Tuesday, 30 November 2010

DD101 Introducing the Social Sciences - Final Book Purchase ?

This really is the last book that I intend to purchase for this course, my wallet can't take any more !!!

I had been searching for information on the course and found some websites/blogs from others who have studied or are studying this course - I have listed these on the link area of the page.

I also came across the "Getting Ready for DD101" page on the OU website, and they suggested the book "Social Sciences : the big issues" by Kath Woodward as a useful text, so after visiting Amazon again, I now have more than enough reading materials to see me through to the end of January and the start of the course proper.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

DD101 Introducing the Social Sciences - A Little Pre-Reading

In a bid to satisfy this new, and at present enthusuastic, thirst for knowledge I have purchased a couple of books already.

 Good Essay Writing - A Social Sciences Guide

The book 'Good Essay Writing - A Social Sciences Guide'  would seem to be an obvious choice for this course and having flicked through it looks a worthwhile purchase at less than £10.

I have written assignements and reports before, but far more on a technical and literal level, and my fiancee really doubts my ability to get in to the fluffier and less 'absolute' discipline of Social Science.

Essays on Philosophy, Politics and Economics

I was a little impatient regarding receiving the course literature and thought that this book would be an ideal introduction to the course. This has been a huge mistake, both finacially and motivationally.

The book looks a bit stern and austere, but that is nothing to the near impenetrable text within. 

Having struggled to keep interest through the Introduction, I jumped to Chapter 1: Utility and Utilitarianism.

The were two problems with the first page of the first chapter. My understanding of the word 'utility' and then my disagreement with the basic arithmetic premise of the argument.

To me 'utility' means something of 'many uses' (utility belt, utility knife) or a public service such as utility companies (water, electric, gas). However, according to Wikipedia (and I don't normally turn to them for confirmation) "In economics, utility is a measure of relative satisfaction”, how could you be expected to know this – have 'they' just made up a parallel language to confuse non-economists. Whoever 'they' are.

If you want to find out about the arithmetic problem presented, don't buy the book, just find it in a reputable book store and flick to page 15.

The Spirit Level  - Why Equality Is Better For Everyone

I didn't buy this, my fiancee did - seeing what a struggle reading the essays book was, she thought this would be a little more 'entry level', a sort of 'Social Science for Dummies'. 

It is a much less frightening read - partly because it has goldfish on the cover and they don't frighten me - but also because I've understood the first chapter and didn't have to resort to Wikipedia to see if curcial words actually had alternative meanings.

It's about 2 weeks until the course material is mailed out, probably 3 weeks before I receive the stuff. I've learned my lesson and will stay away from Amazon until the package arrives......

Friday, 19 November 2010

DD101 Introducing the Social Sciences - All Signed Up

Well there you go...... remarkably easy...... a couple of minutes on the internet, a quick phone call and I'm now £650 lighter and starting Introducing the social sciences (DD101) in late January. 

Late January! I want to start now, especially after I got my OU login and found out that the course material is not due to be sent until December, and the course website doesn't go live until late January either.

So what to do....... I've picked the rest of the courses I think I want to do to complete a BA (Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics, with the Qualification Planner,


Current modules

Introducing the social sciences (DD101)                                    

Intended modules

Level 2
Economics and economic change (DD202)
Exploring philosophy (A222)
Power, dissent, equality: understanding contemporary politics (DD203)
 Level 3
A world of whose making? (DU301)                   
Doing economics: people, markets and policy (DD309)                   

....... and I've played around with the Predict Your Degree Classification, but all that has achieved is confirming how much work there is coming up.

So not much else to do now except wait.