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1.7.1 European citizenship

The EU is an economic, juridical and, to an extent, political reality. But is it a public space in the sense of an arena in which groups and individuals vigorously exchange symbolic messages of different types? It would appear as if, while the public of most EU countries are willing to accept ever closer economic union (including a common currency and even political convergence), when it comes to historical memories, social organisation and cultural ideas (including religion), they are mostly
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1.4.3 Summary

  • The process toward European unification was initiated by top political elites in France, Italy, Germany and the Benelux countries after the Second World War.

  • New collective actors are progressively being engaged in European affairs, among them the Labour movement, regional movements and new social movements such as the environmentalism of groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

  • European elites, although engaged in
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you will:

  • recognise that ‘European identity’ is a socially constructed attribute;

  • appreciate the basis for the unities as well as the divisions amongst Europeans;

  • understand the ways European identities are assessed and measured;

  • appreciate the key role of ‘culture’ in the organisation of a common European identity;

  • see that European identity could be a bottom-up process as well as a top
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

I would like to thank Liz Stokoe and Jackie Abell for giving me access to their transcript of the Panorama interview and along with Peter Bull generously sharing their unpublished work and knowledge of Diana lit
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1.6.4 Summary

  • EU enlargement is going to impose new problems for both monetary and fiscal policy.

  • The process by which the accession countries can enter the Euro-zone will be long and will possibly lack stability.

  • According to the rules of the SGP fiscal retrenchment is called for some governments because of government sector imbalances, though this might be offset by payments to the accession countries and regions from Structural and Co
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1.6.3 Fiscal retrenchment?

If we turn to fiscal issues, at the time of entry to the EU in 2004, six of the ten entry countries had government deficits in excess of the SGP/ Maastricht Treaty 3 per cent of GDP rule: the Czech Republic (−5.9 per cent), Cyprus (−4.6 per cent), Hungary (−4.9 per cent), Malta (−5.9 per cent), Poland (−6.0 per cent) and Slovakia (−4.1 per cent). Thus these countries would be required to cut back on their public expenditures or increase taxes so as to move into a more or less bala
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2.3 The challenge of terminology

Probably the biggest challenge that you will encounter is acquiring a command of the terms and concepts of this field of knowledge – even the words ‘philosophy’ and ‘science’ can seem off-putting. In your reading around this unit you will come into contact with a wide range of ‘-isms’, ‘-sophies’ and ‘-ologies’, some of which you may have encountered in previous studies. Actually, these terms are best seen as shorthand for groups of assumptions and ideas about the way th
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2.1 The challenge of change

We are living in a very complex and rapidly changing world. Social science does not exist in a vacuum: by its very nature, social scientific study directly considers those things in life which are close to our concerns as human beings – how we produce things, communicate with one another, govern ourselves, understand our varied environments, and how to solve the problems we face in the organisation of social relations and processes. The social sciences offer a way of dealing with all of the
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References

Audit Commission (2000) Another Country. Implementing Dispersal Under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, London, Audit Commission for Local Authorities and the National Health Service in England and Wales.
Bloch, A. (2002) Refugees' Opportunities and Barriers in Employment and Training, Department of Work and Pensions Research Report No.179, Norwich, HMSO.
Bl
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6.2 Looking forward

The sovereign authority of states has not been replaced, nor is it likely to be in the foreseeable future, but it is already significantly less clear-cut than it was only some decades ago. Rather than sovereignty being based on a single territorial level, whether that of the state or a scale replica, we are more likely moving toward a situation of segmented, overlapping or shared authority, where regions are one level among several territorial and non-territorial political entities.

A f
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2.1 What do we mean by ‘region’ and ‘regionalism’?

‘Region’ here refers to any piece of continuous territory, bigger than a mere locality or neighbourhood, which is part of the territory of a larger state (or states), and whose political authority or government, if it has any specific to itself, is subordinate to that of the state(s). Conventionally, most such ‘sub-state’ regions, and particularly most regions defined in terms of political authority, have fallen wholly within the borders of a single state. However, in situations where
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10.1 Overview

This unit has presented a variety of units that have been specifically developed to reflect the enormous interest in Scottish culture and society. The collection of units as a whole demonstrates The Open University's commitment to deliver a curriculum that is appropriate for the differing requirements of each of the countries in the United Kingdom.

These units have been collected and developed from across The Open University's catalogue, having been assessed as having particular relevan
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1.2.3 Scottish history

1.1.1 Culture and society in Scotland

Scotland has a rich and distinctive cultural heritage based on many aspects including language, history, music and literature. For a small country whose population has never been much in excess of five million, Scotland can be justifiably proud of its past achievements. However there have been significant changes in Scotland over the last decade, principally arising from devolution in 1999. This section of OpenLearn Scotland introduces learners to a wide range of topics reflecting both Scotla
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References

Balibar, E. (2007) ‘Uprisings in the Banlieues’, Constellations, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 47–71.
Bradshaw, L. and Slonsky, L.B. (2005) ‘The real heroes and sheroes of New Orleans’, Socialist Worker (US, 9 September; also available online at http://www.socialistworker.org  (Accessed 5 Ju
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5 Additional learning resources

Video resource

If you enjoyed the theme of the videos in this unit watch the video below to find out more about the OU course DD208 Welfare, crime and society.

Download this video clip.
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2.3 What's so difficult?

Morgan's discussion helps us to think about how we can develop research, policies and interventions around ‘family’ when the key term is so problematic. But we also need to explore further just what is so difficult about this endeavour. There are also some clues to this in Morgan's discussion, in which he points out that:

  • there is a close linkage between everyday and academic language of family

  • there is a whole variety of a
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5 Conclusion

Photographs can be used as documentary data in the social sciences. Although they may seem to have a special relation to the events they depict, the social processes of image construction must be considered when we look at photographs as documents. Photographs are depictions of what took place, but are produced through a series of operations that must be understood in terms of their social organisation.

Only by understanding these operations, their social, economic, political and psycho
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3.1 Photographic content and context

Can we analyse photographs to tell us something valid about gender, ethnicity, class and nationality? As the wedding pictures example begins to suggest, there are traces of social facts embedded in the images, as well as evidence of the social conventions and organisational practices that underpin their production and diffusion or circulation. What will be clear is that there is no simple interpretational tool or reading skill available to us that allows us to reduce the picture to a simple f
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3.5 Evaluating claims, using evidence

Where does this exploration of evidence lead us? Can we decisively confirm or refute the common-sense stories of the crime problem in the UK?

Through an investigation of quantitative statistical evidence we certainly have some support for the claim that crime has risen considerably. But there are also doubts. The official statistics do not reflect unrecorded crime, and as one probes more deeply into the statistics we find that only certain types of crime have been on the rise. In any ca
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