertility decline and it allows us to foreground gender as a dominant feature in questions of heterosexuality and parenthood. This is not to suggest that divisions of class, ‘race’, (dis)ability and generation are unimportant in this historical phenomenon, and any full understanding of fertility decline would be incomplete without including them. But in this unit the main focus will be on gender and these other soci
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

Acknowledgements

The material below is contained in chapter 3 of Economics and Economic Change Microeconomics (2006) (eds) Graham Dawson, Maureen Mackintosh and Paul Anand, which is published by Pearson Education Limited in association with The Open University. Copyright © The Open University.

The material acknowledged below is Proprietary, used under licence and not subject to Creative Commons Licence (see terms and condit
Author(s): The Open University

1.6.6 Professional bodies and societies

Consider joining a learned society or professional organisation. They can be very useful for conference bulletins as well as in-house publications, often included in the subscription. Don't forget to ask about student rates. Try looking for the websites of learned societies associated with your subject area (e.g. The Royal Society, the Institute of Electrical
Author(s): The Open University

1.1.4 Evaluating information

How well does the following statement describe your approach to evaluating the information that you use?

When I come across a new piece of information (e.g. a website, newspaper article) I consider the quality of the information, and based on that I decide whether or not to use it.

  • 5 – This is an excellent match; this is exactly what I do


    Author(s): The Open University

    License information
    Related content

    Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

Introduction

This unit is concerned with the very things that we, as ordinary people, talk about as a consequence of listening to radio, watching television or reading newspapers and magazines: the programmes and articles that constitute media output. We examine the everyday evidence of celebrity activity – what academic media analysts call ‘texts’. Texts are socially constructed assemblages of items such as spoken or written words, or pictures.

This unit is subject to Author(s): The Open University

6.4 Does one community seceding grant a similar right to others?

Consider the position of community C. If B secedes, it takes C with it into the new state. But does C then have the same right to secede from B? Consider the case of Quebec. In the most recent independence referendum, Quebecois separatists came very close to achieving the bare majority they need to achieve their goal. But if they have the right to secede from Canada, would other groups who do not see themselves as a part of a francophone entity likewise have the right to a further independenc
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

5.3 ‘A positive valorisation is assigned to one's own nation, granting it specific claims ove

Just how a nation is prioritised over other communities will have an important impact on how the terms of this second element are played out. A nation that sees itself in pluralistic or liberal terms for example – which may celebrate cultural diversity as part of its very sense of a collective identity – is, on the face of it, less likely to make particular demands or to institute extensive controls on the behaviour of its members. On the other hand, a nation that is imagined in terms of
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

3 Self-determination: individual and collective

The idea of a right to ‘collective self-determination’ is a difficult one – how can a group, as opposed to an individual, have a ‘right’? To argue that a nation has a right to self-determination is, some might argue, to overlook what rights are, and who can claim them.

'Self-determination’ has a positive ring about it – how could anyone oppose it? The idea of self-determination has strong resonances in political theory, dating back as far as Hobbes, at least in Engl
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

References

The Belfast Agreement (1998) London, The Stationery Office.
Burgess, M. and Gagnon, A.G. (1993) Comparative Federalism and Federation, London, Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Colley, L. (1992) Britons: Forging the Nation 1707–1837, London, Vintage.
Cooke, P., Christiansen, T. and Schienstock, G. (1997) ‘Regional econ
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • consider what is law and what are the sources of law in Scotland

  • understand the legal history of Scotland

  • explain how Acts of the Scottish Parliament originate

  • understand the role of Scottish Parliament in making law

  • understand the difference between primary and delegated legislation

  • read and discuss Acts of the Scottish Parliament

  • understand
    Author(s): The Open University

    License information
    Related content

    Copyright © 2013 The Open University

5.2 Conflict and consensus

The diverse forms of conflict that have marked long periods of European history hardly require further emphasis here. The first half of the twentieth century, in particular, was clearly dominated by what many have described as a European civil war. Since 1945, in marked contrast, the western part of the continent has been increasingly dominated by a growing number of freely associated countries in the name of a newly constituted ‘Europe’. It has been remarkably successful in developing me
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

8 Conclusion

In this unit we have examined a number of explanations for why labour market disadvantage, such as low pay, unemployment, and so on, falls disproportionately on certain groups within the labour market. We have shown that these explanations basically fall into two broad schools of thought, the orthodox or neoclassical approach and institutional models of labour market segmentation. The former attempts to explain the distribution of disadvantage in terms of human capital theory and utility maxi
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

6.2.2 The role of market forces

The second distinguishing feature of the segmented labour market theory concerns the role of market forces in affecting labour outcomes. Although the impact of market forces is not denied, their role is seen to be in the product market rather than the labour market. The part played by labour market influences, particularly excess demand but also trade unions, is seen as subsidiary to such features of the product market as demand variability, employer power and production technology. Similarly
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

6.1 Introduction

In recent years different explanations of how labour markets operate have been proposed by a number of economists dissatisfied with neoclassical theory in general and its explanation for labour market disadvantage in particular. Some of these alternatives simply extend neoclassical models to include the effects of various institutional factors. Others, however, have sought to develop a new theoretical approach. All reject a predominantly competitive analysis and emphasise instead the fragment
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

3.2 Ethnicity and disadvantage

Detailed information on other disadvantaged groups in the UK is more limited. Recent studies of the labour market disadvantage faced by Britain's ethnic minorities indicate not only that they fare badly relative to white employees, but also that their relative position deteriorated throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. According to the General Household Survey, non-white employees in the UK earned 7.3 per cent less, on average, than white employees over the period 1973–9: this deteri
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • understand the main features of the core neoclassical microeconomic theory;

  • give examples of key ideas, theories and debates in microeconomic theory;

  • illustrate a variety of applied economic theories and models to analyse economic problems and events.


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

References

Anderson, D. (1991) The Unmentionable Face of Poverty in the Nineties: Domestic Incompetence, Improvidence and Male Irresponsibility in Low Income Families, London, Social Affairs Unit.
Barash, P. (1981) Sociobiology: The Whisperings Within, London, Fontana.
Berger, P. and Luckmann, T. (1967) The Social Construction of Reality, London, Allen Lane.

Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

7.3 Summary

The idea of discourse alerts us to a number of issues about the social construction of social problems. It suggests that we need to look beyond competing theories or perspectives to look at how knowledge is organised around central themes that allow the different theories to compete. Discourses define what the problem is, and it is because theories share the definition of the problem that they can compete and argue. Perspectives that start somewhere else – or do not share the definition of
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

7.1 Ideologies and discourses

Some social scientists, following the French writer Michel Foucault (1972, 1976, 1979), have argued that the view of ideology developed in Section 6 is too narrow because of the link that it creates between sets of ideas and the interests of specific social groups – for example, in identifying a capitalist ideology as if ideas go around with number plates on their back which allow us to see whose ideas they are. They suggest that we need a more complex view of how social knowledges are orga
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share