Making Sense of Irish Society

Mon: 7.00-9.00pm • Duration: 8 weeks

Tuition Fee: €110

Commencement Date: Monday 30th September 2024

NOTE: This course will be delivered online and in the classroom at the same time. The tutor will be in the classroom

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Why this course?

With information overload , ‘social influencers’, misinformation and  Far Right violence etc, learn to skilfully separate fact from fiction, deciding which societal goals/policies likely offer ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’ of people.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with endless information from politicians, business leaders, unions, farmers and experts of all hues, and you’d like to develop some intellectual tools to help you get closer to the truth, then this course is for you. You’ll learn how to distinguish between different policy alternatives towards providing suitable and adequate solutions to pressing social issues, such as healthcare, housing, social care and mental health services, and other areas which the group might decide are important.

You will learn how the media ‘manufactures’ news, how certain items become newsworthy and others don’t, how a particular ‘agenda’ is set and ‘framed’, how ‘spin-doctoring’ works, and how these influence public opinion. You’ll become equipped with intellectual models to understand how ‘power’ moves and operates in organisations and groups, in national politics and organisations. The course will be pitched at beginners, but will work the level which best-suits the needs of the group.


Key Course Highlights:

Week 1- Information Society and the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Week 2- Learning to Critically Think and Assess Information in the ‘Post-Truth’ Society.

Week 3- Public Policy in Ireland, Interest Groups and Power.

Week 4- Laying Bare the Ideology and Beliefs Underlying Public Policies- Case Study 1- Solutions to the Housing Crisis

Week 5- Fact or Fiction? Ireland Can Be Run Like a Private Business? Testing This contention Through Examining Social Need for Elder care or Mental Health care or GP/Hospital Care, as Chosen by the Group.

Week 6- The Mainstream Media and Social Media: Framing;  Agenda-Setting and Spin-Doctoring.

Week 7- Empowering Yourself To Recognise: How News is ‘Manufactured’, Misinformation and Disinformation on Social Media, Social Influencers, Group-Think.

Week 8- Nurturing Positive Values and Critical Literacy for Social Justice and Social Responsibility, to Promote the Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of People.