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5 Further resources

For an overview of demographic change, Michael Anderson's chapter in the Cambridge Social History of Britain (1983) provides a nuanced overview of what historical demography can offer. John Gillis' A World of Their Own Making (1996) is a fascinating account of the changes in family rituals and meanings in Western societies since the medieval period. Lesley Hall's Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain since 1880 (2000) provides a good introduction to histories of sexual
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3.4 Sexuality

Just as ‘normal’ parenthood was seen as outside the realm of social policy (although framed and supported by it), sexual practices within marriage were widely seen as an essentially private matter. Foucault (1984) argued that while sexualities were very actively shaped by the Victorians through a range of discourses, particularly those of professional, medical and scientific interests, within marriage it was increasingly an area of silence. Up to the eighteenth century matrimonial relatio
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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
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3.1 Demographic changes

From the selective feminist historiography of fertility decline covered in the previous section, we can see how a historical approach that focuses on gender can illuminate the relationships between sexuality, personal lives and social policy. A feminist theoretical perspective concerned with agency and power in gender relations has been particularly helpful in exploring the changes in sexual practices that resulted in fertility decline. It has also drawn attention to the connections between p
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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
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1.6 Using a historical approach

By adopting a historical approach we gain some distance from the present and everyday, viewing more clearly our taken-for-granted assumptions. Today's formations of parenthood and sexualities did not suddenly appear fully formed, but are the results of centuries of change. By looking at a particular historical phenomenon, fertility decline in Britain, we can explore some of the tensions and contradictions between deeply embedded and newer ideas and practices emerging at that time. These strug
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1.5 The personal

The close relationship between parenthood and sexuality illustrates the importance of the personal in social policy in a number of ways. First, it shows that the growing interest in procreation, sexuality and parenthood by policy makers was never a one-way process whereby policy was simply imposed on people. Rather, individuals who set new terms for their experience of parenthood through changes in procreative sexuality were also helping to shape the policy formations within which they found
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1.4 Sexuality, parenthood and social policy

Just as procreative sexuality within marriage has rarely been the focus of historical research, as a social phenomenon it has also been viewed as inherently unproblematic in terms of social policy. Unlike today, there was very little explicit legislation or public policy that directly addressed the ‘private’ sphere of marriage and family during the fertility decline. However, there were a number of broad social policy formations that made assumptions and reinforced dominant messages about
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1.3 Sexuality and parenthood

In this unit sexuality is used to refer to heterosexual reproductive sex, relationships and relations, and the meanings and discursive constructions which are associated with these. Sexual practices resulting in conception and the experience of parenthood are among the few remaining areas that are considered a ‘natural’ part of human existence. Just as sexuality has been seen as a ‘natural’, elemental drive in human identity, parenthood has also been closely associated with the ‘nat
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1.2 Defining parenthood

As a starting point, we need to distinguish parenthood from parenting. Parenthood is more about the role, social status and meanings associated with being a parent, of bringing children into the world and having children to look after. Parenting, on the other hand, is associated with the activities of looking after children and raising them to adulthood. Parenting can be undertaken by a range of people: a man, a woman, a relative or an unrelated carer. It implies a sustained
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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
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References

The Economist (2000) 'Supplement: The new economy: untangling e-conomics', 23 September.
The Economist (2001) 21 July, p. 86.
Fisher, F. and Rubinfeld, D. (2000) 'United States v. Microsoft: an economic analysis', Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper No. 30, UC Berkeley School of Law, Calif., at http://papers.ssrn.com (accessed September 2001).
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4.2.2 Figure 9b: A selection of 35 mm digital cameras

Figure 9b
Copyright © IPC Media Ltd ©
Copyright © IPC Media Ltd
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3.3 Long-run costs and economies of scale

What makes it possible to offer more output for sale at a lower price? That was one of the questions with which Section 3.2 opened. Part of the answer is that the firm's cost curves, which reflect the technology it is using, may display falling average cost as output increases over a range of output levels. The other part
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2.1 Industry and markets: what do we mean?

Case study: Digital outsells film

Sales of digital cameras have overtaken traditional 35 mm cameras for the first time. According to monthly figures collated by national electric and photo retailer Dixons, digital camera sales out
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1 Technological change, demand and costs

The new economy

Over the past 40 years global computing power has increased a billionfold. Number-crunching tasks that once took a week can now be done in seconds. Today a Ford Taurus car contains more computing power than the multimillion-dollar mainframe computers used in the Apollo space programme. Cheaper processing allows computers to be used for more and more purposes. In 1985, it cost Ford
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References

Abernathy, W.J., Clark, K. and Kantrow, A. (1983) Industrial Renaissance: Producing a Competitive Future for America, Basic Books, New York.
Berndt, E.R. and Rappaport, N. (2000) ‘Price and quality of desktop and mobile personal computers: a quarter century of history’, paper presented at the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Summer Institute 2000 session on ‘Price, Output and Productivity Measure
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4.4 Prices and industrial change

Many of the new entrants entered by introducing a new variation of the product. In fact, the early period in both industries was characterised by much technological change in the form of product innovation. Once a product standard emerged, product and process innovations around that standard led to a drastic fall in the product price in both industries. We will now look at some of the indicators of this turbulence in technology and prices.

How can we look at price changes over time in i
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1 Technological advancement

Everything that can be invented has been invented.

(The Commissioner of the United States Office of Patents, 1899, recommending that his office be abolished, quoted in The Economist, 2000, p. 5)

There is nothing now to be foreseen which can prevent the United States from enjoying an era of business prosperity which is entirely
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1.1.2 Key resources

When you need to find information in society, how confident are you that you know the best places to search (e.g. search engines, subject gateways, online databases, etc.) to find the information you need?

  • 5 – Very confident

  • 4 – Confident

  • 3 – Fairly confident

  • 2 – Not very confident

  • 1 – Not confident at all

How familiar are you with journal articles
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