This free course, Critical criminology and the social sciences, will provide you with an insight into some of the main disciplines within the social sciences, focusing in particular on critical criminology. It will begin by outlining some of the defining characteristics of the social science disciplines of psychology, law, sociology and critical criminology. Using the global financial crisis of 2007-8 as a case study, the course will then provide you with an insight into how academics working in some of these different disciplinary backgrounds make sense of a similar topic in different ways. The course will conclude by considering the place of critical criminology within the social sciences.
This free course, What is politics?, introduces you to the world of politics. It is dedicated primarily to answering the question of what politics is. Although the question might seem rather simple, it elicits various, often contradictory responses. As you will realise, in politics as in much of the humanities and social sciences definitive answers are difficult to come by. What politics is and equally, who does it, and where it is done are hotly debated and highly contested. This OpenLearn course will introduce you to some of these debates, and their implications for the study and practice of politics.
This free course, Passports: identity and airports, offers a sociological analysis of the modern airport. Using a lively mixture of videos, interactive exercises and readings, the course explores how the social world of the airport is made and maintained. In particular, it investigates how the processes that constitute this world - queuing, check in, security clearance, moving around and so on - depend on relations between people and material objects.
In a complex and rapidly changing world, social scientific study examines how we produce things, communicate, govern ourselves and understand our environments, and how to solve the problems we face in the organisation of social relations and processes. This free course, The social in social science, provides a basic overview of how social science contains deeply embedded cultural assumptions, and outlines the important relationship between philosophical thinking and practical research methods in social sciences.
This free course, Social science and participation, looks at how social science investigates participation, and uses this topic to look in particular at how social science helps to enact social worlds. As you work through the course, you will see that social science enactment of participation is closely related to social science descriptions of, for example, voting or other citizenly practices, and related also to social science understandings of, for example, just how to define and evaluate poverty.
The words 'refugee' and 'asylum seeker' have a wide variety of connotations in Britain, many of them negative. This free course, Who ------ as a refugee?, explores how changing social policy and terminology help to shape, and are shaped by, the experiences of people seeking asylum in the UK.
This free course, Economics and the 2008 crisis: a Keynesian view, looks at how Keynes's theories revolutionised thinking about the causes of crises and unemployment. Keynes's thinking on how to reduce these problems was very influential with economists and policy makers for several decades following the 1930s. The economic downturn that started in 2008 led to a widespread revival of interest as economic conditions seemed to resemble those seen in the 1930s. This OpenLearn course on Keynes's ideas is therefore highly relevant to modern policy making, as well as being of historical interest.