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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SLSP3950 The Family, Work and Welfare in Britain and the United States

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Prof Alan Deacon
Email: a.j.deacon@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

Pre-requisite qualifications

Normally 40 credits at level 2 from programmes of study within the Faculty of ESSL or related disciplines.

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

What should be the central purpose of welfare? To create a more equal society? To reinforce the obligations we have to each other as family members, neighbours, and citizens? To compel people to behave in ways that serve a common good? To sustain and support caring relationships? More specifically, should welfare policies try to promote marriage, or try to encourage good parenting and penalise bad parents. Is it right to compel lone parents of young children to take paid employment? Questions such as these underpin debates about the future of welfare in Britain and the United States. This module discusses such questions. It shows how different perspectives on welfare reflect conflicting assumptions about human nature and motivation, and conflicting ideas about what constitutes a good society. It shows how welfare reforms on both sides of the Atlantic have been shaped by these perspectives and by these assumptions. Finally, it compares the nature and the impact of welfare reform in the two countries.Contact: Professor Alan Deacon a.j.deacon@leeds.ac.uk or undergradsociologysocialpolicy@leeds.ac.uk

Objectives

On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of conflicting perspectives on welfare, and of the ways in which those perspectives draw upon and articulate different understandings of human nature and the relationship between welfare and personal behaviour and motivation. demonstrate an ability to formulate a critical analysis of the welfare reforms recently introduced in Britain and the United States, and of the similarities and differences in the approach adopted in the two countries. demonstrate an ability to formulate a critical analysis of the relationship between welfare and patterns of partnering and parenting in the two countries, and of the contrasting assumptions made about the labour market participation of lone parents of young children. demonstrate an ability to make use of a wide range of paper and electronic sources, and in particular of web-based materials on welfare reform in the United States. demonstrate an ability to make cogent and well-structured oral presentations on topics in this field of study.

Skills outcomes
Oral and written presentation skills, research skill, IT skills.Oral and written presentation skills, research skill, IT skills.


Syllabus

This module offers an analysis of current debates about the future direction of welfare reform in Britain and the United States. It starts from the premise that these debates reflect conflicting views of what constitutes a good society and what role welfare can play in bringing such a society into being. The first part of the module outlines a series of perspectives on welfare. Each of these perspectives offers a different formulation of what should be the role and purpose of welfare. The second part of the module demonstrates how the welfare reforms recently introduced in both Britain and the United States drew upon these perspectives. In particular, it shows how the reforms were formulated in response to specific arguments about welfare dependency, and how they sought to reach an accommodation with those arguments. The final part of the module provides a more detailed comparison of the ways in which governments in Britain and the United States have sought to use welfare to influence patterns of partnering and parenting, and of the contrasting assumptions made about the labour market participation of lone parents.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Video & Discussion71.007.00
Lecture151.0015.00
Seminar81.008.00
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

40 hours preparing for lectures, 60 hours preparing for tutorials, 60 hours preparing for essays and exams, 10 hours on independent research for presentations.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Attendance and contribution at tutorials.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 18/01/2010

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