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5.3 Social institutions

Of course, the extent of agreement about meaning can be highly variable: from the ephemeral (a certain style of clothing may come to stand for a shared attitude among a small group of teenagers for a short period) to the more profound (such as the idea of ‘a market’ or ‘marriage’). Sociologists refer to these more profound shared meanings as institutions. In this sense, an institution is a persistently reproduced social pattern that is relatively self-sustaining. However, to sa
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Introduction

This unit focuses on key developments in the economy of the European Union (EU) since the advent of the Euro in 1999. Further, it concentrates on the challenges this has posed for economic policy formation and the governance of the EU's expanding economy. One of the central features of the post-Maastricht governance environment is the attempt to create a ‘single market in services’ for Europe. If the 1990s was the decade of the ‘single market programme’ (SMP) which concentrated on the
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7.1 Summary of Sections 1–3

In summary, this unit has endeavoured to substantiate a variety of related points which epitomise current trends and problems in governing European diversity.

‘Regions’ and ‘regionalism’ in Western Europe display great diversity in economic, social and cultural terms, within particular states as well as between states; regions vary widely in size, population, levels of development, history, identity and politics (or lack thereof). But since the heyday of the centralised nation s
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7.1 Overview

Scottish literature is defined as literature written in Scotland or by Scottish writers, but is there such a thing as a literary and cultural identity which is distinctively Scottish?

This section of the OpenLearn Scotland collection is designed to stimulate thinking on the relationship between writing and identity. Learners are introduced to the work of two enormously influential figures in Scottish literature and culture: Sorley MacLean and Jackie Kay, the contemporary Scottish poet a
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References

Abramovitz, M. (1996) Regulating the Lives of Women: Social Welfare Policy from Colonial Times to the Present (revised edition), Boston, MA, South End Press.
Burghes, L. (1987) Made in the USA: A Review of Workfare – a Compulsory Work-for-Benefits Regime, London, Unemployment Unit.
Clarke, J. (2001) ‘US welfare: variations on the liberal regime’ in Cochra
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7.2 The importance of the market and the state: neo-liberalism and neo-Marxism

To begin with neo-liberalism, it is a key premise that the market is the primary means of coordinating economic activity, including the allocation of people to jobs. This assumes that rational actors make judgements about their earnings prospects to decide their best options – training to improve employability, as in Mandy's case, or accepting subsistence-level earnings, as Tamarla Owens did. To neo-liberals, both Mandy and Tamarla Owens would have used information they gleaned in their eve
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4.4 Finding ‘the personal’ in policy: responses, refusals and resistances

The reservation wage is one of many meeting points between personal lives and social policies. Personal lives fundamentally condition the rate of pay at which everyone individually decides they can or must work. Policies like New Deal necessarily regulate that level.

Activity 5

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3 Personal agency, participation and refusal: gathering evidence

While it is difficult to exaggerate the impact of this construction of ‘welfare dependency’, particularly in the USA, this construction does not go unchallenged. A very wide range of groups of people who are poor or who are subject to discrimination succeed in shaping welfare arrangements by evading, refusing or resisting policies. Historically, there are numerous examples of collective agency in resisting and reshaping welfare policies. In the USA, Fox Piven and Cloward (1977) trace the
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3.1 Introduction

In this section the focus turns towards the supply side of the market, towards firms and industries, exploring the importance of costs and technological change in the organisation of production. The objective is to understand some of the different kinds of change in industrial structure, namely changes in the number and size of firms in an industry. One such change saw the emergence of Ford, initially one among many similar firms jostling for position in the US automobile industry, as the ind
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1.5.5 Social bookmarks

If you find you have a long unmanageable list of favourites/bookmarks you might like to try social bookmarks as an alternative.

Activity 14 – What you need to know about Social Bookmarks

Read 7 things you should know about so
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1.5.1 Why is it important to be organised?

  • 87% of items that are filed into a filing cabinet are never looked at again. STANFORD UNIVERSITY

  • In 2010, the world’s digital information output was estimated to pass 1.2 zettabytes. A zettabyte is a new term which equals a thousand billion gigabytes.

  • A new blog is created every second. TECHNORATI

  • 10% of salary costs are wasted as employees search for information to complete tasks.
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1.4.5 M is for Method

Method is about the way in which a piece of information is produced. This is quite a complex area as different types of information are produced in different ways. These are a few suggestions to look out for:

Opinions - A lot of information is based on the opinion of individuals. They may or not be experts in their field (see P for Provenance) but the key message is to be clear that it is just an opinion and must be valued as such.

Research - You don’t have to be
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1.4.1 PROMPT

There is so much information available on the Internet on every topic imaginable. But how do you know if it is any good? And if you find a lot more information than you really need, how do you decide what to keep and who to discard?

In this section we are going to introduce a simple checklist to help you to judge the quality of the information you find. Before we do this, spend a few minutes thinking about what is meant by information quality.

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2.1 Activity 1: Oil Lives

Oil Lives consists of a series of photographs of an individual and some written text based on interviews with them. Two of these series are reproduced in this section, with Logan's ‘War Scrapbook’ in between them. Take some time to look at the photographs and to read the words accompanying them. Try to work out first what parts of the photographs have been brought together from different originals. What do Owen Logan's decisions about how to picture the industry and some of its workers su
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WO-339_19222 Casualty notification form Captain Alfred Edward Bland

The National Archives UK posted a photo:

WO-339_19222 Casualty notification form Captain Alfred Edward Bland

The casualty notification form for Captain Alfred Ed
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"Environmental Challenges Across Asia - Q & A"
There is little doubt that climate change, deforestation, erosion, and the unequal distribution of natural resources around the globe are of pressing importance everywhere, but these problems are perhaps most acute in Asia, home to 64 percent of the world’s population. Much of this population (1 and 1.3 billion, respectively) is concentrated in India and China, two countries with rapidly growing economies, increasing levels of personal consumption, and serious ecological problems. Southeast As
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Formatting A Business Memo
This video is a tutorial for creating and formatting a business memo. The demonstration is in Microsoft Word 2003.
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4.1 Introduction

Section 2 explained that information is an important asset to an organisation. In this section you will study, in some detail, the characteristics of information assets that make them valuable, and so worth protecting.

In recent years, a combination of computerised processing systems and electronic communication technologies has made possible new forms of working and trading based on the electronic exchange of information. Such activity is called e-business or e-commerce.
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3.2.3. Regulation and codes of conduct

Chapter 1 of the Set Book presents a case for effective information security based largely upon perceived threats and legal obligations. Chapter 2 introduces further imperatives, which govern specific types of organisation in the UK.

Activity 6

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3.6 Routers

One type of network device we haven't mentioned is a router. This is because a router generally works at the edge of a LAN rather than within it. A router can operate at a level that is independent of specific LAN protocols so it can be used to join an Ethernet LAN with a LAN that uses different protocols. A router holds information about the structure of a network and can make decisions about how data should be routed through it. As well as being used to connect together different typ
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