Tuesday, 30 October 2012

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : On to book 2

TMA 1 has been submitted, so I thought I'd make a quick start on Book 2 "Exploring Political Worlds", but I have have been put off by just picking up the book - it just seems so much heavier than Book 1.

I have read somewhere that it is best to start the book by reading Chapter 5, and once that is finished continue reading from the beginning.

I'll give this a try tomorrow, still getting over the shock of how heavy this book feels......

Sunday, 28 October 2012

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : Writing TMA 1

I had a fairly productive couple of hours yesterday and now have just over 1200 words but no conclusion written, so some serious editing is required.

There seems to be a variety of ways that people are approaching this TMA and I'm not sure if anyone of them is incorrect, they are just different. I think the key statement from the TMA writing advice is,

"you will need to consider different perspectives that point to a narrower or wider definition of the things – the issues – that may or may not be considered as political."


"You should choose examples from the module material to illustrate your arguments."

 So, time to get editing while keeping the above statements very much in mind.

and a very useful OU link which I keep forgetting to get to the Harvard Referencing Document.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : Week 4

27 Oct


  • Assignment: TMA 01 (cut-off date 1st November)

So, about 500 words done, books read and passages of interest marked. Not panicking yet to finish this essay, but I had hoped to have been slightly further ahead than I am at present. The 1200 word limit is going to be the challenge, risk of picking too many examples and discussion being too shallow, or too few examples and discussion too deep. This is my third course and the TMAs aren't getting any easier.

Friday, 26 October 2012

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : End of Week 3

That's the reading done for the first book of the course and it has been fairly gentle stuff.

The two chapter read this week were Chapter 4, 'Who belongs to a political community?' and Chapter 5, 'How does one encounter the state?' and there was quite a lot of the subject matter of these chapters chimed back to some of the work done in DD101 for the final TMA.

The difficulty now is answering the TMA question "What makes something political?' in an appropriate way and managing to reference chapters from the bookn and the audio - they have been very specific regarding the importance of the audio - so I need to crowbar this in somewhere.

At least the TMA deadline has been pushed back to the 1st November, so hopefullt write it over the weekedn and then leave it for a day or two before re-reading and refining it.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : Week 3

20 Oct
  • Activity: Book 1: Chapter 4, 'Who belongs to a political community?'; Chapter 5, 'How does one encounter the state?'; Conclusion

Friday, 19 October 2012

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : End of Week 2

Chapter 3 : Where does politics happen?

This has been the most interesting chapter so far, especially the section on the immigrants held in the detention centre in Australia and the various elements to their story that allowed fairly disenfranchised and marginalised people to grab the national headlines and become the centre of political debate - and in doing so swing popular opinion behind their cause. I found this story interesting as their protest could easily have gone unnoticed had it not been picked up by sympathetic and powerful forms of media & social media.

The first audio feature "Debating Politics" was set in Manchester, but the first noticeable thing for me was nobody seemed to have a stereo-typical Mancs accent - perhaps Noel and Liam were elsewhere that day - and I'm not sure the vox pops actually helped move the debate on at all. When the academics got involved in the discussion they discussed whether they have a wide or narrow view of what is politics, and whether they are a political optimist or a political sceptic. While I can see where the arguments were going, whether the academics were Narrow - Optimist, Narrow - Sceptic, Wide - Optimist or Wide Sceptic but I don't believe it is sensible to pigeon hole yourself as one of these 4 options. It seems to me that it very much depends on the issue under examination,  the position you take (given the 4 on offer) will depend on how the issue effects you (positively or negatively), if you can effect the debate or outcome and how the decision regarding an issue is arrived at.

The second audio feature, 'Reading across as well as down', is more about the structure and themes of the course than actual course material, so I have briefly listened to it, but I will listen to it again once the first TMA is submitted.

So, 2 chapters left to read and the TMA to be submitted before 1st November.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : Week 2

13 Oct
  • Activity: Audio Feature 1, 'Debating politics'; Book 1: Chapter 3, 'Where does politics happen?'; Discussion Audio A, 'Reading across as well as down'

    It doesn't seem like a lot of work this week, except that the two audios are pretty long and it is  easy for your mind to wander while just listening to them - I find it easier to read the transcript while listening to the audio as it keeps your mind more focused.

    The course description emphisises that the audios are an important part of the course teaching material and the TMA instructiosns say that you will get marks for referencing course materials, so I think I would like 2 or 3 references from the audio used in the TMA - I just have to find them.

Friday, 12 October 2012

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : End of Week 1

Well, Week 1 was a fairly gentle start to what looks as though it will be a very interesting course.

The tutorial last Saturday was without a doubt the best tutorial I have been to so far on the road to PPE, and the first two chapters in the book "What Is Politics, Ch1 "Why Is Politics Important?"and Ch2 "Who Does Politics?" have been pretty well written and easy to follow.

I am already thinking about how to answer the first TMA "What makes something ‘political’?". It is only 1200 words, so by the time you've written the introduction and conclusion, there will only be 950 words or so for the meat of the argument, so it will be all about carefully choosing specific points and examples from the course book and arguing around these points succinctly.

I have actually made a start on Week 2's reading already and Chapter 3 is very interesting, although on the downside the two audios do appear very long at around 40 mins each.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

DD203 - Power, Dissent, Equality : First Tutorial

Today is officially, according to the course timetable, the start of the course, so it seemed an odd date on which to have a tutorial.

The tutorials for my previous courses have been a bit dreary or not really covered that much, and I have gone along to them more because I thought I should, and because I feared I may miss something important, rather than because I thought it would be useful.

However, today's tutorial was actually really good. Practically all of the 2 hours was spent in interesting and well-paced discussions, which were well directed and moderated by the tutor. It has always felt a bit pointless in past tutorials having the tutor simply go over what we should already have read, so to have discussions around the course text and content was far more interesting, and it also brought in new and different ideas

A great start to the course, and it has motivated me to get some more reading done, and if all of the tutorials are as good as this one I will certainly be going to as many tutorials as possible.

So, with TMA01 due by the end of the month it is time to get back in to study mode for real.