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Developing reading skills in relation to the Social Sciences
Developing reading skills in relation to the Social Sciences

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1 Developing reading skills

John Clarke and course team member Ross Fergusson, look at developing reading skills in the context of Social Science resources, with suggestions on how to read such materials critically and effectively. The material is primarily an audio file, 11 minutes in length and recorded in 1998.

Participants in the audio programme were:

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

  • Ross Ferguson Social Sciences lecturer at The Open University;

  • Gordon Hughes Social Sciences lecturer at The Open University.

Activity 1

To prepare for this critical reading of Social Science texts you should now listen to the audio file, Developing Reading Skills, in which Ross Fergusson talks to John Clarke about reading original texts and extracts.


On this audio programme, Ross Fergusson highlights three main kinds of questions that are worth keeping in mind as you work on Social Science texts and extracts. These are:

  1. What is the context in which the text needs to be understood?

  2. What assumptions does it make about the way society is organised, about appropriate forms of welfare, and so on?

  3. What discourses does it draw on – or contribute to?

Developing reading skills (11 minutes 5 MB)

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