Ethnographies of Social Support

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Individual methods which are available within an ethnographic study include: participant observation, interviews and surveys.


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All of these ethnographic methods can be very valuable in gaining a deeper understanding of a design problem. Usability practitioners often make use of these in order to develop their understanding of the relevant domain, audience s , processes, goals and context s of use. Ethnography is most useful in the early stages of a user-centred design project. This is because ethnography focuses on developing an understanding of the design problem. Therefore, it makes more sense to conduct ethnographic studies at the beginning of a project in order to support future design decisions which will happen later in the user-centred design process.

Ethnographic methods such as participant observation could also be used to evaluate an existing design — but their true value comes from developing an early understanding of the relevant domain, audience s , processes, goals and context s of use. Equally, highly critical systems where failure or error can lead to disaster could also justify significant ethnographic research. For example: An insurance company wanted to re-design their system dealing with the processing of insurance claims. This system had evolved over many years and actually represented a patchwork of previous systems.

In this example, ethnographic research should probably be considered. One of the main advantages associated with ethnographic research is that ethnography can help identify and analyse unexpected issues. When conducting other types of studies, which are not based on in-situ observation or interaction, it can very easy to miss unexpected issues. This can happen either because questions are not asked, or respondents neglect to mention something.

Because of its subjective nature, an ethnographic study with a skilled researcher can be very useful in uncovering and analysing relevant user attitudes and emotions. One of the main criticisms levelled at ethnographic studies is the amount of time they take to conduct. As discussed above, ethnographic studies do not always require a long period of time , but this consideration is nonetheless valid.

The taxonomy of social support: an ethnographic analysis among adolescent mothers.

The module will make students aware of current issues in welfare reform as it relates to groups vulnerable to poverty including: people who are unemployed; people who are sick or disabled; older people; children; lone parents; people from Black or minority ethnic groups. The module also shows how social security policies encompass different principles of need, rights and entitlement for users of welfare services. Contraception, abortion, and teenage pregnancy are the subjects of public controversy in Britain.

We will consider why contraception, abortion and teenage pregnancy became the subject of policy-making, and look at how policy about them has changed over time. Attention will be drawn to areas of debate that are currently particularly controversial, to encourage students to consider the ways in which policy could develop. There have been considerable changes in health service policy and public health policy in the UK over the last two decades involving changes to existing policies and the development of new policy themes.

The module provides an overview of the contribution of the third sector to social, economic and political life. It includes analysis of definitions and categorisations, exploration of the theories which underpin the study of the third sector, an examination of theories and the current state of volunteering and charitable giving, examination of the historical and current public policy agenda in relation to the third sector in the UK, the EU and more generally and, an overview of current issues in the third sector and how social scientists go about studying them.

This is a 15 credit course which will enhance your CV, particularly if you are hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector.

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You will be supported to undertake three placements in a variety of volunteering roles, both on and off campus; attend four lectures on the voluntary sector and complete a reflective learning log to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you are gaining. All students taking this module are expected to attend four sessions that provide the academic framework for understanding volunteering, as well as practitioner knowledge that will be helpful as you progress through your placements, and invaluable preparation for your essay.

These sessions last one hour each and are spaced evenly throughout the academic year. Social care is of central significance in the support of a range of vulnerable adults.

As such it is one of the key services of the welfare state, though one that often loses out to higher profile concern with medical care. In this module we trace the development of social care from its origins in nineteenth century philanthropy, through its consolidation as a key service within the post war welfare state, to its current state of flux as it becomes increasingly fragmented and subject to new models of provision. The module looks at the care experiences of people with physical disabilities whether acquired in childhood or as result of accident or illness later in life; with learning difficulties; and mental health problems; as well as frail older people, exploring user perspectives and questions of empowerment.

It also addresses those who provide care and support in the form of family carers and paid workers, whether social workers or care assistants, addressing policy debates concerning the role of the state and family in provision. It analyses the key social and policy debates in this field: for example: can we afford the cost of the rising numbers of older people? What role does ageism play in recent scandals about the quality of care provision?

How can we support family carers? How do we integrate people with learning disability into wider society? In doing so it raises issues of funding, affordability and the mixed economy of care, as well as addressing fundamental questions about how disability, age and care are experienced and understood. This module aims to enable students to design and conduct their own piece of research. This can be primary research where students collect and analyse their own data, or it can be library based, where students research existing literature or re-analyse data collected by others.

The research can be about a particular policy or policy area, social problem, social development, or matter of sociological interest. The dissertation will usually be set out as a series of chapters. In order to assist students with designing and writing a dissertation a supervisor — a member of staff in SSPSSR - will have an initial meeting with students during the summer term of Year 2 where possible and then during the Autumn and Spring terms students will have at least six formal dissertation sessions with their supervisor.

These may be held individually or with other students. This module is designed as an exploration of both the social history and historiography of 'the Enlightenment'. It draws a focus to the legacy of Enlightenment in contemporary sociological theory. It explores the bearing of Enlightenment ideas and interests upon the intellectual and political cultures of western modernity. It introduces students to ongoing debates concerned with the legacy of the Enlightenment in twenty-first century society. Anthropology at Kent uses a stimulating mix of teaching methods, including lectures, small seminar groups and laboratory sessions.

For project work, you will be assigned to a supervisor with whom you meet regularly.

Ethnographies of Social Support | , | VitalSource

Both Stage 2 and 3 marks count towards your final degree result. Usually you have four lectures and four seminars a week; additional tutorial input is spread over the year. Some modules involve workshops to develop key personal and study skills, or computing and project work, which you can do individually or in teams. A small number are assessed entirely by coursework. Marks from both Stages 2 and 3 count towards your final degree result. Stage 1 results do not count towards the final mark, but entry to Stage 2 depends on passing Stage 1 assessments.

The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure. Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please note that outcomes will depend on your specific module selection:.

Studying Social Anthropology and Social Policy gives you an exciting range of career opportunities. We work with you to help direct your module choices to the career paths you are considering. Through your studies you learn how to work independently, to analyse complex data and to present your work with clarity and flair. Our recent graduates have found employment in areas directly related to their studies, such as social work, health care and policy analysis in the public and voluntary sectors, overseas development and aid work, and work with community groups.

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The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. Distinction, Distinction, Merit in an academic based subject.


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The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

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