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Course module: 201700035
201700035
Individualisation and social policy: Norms, objectives and practices
Course infoSchedule
Course code201700035
ECTS Credits7.5
Category / Level3 (Bachelor Advanced)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Social Sciences; Undergraduate School Sociale Wetenschappen; Interdisciplinary social and behavioural sciences;
Contact persondrs. R. Voss
E-mailR.Voss@uu.nl
Lecturers
Lecturer
drs. G.B.M. Dielissen
Other courses by this lecturer
Lecturer
drs. R. Voss
Other courses by this lecturer
Contactperson for the course
drs. R. Voss
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
3  (04/02/2019 to 19/04/2019)
Teaching period in which the course begins
3
Time slotA: MON-morning, TUE-afternoon, WED-morning
Study mode
Full-time
Enrolment periodfrom 29/10/2018 up to and including 25/11/2018
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Pre-enrolmentNo
Post-registrationYes
Post-registration openfrom 21/01/2019 up to and including 22/01/2019
Waiting listNo
Course placement processniet van toepassing
Aims
  • Knowledge: knowledge of the major perspectives, theories and research regarding individualisation  and social policies, and their interplay
  • Understand and apply: relate theoretical concepts and theories and apply these in a specific policy field
  • Apply and analyse: apply theoretical and research approaches to issues surrounding individualisation and social policies, and their interplay
  • Apply and reflect: to be able to explain the ways in which individualisation ‘from below’ (citizens willing – and forced by their social environment – to be independent, autonomous and unique) and individualisation ‘from above’ (governments actively stimulating and/or capitalizing on the individuality of their citizens) interact
  • Analyse and evaluate: be able to critically evaluate a case by using the concepts and theories regarding individualisation and social policy
Content
In the past century, the process of individualisation has changed Western societies fundamentally. In general, citizens have become better educated and more prosperous, while categories of citizens who in the past were excluded from equal participation in society, like women and citizens with a lower class background, have succeeded (though still not completely) in emancipating themselves. As a consequence Western citizens have become less dependent on other people in their direct environment, like spouses, parents, friends, and neighbours. In the process ‘individuality’, ‘autonomy’, and ‘self-actualization’ have become dominant social norms: increasingly citizens do not only want to be independent, autonomous and unique, they are also expected to strive for these norms by the communities and societies in which they live.

Western welfare states have contributed substantially to this process of individualisation. While in the 20th century, governments legally recognized the individuality of their citizens (in family law, property law etc.) and granted them individual formal-legal entitlements to social benefits and services, in recent decades they have taken one step further. Since the 1990s Western governments not only recognize the individuality of their citizens, but actively try to encourage it. They do so in at least two – partially contradictory – manners. On the one hand, governments try to accommodate and facilitate the individuality of their citizens by means of all sorts of ‘activation policies’, like cash-for-care arrangements in long-term care and tailor-made re-integration trajectories for unemployed and (partially) disabled citizens. On the other, hand governments attempt to capitalize on the (supposed) individuality and ‘self-reliance’ of their citizens by making them responsible for the care for their family members and neighbours. 

In this course various theoretical and empirical theories on individualisation and social policy are discussed in lectures and tutorial meetings, with a dual focus on individualisation ‘from below’ (citizens willing – and forced by their social environment – to be independent, autonomous and unique) and individualisation ‘from above’ (governments actively stimulating and/or capitalizing on the individuality of their citizens). In addition, students are asked to select a certain policy field (education, health care, etc.) and to analyse 1) how the process of individualisation has affected this policy field, and 2) how in the past the present government policies have stimulated and/or capitalized on citizens’ (supposed) individuality. Students will report on the analysis in a paper.

Competencies
-
Entry requirements
-
Required materials
Items
A capita selecta of major contributions to the study of individualization. These will be selections of chapters and articles from authors like Georg Simmel, Norbert Elias, Anthony Giddens, Gøsta Esping-Andersen, Saskia Sassen, and others.
Instructional formats
Lecture

Review session

Seminar

Tests
Take-home exam B
Test weight50
Minimum grade5.5

Assessment
The ability to collect, structure and integrate the various theoretical approaches to individualization and social policy. The ability to apply these various approaches to a specific case or policy field, and to do this in a coherent and well-structured manner.

Take-home exam A
Test weight50
Minimum grade5.5

Assessment
The ability to collect, structure and integrate the various theoretical approaches to individualization and social policy. The ability to apply these various approaches to a specific case or policy field, and to do this in a coherent and well-structured manner.

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