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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
Author(s): The Open University

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4.7 The future?

In the USA, the automobile reached the 50 per cent household penetration rate in 1923, about 23 years into the industry's development. The PC reached that threshold rate in 1999, also about 23 years into its development. Given the discussion in Section 3, this suggests that the economy-wide effects of the PC have yet to be fully see
Author(s): The Open University

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4.5 Technological change

In both industries the fall in prices was driven by radical changes in the production of the products. How might we investigate the technological changes and the changes in quality that occurred in both industries simultaneously with the drastic fall in prices? There are various methods used by economists to measure technological change. Some methods focus on the ‘inputs’ into the innovation process, such as the spending on research and development by firms. But this is not ideal as it do
Author(s): The Open University

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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
Author(s): The Open University

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Introduction

This unit will help you understand the expressions social construction and social constructionism. These terms are used in the study of the Social Sciences and, in particular, in relation to Social Policy. The materials are primarily an audio file, originally 28 minutes in length and recorded in 2001.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Social policy: welfare, power and diversity (D218) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to
Author(s): The Open University

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1.1 Note taking in this context

Although the audio file included in this unit 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.


Author(s): The Open University

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1.5.7 Referencing

We mentioned above that we need to reference sources to ensure we abide by copyright legislation. But there is another reason we need to give accurate references to items we use – so we can share it.

Consider this scenario. A friend says they’ve just read an interesting article where Joshua Schachter, founder of Delicious has spoken about why it isn’t a faceted search system, and you should read it. How would you go about finding it? Would you start looking in a news database, a s
Author(s): The Open University

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1.3.8 News sources

Many news sources are now available online. Searching an online version of a newspaper is easier, quicker and more effective than searching through printed indexes, microfilm or actual newspapers.

Society GuardianThe Author(s): The Open University

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1 Poverty in Scotland

Poverty in Scotland 2011 provides a detailed overview of poverty and anti-poverty policies in Scotland. It provides a comprehensive account of the state of poverty in Scotland, highlighting the main trends and the impact poverty has on people and places.

This unit comprises a PDF document produced originally by Child Poverty Action Group, in association with Glasgow Caledonian University, The Open University and Poverty Alliance.

Poverty in Scotland, (250 pages, 789 KB)


Author(s): The Open University

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3 Making photographs that make demands: stories from the oil industry

There are strong links between the audio files in Activity 2 and the series of photographs in Activity 1. The discus
Author(s): The Open University

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Introduction

This unit is concerned with the very things that we, as ordinary people, talk about as a consequence of listening to radio, watching television or reading newspapers and magazines: the programmes and articles that constitute media output. We examine the everyday evidence of celebrity activity – what academic media analysts call ‘texts’. Texts are socially constructed assemblages of items such as spoken or written words, or pictures.

This unit is subject to Author(s): The Open University

Introduction

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Crime, order and social control (D315) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this subject area.


Author(s): The Open University

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1 New Labour's approach welfare reconstruction

This audio file, recorded in 1999, explores questions about New Labour's approach to welfare reconstruction. The discussion is lead by John Clarke with contributions from Ruth Lister and Sharon Gerwitz and contains extracts of Tony Blair's speeches.

Participants in the audio programme were:

  • John Clarke Professor of Social Policy at The Open University;

  • Ruth Lister Professor of Social Policy, Loughborough Universit
    Author(s): The Open University

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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able:

  • describe New Labour's approach to Welfare Reconstruction.


Author(s): The Open University

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Introduction

This unit explores questions about New Labour's approach to welfare reconstruction. This is linked to the unsettling and remaking of the old Welfare State by the New Right. The material is primarily an audio file, originally 27 minutes in length, and recorded in 1999.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Social Policy: Welfare, Power and Diversity (D218) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wi
Author(s): The Open University

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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able:

  • describe social citizenship in relation to rights and obligations within society.


Author(s): The Open University

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Introduction

The material presented here raises general themes of order and disorder, the way they are represented or signified, and the place of crime in these representations. The material is based upon an audio file, originally 29 minutes in length, and examines the problem of crime in relation to the city of Glasgow. It was recorded in 1999.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Crime, order and social control (D315) which is no longer taught by The Open Univers
Author(s): The Open University

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Acknowledgements

This chapter is taken from Living Political Ideas (eds) Geoff Andrews and Micheal Saward published in association with Edinburgh University Press (2005) as part of a series of books which forms part of the course DD203 Power, Dissent, Equality: Understanding Contemporary Politics.

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Author(s): The Open University

6.5 Do our answers depend on who the groups are?

Finally, perhaps our intuition about how to deal democratically with country Y depends on who we think the As, Bs and Cs are. Consider three possibilities:

  • (i) A is the UK, B is Scotland, C is the Shetland Islands

  • (ii) A is the EU, B is the UK, C is Scotland

  • (iii) A is a world government, B is the EU, C is France.

Does your intuition about the rights of communities A, B and C shift from case to case
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6.3 What size of majority vote should decide the issue?

In many types of democratic vote, a bare majority (technically, 50 per cent +1) is enough to decide outcomes. But often constitutional changes – changes which would affect the basic structures or political rules of the game – are regarded as needing ‘supermajorities’ of, say, 60 or 70 per cent. A basic change in the sovereign political unit would certainly count as a constitutional change. If the Bs get to vote, we might be concerned if only a bare majority favoured secession, especia
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