Social science and participation
Social science and participation

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Social science and participation

Differences in participation

Social scientific research on participation is often concerned with differential patterns of participation – with describing who does and who doesn’t participate, and why, and suggesting appropriate measures to enhance participation in general, or among particular groups.

These differential patterns of participation can be divided into two broad areas:

  • differences in the levels and types of participation undertaken by people who are from different backgrounds, who live in different areas or who have different levels of income
  • changing patterns of involvement of people in different sorts of participation over time.

In this course you will learn how social scientists seek to describe and understand these related areas of participation. The focus will be on introducing the idea that social scientific investigation helps to enact social worlds. You will see that investigations of participation are always concerned with informing debates about the future of participation and shaping opportunities and initiatives to transform who participates and how.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371