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3.1 The impact of information technology

Having discussed the radical and pervasive effect that inventions in previous eras have had on economy-wide productivity, and how they have even defined entire periods, we shall now ask how the rise of information technology compares to these previous revolutions. During the early growth phase of PC use, a leader article in Fortune magazine did not hesitate to compare the rise of the PC to previous technological revolutions.

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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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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • understand the relationship between technological change and industrial revolutions;

  • appreciate the pervasive effect that new technologies can have on the economy and, in particular, on productivity;

  • understand how industry dynamics can be analysed using the ‘industrial life cycle’ model;

  • use data and historical examples to support economic arguments.


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1 The purpose, efficacy and regulation of prisons

Richard Sparks presents a series of views about the purpose, efficacy and regulation of prisons. The audio programme was recorded in 2001.

Participants in the audio programme were:

  • Richard Sparks Professor of Criminology at the University of Keele and is now Professor of Criminology at the University of Edinburgh;

  • Rod Morgan Professor of Criminal Justice at Bristol University;

  • Larry Viner a
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Learning outcomes

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

  • identify criteria to evaluate whether prison works.


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Acknowledgements

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Unit Image

Courtesy of banlon1964: http://www.flickr.com/photos/banlon1964/19562661/

Gr
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1.1 Why Glasgow?

Glasgow fulfilled our aims and was also an interesting case study having, arguably, been the most successful among British cities in developing/manufacturing a new identity in the ‘post-industrial’ era. Glasgow illustrates:

  • (a) power relations, reflected in:

    • constructed images – ‘Glasgow's miles better’ was a deliberate campaign to improve the image of Glasgow.

    • contested images –
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • explore ideas about place and identity using our concept of ‘geographical imagination’ by examining the images that represent a place to reveal how those images came about;

  • explore ideas about place and identity by examining the images that represent a place to reveal two sets of relationships that are important in understanding the character of a place: power relations and local-global relations.


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This extract is taken from D315: Crime, order and social control, produced by the BBC on behalf of the Open University.

© 2007
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1.1 Engendering citizenship: the notion of social citizenship

Mary Langan talks with Professor Ruth Lister, Professor Fiona Williams, Helen Meekosha and Dr Madeleine Arnot about the notion of social citizenship in relation to the rights and obligations within society, with particular reference to women and disabled people.

Participants in the audio programme were:

  • Mary Langan Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at The Open University;

  • Ruth Lister Professor of Social Policy at Lo
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References

Anderson, B. (1983) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, London, Verso.
Archard, D. (1995) ‘Myths, lies and historical truth: a defence of nationalism’, Political Studies, vol.43, no. 3.
Baogang He (2002) ‘Referenda as a solution to the national-identity/boundary question: an empirical critique of the theoretical lite
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7 Conclusion

We have explored nations, national self-determination and secession as living political ideas. Perhaps the key points to emerge from the discussion are that:

  • the nation-state is the basic political community in the contemporary world, despite regional and global challenges;

  • subjective approaches to defining nations, prioritising awareness of belonging to a national group, have advantages over efforts to construct objective definitions
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4 What is a ‘nation’?

Guibernau (1996, p. 47) has defined the nation as: ‘a human group conscious of forming a community, sharing a common culture, attached to a clearly demarcated territory, having a common past and a common project for the future and claiming the right to rule itself’. So awareness, territory, history and culture, language and religion all matter. However, it is rare in the real world to find a case of a nation with a clear-cut and homogenous character in terms of this list of possibilities.
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Introduction

This unit is based on a chapter from the book Living Political Ideas, which is part of the current course DD203 Power, Equality and Dissent. It really attempts to do two things at once. It is about the core concepts and processes with which human groups that think of themselves as nations challenge the existing order and assert their right to a state of their own. And at the same time it is a kind of gentle introduction to how to study political ideas. It is more theoretical, or
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7.3 Summary of Section 7

  • The historian Linda Colley locates the birth of ‘Britain’ after 1707. She mentions three main factors that contributed to establishing the British nation: war, religion and the prospect of material advantage.

  • The creation of the UK was not free from conflict, resistance, war and military intervention.

  • The British Empire generated a unique opportunity for most UK nations to participate and enjoy some of the benefits it b
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Class Room Instructions for ADHD
Class Room Instructions for ADHD. Part of the series: How to Tell if Your Child Has ADHD. Learn about class room instructions for ADHD in this children's health video.
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6.4 Empirical analysis

Three key hypotheses have been the focus of empirical evaluation of the segmented labour market theory. First, that the labour market can be represented as comprising at least two well-defined and self-contained segments. Second, that the labour market behaviour of workers and firms in each segment requires a different set of behavioural hypotheses. Finally, that there is limited mobility between the segments reflecting institutional and social barriers in the labour market rather than a lack
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3.3 Other disadvantaged groups

Information on other disadvantaged groups, such as older workers or people with disabilities, is even harder to come by. The problems faced by older workers in the labour market have become an increasing cause for concern in recent years. The nature of the disadvantage faced by older workers is, however, much harder to uncover and the evidence is often anecdotal. One trend that has become evident during the past three decades is the difficulty older workers have in obtaining any work and, in
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Further reading

Berger and Luckmann (1967) is a classic text in the development of the social constructionist perspective within the sociological tradition. Burr (1995) offers a very thorough review of the social constructionist perspective, clearly outlining the methods of discourse analysis. Although the book draws significantly on debates within social psychology, it is of wide relevance to the social sciences more generally.


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3.5 Social science approaches

So far we have looked at three more developed discussions of some of the basic propositions about poverty that we considered in section 2. These three examples could be multiplied: there is a variety of explanations of poverty that we could have used. However, these three allow us to reflect a little on the relationship between social science discussions of social problems and common-sense understandings. It is worth starting with some of the differences.


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