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Last updated:

April 13, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

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This course, 'Problem' populations, 'problem' places, looks deeper into the entanglements of welfare, crime and society.

It encourages you to think through these entanglements through a focus on 'problem' populations and 'problem' places. It includes treatment of the victims of Hurricane Katrina that hit the US in 2007, and also of the governance of urban populations in the context of Britain (council estates) and France (banlieues).

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the complex and different ways in which questions of social justice and inequality come to be seen in terms of the deficient behaviour of different populations
  • Understand how certain groups of people and places come to be identified as ‘problematic’ and how social welfare and crime concerns intersect in the management of these populations
  • Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of some of the enduring legacies of the past, both in terms of the language that is often mobilised to represent disadvantaged people and people living in poverty, and also the continuing presentation of certain groups as ‘problems’ to be managed.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction 00:15:00
  • Learning outcomes 00:07:00
  • Aims of the course 00:15:00
    • The shaming of America 00:15:00
    • Welfare and law enforcement 00:30:00
    • The impact of Katrina on New Orleans 00:30:00
    • The idea of problematic places 00:20:00
    • Urban unrest: the case of the French urban periphery 00:25:00
    • Bringing it all back home: the ‘problem estate’ 00:15:00
    • Council estates: a symbol of failure? 00:30:00
    • Review: misrecognition, disrespect and the politics of fear 00:25:00
    • Further reading 00:20:00
    • Conclusion 00:05:00
    • Take the next step 00:05:00

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Open University UK