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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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3.1 Competing explanations of social problems

If we can agree that poverty is a social problem, we are led to another question: what sort of social problem is it? For some, it is a social problem because people should not be poor: it involves social injustice. For others, poverty is a social problem because poor people behave badly (or bring up children poorly): it involves social disorder. We therefore have another parting of the ways, with some believing that social justice requires poor people to become less poor, and others believing
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2.1 Common sense and social problems

This concern with social construction may seem troubling or even a distraction from the real business of studying social problems. However, it is built on one of the starting points of the social scientific approach, namely that in order to study society we must distance ourselves from what we already know about it. We need to become ‘strangers’ in a world that is familiar. The defining characteristic of a ‘stranger’ is that she or he does not know those things which we take for grant
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Systems practice: Managing sustainability
This free course, Systems practice: Managing sustainability, introduces ways in which systems thinking can help support processes of decision making amongst stakeholders with different, often contrasting, perspectives on sustainable development in order to generate purposeful action to improve situations of change and uncertainty. You will learn about systems practice for managing sustainable development, and find out how 'learning systems' are designed for purposeful action in the domain of sus
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Digital communications
Optical-fibre communications became commercially viable in the 1970s and innovation continues today. This free course, Digital communications, will illustrate how very high data rates can be transmitted over long distances through optical fibres. You will learn how these fibres are linked, examine the technology used and assess the future direction of this continually developing area of communication. Author(s): Creator not set

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Introduction

This key skill develops your information technology (IT) skills in your studies, work or other activities over a period of time. To tackle all of this key skill, you will need to plan your work over at least 3–4 months to give yourself enough time to practise and improve your skills, to seek feedback from others, to monitor your progress and evaluate your strategy and present outcomes.

Skills in information technology cover a broad range, from using software unitages to developing a c
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Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Managing complexity: A systems approach – introduction
Do you need to change the way you think when faced with a complex situation? This free course, Managing complexity: A systems approach introduction, examines how systemic thinking and practice enables you to cope with the connections between things, events and ideas. By taking a broader perspective complexity becomes manageable and it is easier to accept that gaps in knowledge can be acceptable. Author(s): Creator not set

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Design thinking
Are you ever frustrated with something that you thought you could design better? Design thinking can structure your natural creativity to come up with solutions to all kinds of problems, and have fun in the process too! First published on Thu, 22 Dec 2011 as Author(s): Creator not set

Systems thinking: Understanding sustainability
This free course, Systems thinking: Understanding sustainability, introduces ways in which systems thinking can help support processes of decision making among stakeholders with different, often contrasting, perspectives on sustainable development in order to generate purposeful action to improve situations of change and uncertainty. You will be encouraged to engage with the concept of sustainable development, and discover and contextualise your own sustainable development beliefs and values.
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4.3 Character code functions

Many programming languages provide two functions associated with the character codes (see Table 2). We shall call these functions ASC and CHR. ASC takes a character as input, and returns the integer giving the ASCII code of the input character. CHR returns the character whose ASCII code is the input integ
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4.1 Functions

A function is a process that, when given an input of a specified type, yields a unique output. This is a key idea in providing a precise, mathematical, description of processes in computing.

To describe a particular function, we first give the set from which the input will be drawn and the set from which the output is drawn. This information is called the signature of the function. An example will make this clearer. Author(s): The Open University

Objectives for Section 3

After studying this section you should be able to do the following.

  • Recognise and use the terminology: disjoint union; power set (of a set); representation (of a data abstraction).

  • Use and interpret the notation:

     

    • X
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3.2 Combining data structures

In Section 2, we introduced the notation SeqOfX for the set of all sequences whose members come from the set X. In Section 2, we looked only at sequences whose members were of one of the primitive forms of data (integers, characters or Booleans). We can have sequences whose members are themselves data with a more complicated form. For example, suppose that Jo is working at the till T1 and is replaced by Jessica. We might represent this handover by the 3-tuple (Jo, T1, Jes
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Module team

The T822 course team

David Reed (Chair and author)

Jill Alger (Editor)

Chris Bissell (Critical reader and author)

Philippa Broadbent (Print buyer)

David Chapman (Author)

Daphne Cross (Assistant print buyer)

Glen Darby (Graphic designer)

Donna Deacon (Course secretary)

Alan Dolan (Course manager)

Roger Jones (Author)

Jo Lambert (Learning projects manager)

Roy Lawrance (Gra
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References

Coffman, K. G. and Odlyzko, A. (1998) ‘The size and growth rate of the Internet’, First Monday, Vol. 3, Issue 10, http://firstmonday.org
ITU-T 1–150 (1999) B-ISDN Asynchronous Transfer Mode Functional Characteristics, ITU-T.
ITU-T X.200 (1994) Open Systems Interconnection – Model and Notation, ITU-T. (Also known as ISO/IEC 7498–1.)

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3.3 Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP)

In this section, I shall look at one example of an application of the TCP/IP protocol suite – sending hypertext pages over the world wide web (WWW or simply the web). However, first I shall very briefly summarise the main features of the web that are relevant to this discussion. There are many sources of information about the web on the web itself for those who want to know more.

In very basic terms, the web is an application of the Internet for accessing resources where
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3.1 What does TCP/IP protocol architecture do?

The Internet is a worldwide public internetwork, which allows computers to communicate with each other even though they may have different manufacturers and different operating systems. The origins of the Internet lie in a project of the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency in the 1970s, where it was intended to foster communication between research institutions rather than operate for profit. However, a substantial amount of traffic carried by the Internet is now related to com
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2.4 Examples of layer functions

There are several functions that can be performed at one or more of the OSI layers. Some of the more common ones are discussed below.

Connection control

For connection-oriented services, a connection must be established between peer entities. A connection has three phases: connection set-up, data transfer and connection clear. If the peer protocol supports connections, each protocol data unit type corresponds to a primitive type; for instance, a connection request primiti
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1.2 Protocols in multi-service networks: introduction

Early automatic telephone networks were built to carry only voice traffic and to provide a very simple telephone service – now called plain old telephone service (POTS). When computer networks started to appear, either they were separate from telephone networks or the data carried between computers was a small proportion of the traffic on the telephone network. There are various estimates for the growth of voice and data traffic, and various dates have been given for when data traffic will
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