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Thinking Allowed 2019
Thinking Allowed explores how society works, with leading social science experts.
21st January 2019 at 12:15AM
Laurie Taylor explores the way in which we have become the watchers, as well as the watched. From 9/11 to the Snowden leaks, stories about surveillance increasingly dominate the headlines. But surveillance is not only 'done to us' – it is something we do in everyday life. We submit to surveillance, believing we have nothing to hide. Or we try to protect our privacy. At the same time, we participate in surveillance in order to supervise children, monitor other road users, and safeguard our property. Social media allow us to keep tabs on others, as well as on ourselves. Laurie Taylor explores the contemporary culture of surveillance. He's joined by Kirstie Ball, Professor of Management at the University of St Andrews and David Lyon, Professor in the Department of Sociology at Queen's University, Canada.
The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
How do you know you are in a smart city?
Integrated urban technology is less apparent when it is functioning well says, Gillian Rose, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford.Watch now ❯How do you know you are in a smart city?
A technological revolution is underway improving the lives of many who may benefit from additional assistance says human geographer, Dr Oliver Zanetti.Read now ❯The navigation apps that help the visually impaired
Cutting-edge research is enabling the development of new potentially life-changing prototypes aimed at serving those with disabilities says, Dr Oliver Zanetti.Read now ❯Five smart technologies helping the visually impaired
The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Is there a link between cultural background and water consumption?
Using smart water meters, Sophie Watson, Professor of Sociology at the Open University, has identified water usage trends based on a variety of demographics.Watch now ❯Is there a link between cultural background and water consumption?
More on Social Science
Why does Laurie Taylor think sociology is important? What advice does he have for our students? In this series of videos the Thinking Allowed host answers questions on social sciences.Watch now ❯The Laurie Taylor interviews
What causes riots? Is commercialisation eroding childhood? Does poverty lead to crime? Social science explores such questions and helps inform others – from police officers to civil servants to business executives – who want to base their decisions on the best evidence. The BA (Honours) Combined Social Science is designed to be very flexible, enabling you to develop a variety of knowledge and skills from a combination of subjects including psychology, sociology, social policy, criminology, geography, politics and economics. You can choose to follow a named specialism by concentrating on one of these areas, or create your own combination of subjects. This degree course will equip you with skills highly valued by employers, such as using IT for the retrieval and effective presentation of information and data; critical evaluation; and concise writing. You’ll have your own specialist, subject-based academic support as well as opportunities to join in online communities of other social sciences students for teaching, learning and peer support.Learn more ❯BA (Honours) Combined Social Sciences
BA (Honours) Criminology and Law
Crime, justice and the workings of the law are matters that affect us all and often dominate the news. This degree takes a critical and analytical view of the role and functions of the legal system, and examines its relationship with criminal behaviour. You’ll explore issues such as anti-social behaviour, poverty, discrimination, hate crimes, child labour, as well as global threats from cyber-crime, terrorism and human rights violations, and their implications for justice.Read more ❯BA (Honours) Criminology and Law
Where do social order (and disorder) come from? How can we make ourselves richer, and does society always gain? What does justice mean, how do we define our rights? Politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) – and the ideas and values that inform them – are central to how modern societies are organised and governed. This degree explores fundamental questions of power and ideology, beliefs and values, and how income and wealth are produced and distributed. As well as gaining insight into debates that dominate the daily news, you’ll learn a range of skills and techniques to help you analyse and contribute to the discussion. You’ll also gain a deeper understanding of the way arguments (and public policies) are constructed in theory and tested in practice. These analytical and critical skills are highly valued by employers in a broad range of occupations, across the private and public sectors.Learn more ❯BA (Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics
You’ll explore a wide range of topics which shape the nature of contemporary UK society; from questions of identity, inequalities and differences to consumerism and environment, and issues of social order, disorder and governance.Read more ❯Introducing the social sciences
Our Free Learning
This free course will help you to navigate your own path through the complex landscape of smart cities. You’ll hear from smart city innovators and entrepreneurs, city leaders, communities and business, connecting with learners from around the world to reflect on issues facing smart cities of different sizes and situations.Learn more ❯Smart cities
This free course will enable you to understand how arguments are constructed and used in the Social Sciences. Using extracts from a Radio 4 broadcast, you will look at the different viewpoints that are taken by the participants and analyse how the different arguments are being put together.Learn more ❯How arguments are constructed and used in the Social Sciences
This free course, From Brexit to the break-up of Britain?, sets the experience of Brexit in the context of the UK. It first analyses Brexit as a symptom of the political, economic and social geography of the UK, focusing on its uneven development in a country increasingly dominated by London and the South East of England. It then considers how the divisions within the UK (within England as well as between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) were reflected in the voting patterns of the 2016 referendum. Finally, the course reflects on the implications of these short-term and long-term trends for the UK’s future as a multinational state.Learn more ❯From Brexit to the break-up of Britain?
Professor Sophie Watson
Prior to joining The Open University, she held several high-profile academic positions at leading institutions including University College London, University of New South Wales, and the University of Bristol.
Dr Jess Perriam
Jess is a lecturer in sociology, primarily interested in the digital and everyday life. She received her PhD in Sociology from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2018.
Prior to joining The Open University, she appeared on BBC World Service’s Newshour programme to discuss café loyalty schemes.
Before pursuing an academic career, Jess was a radio and online journalist for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) between 2007 and 2011.