6.1 Overview

These courses will introduce you to the Scottish legal system. Scots law today represents centuries of development and growth. Its evolution has been influenced by many factors, social and economic, the effects of war and religious change, political and governmental changes, alliances with overseas powers such as France, and Union with England. Since 1999, the new Scottish Parliament has had its own law-making powers.

The first course in this section provides a taster for a new course o
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5.3 Heritage case studies: Scotland

These case studies introduce various typologies of heritage and the methods used to study them. They help draw attention to the fact that the heritage traditions in England, Scotland and Wales are not the same and are enshrined in slightly different legislation. Every study of heritage requires an understanding of the legal context and the traditions and history governing the object of heritage.

The first case study, by Mary-Catherine Garden, involves public memories of two significant
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4.5 David Hume

This course examines David Hume's reasons for being complacent in the face of death, as these are laid out in his suppressed essay of 1755, ‘Of the immortality of the soul’. More generally, they examine some of the shifts in attitude concerning death and religious belief which were taking place in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century, through examination of this and other short essays.

Hume was a pivotal figure in the Scottish Enlightenment and his death in 1776 was widely an
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4.4 Robert Owen and New Lanark

Robert Owen (1771–1858) was one of the most important and controversial figures of his generation. He lived through the ages of Enlightenment and Romanticism and was personally touched by the ideas and dramatic changes that characterised that era. Profitting enormously during the first half of his life from the progress of industry and having the financial means, he later devoted himself to publicising and practising his social and economic ideas. Most of these derived from Enlightenment no
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4.3 James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell produced a unified theory of the electromagnetic field and used it to show that light is a type of electromagnetic wave. This prediction dates from the early 1860s when Maxwell was at King's College, London. Shortly afterwards Maxwell decided to retire to his family estate in Galloway in order to concentrate on research, unhindered by other duties.

This course presents Maxwell's greatest triumph – the prediction that electromagnetic waves can propagate vast distanc
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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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1.2.1 Summary

  • The passport example illustrates the tension between how I see myself and how I am seen by others, between the personal and the social.

  • Institutions such as the state play an important role in constructing identities.

  • Difference is very clearly marked in relation to national identity.

  • Such official categories contain omissions and cannot fully accommodate the personal investment we have in our identities, nor the
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1.2 Who am I?

Let us start with an example of an individual and his identity which illustrates the link between the personal and the social. The social scientist Madan Sarup uses the example of his passport, which gives information about his identity in an official sense. Our passports name, describe and place us. A passport describes an individual; it names one person. It also states to which group, in particular which nation, that person belongs:

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4.1 Are photographs truthful?

In this course, we've looked at several examples of the social processes of identity construction and a number of dimensions of identity. Our discussion has indicated that we cannot try to understand the role of images through one approach alone, but need to utilise both content and context analyses. It makes sense to ask whether the same sort of approaches can be applied to other types of image. How should we analyse ‘factual’ images which deal with social issues such as th
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1.4.1 Summary

  • To read an image we need to know its context.

  • The image provides a base but we need more information in order to interpret it.


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1.2 The immediacy of the still photograph

Let's begin with an example that links an historical event to a photograph. Take a moment to think about the pictures you keep in your ‘mind's eye’. Now think about the Vietnam War for a few seconds. Try to recall what images you associate with that period. It may be that you are too young to recall anything about the time; you may remember it all too vividly. It really does not matter too much for this exercise. Just see what images come into your mind when you think about that time in r
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3.2 Is productivity sustainable?

Are the recent increases in productivity sustainable? The answer to this question, and the crux of the debate concerning the effect of IT, centres on distinguishing whether recent increases in productivity are just cyclical, and hence temporary, or whether they are the beginning of a new and long-lasting trend. If the increase in productivity in the USA in the late 1990s was cyclical, this means that it occurred simply because the US economy as a whole was undergoing a bo
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2.2 The effect of technology on productivity

In each industrial revolution, new inventions radically changed the way that production and distribution were organised, and often led to large and rapid increases in the efficiency of production. The rise of electricity, for example, allowed US productivity to increase in the manufacturing sector (as opposed to the agricultural or service sector) by more than 5 per cent per annum throughout the 1920s.

Let us pause a moment and consider what this means. The term productivity refe
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2.1 Industrial revolutions and technological change

In this section I shall look at the way that technological innovations in previous eras, such as the invention of electricity in the early 1900s, radically affected the way society organised production and at how these changes spurred general economic growth. In many instances, the changes were so large that they defined an entire period, just as the rise of information technologies has led some to call the current era the ‘information age’.

The way that technological change can fun
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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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Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence.

The material acknowledged below is Proprietary and used under licence (not subj
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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying sociology. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying Sociology. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


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1.1 Note taking in this context

Although the audio file included in this course was designed to compliment the D218 Social Policy: Welfare, Power and Diversity Open University course its contents are still relevant to anyone wishing to improve their understanding of note taking. The audio file, however, uses specific examples associated with the Social Sciences.

The audio file was recorded in 1998. John Clarke discusses the value and best ways of note taking with OU colleagues Esther Saraga and Gerry Mooney.
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