This online module focuses on institutions - key organisational players, rules and norms, values and meanings - that can both advance and hinder development. Development managers, in public and private sectors and non-governmental organisations need to understand the complex institutional landscapes they work in. They also need to work with others to use, adapt or create new institutions which can promote development. This in turn means building effective relationships between the many organisations involved. This module serves to enhance such capabilities. It brings together theory and practice and provides you with opportunities for interactive learning with participants from across the world.
To help you to understand the complexity of institutional development, this free course, Seeing institutions in different ways, will present institutions in three key ways: as rules and norms, as meanings and values and as big players. The rules govern social life and the norms establish how people should behave, while institutional development is about changing the rules. Meanings help people make sense of their lives and values indicate what is good or bad, while institutional development brings in new values. The big players are individuals and organisations with the power to shape social life, while institutional development struggles over what social life should be like.
Family life is constantly being scrutinised, but debates seem to sidestep the question of what ‘family’ really means. The Open University's Megan Doolittle joins four leading academics from the field of sociology to tackle the issues head on. They look at how families communicate and behave, and they talk about family personal life and what is meant by the term 'intimacy'. Finally they discuss the future of family studies.
The Open University course DD101 Introducing the social sciences, features similar material to this collection.