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Understanding Social Change

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Understanding Social Change
  • Description
  • Outcome
  • Certification
  • Understanding Social Change is the last in a series of four free online courses that will give you an understanding of how society changes through social movements and how these changes are researched. You will learn about the role of social movements in a changing society, and why and how these movements form and evolve over time. You will learn about crowds and collective behaviour along with the emerging norms in a society. You will learn about how sociological research is carried out using scientific methods and the different methods used, such as surveys and field research as well as ethical considerations that need to be considered when doing research. The course also reviews key social areas, such as aging, media, technology and deviance. You will learn how sociology defines deviance or non-conformity and how it differs from crime. For example, Rosa Parks violated social norms when she refused to move to the "black section" of a bus, yet her "deviant behaviour" advanced civil rights for all African Americans. You will also look at how crime is categorized and the different areas of the criminal justice system. The course then reviews how new technologies, particularly in the area of the media, impact societies globally and the divide between those who have early access to new technology and those who don't. You will also study the effect new media, television and advertising have on social homogenization and social fragmentation. As the role of the elderly in society changes, you will learn how this impacts on their lives through the need to work longer, and by being disenfranchised and sometimes abused. The course reviews how society will need to plan for and fund more resources in the future to support a growing elderly population. This course will be of great interest to professionals in areas as diverse as medicine, politics, law, urban organization and marketing, and anybody who would like to know more about how cultures and societies evolve and change.

  • Having completed this course you will be able to:
    - Define and describe the scientific method to sociology research;
    - Differentiate between four kinds of research methods: surveys, field research, experiments, and secondary data analysis;
    - Define deviance and explain the nature of deviant behaviour;
    - Identify and differentiate between different types of crimes;
    - Describe technological inequality and issues related to unequal access to technology;
    - Describe the evolution and current role of different media;
    - Explain the advantages and concerns of media globalization;
    - Consider the biological, social, and psychological changes in aging;
    - Recognise ageist thinking and ageist attitudes in individuals and in institutions;
    - Describe different forms of collective behaviour and differentiate between types of crowds;
    - Demonstrate awareness of social movements on a state, national, and global level;
    - Explain how technology, social institutions, population, and the environment can bring about social change.

  • All Alison courses are free to study. To successfully complete a course you must score 80% or higher in each course assessments. Upon successful completion of a course, you can choose to make your achievement formal by purchasing an official Alison Diploma, Certificate or PDF.

    Having an official Alison document is a great way to celebrate and share your success. It is:

    • Ideal to include with CVs, job applications and portfolios
    • A way to show your ability to learn and achieve high results

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