CARE08053 2016 Futures of Care, Welfare and Society

General Details

Full Title
Futures of Care, Welfare and Society
Transcript Title
Futures of care and society
N/A %
Subject Area
CARE - Social Studies
SOCS - Social Sciences
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
John Pender
Programme Membership
SG_HSOCI_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Care Practice SG_HEARL_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HEARL_H08 201800 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HSOCI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Sciences in Social Care Practice

This module seeks to introduce students to the emerging discipline of futures and forecasting studies and to adopt, critically, futures and forecasting perspectives and methodologies into the interrogation of care, social policy, and welfare issues.

This module maps to the CORU Standards of Proficiency below:

• Domain 1: Professional Autonomy and Accountability

• Domain 2: Communication, Collaborative Practice and Team working

• Domain 3: Safety & Quality

• Domain 4: Professional Development

• Domain 5: Professional Knowledge and Skills

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


 Critically utilize and adapt futures and forecasting methodological techniques and approaches to social scientific knowledge and evidence generation (Domain 3.5, 5.5,5.6)


Synthesise  and critically assess the possible application of these prognostic tools of analysis in the context of continuously evolving care, welfare and social policies issues (Domain 4.3, 5.1)


Critique and locate historical and contemporary ideological and political debates concerning the possible futures of welfare entitlements, provision and delivery of care services (Domain 5.3, 5.6)


Detect and evaluate the extent to which a number of current agencies of welfare, particularly in Ireland, have responded to recent and ongoing demographic, medical, social, technological, political, economic and cultural transformations (Domain 3.6)


Critically assess and evaluate the ways in which these discourses and developments, combined, may change current applications of notions such as social rights, community, democracy, citizenship, participation, equality, equity, social justice etc., ideals central to the operation of most western welfare regimes throughout the post war period (Domain 5. 2, 5.3)


Dynamically engage in systematic, creative and innovative reflection on a range of social care issues and devise appropriate futures driven responses (Domain.1.18, 2.6, 2.7)

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Weekly lectures and tutorials augmented by episodic video workshops with international experts. A mid-semester field trip visit to a module relevant organisation/technology laboratory/conference.

Module Assessment Strategies

Students are required to undertake and present (individually or in groups not exceeding THREE members) an extensive audit of an agreed futures oriented topic by way of a Powerpoint enhanced concept feasibility pitch presentation(40%). Additionally, students must submit an individual 4,000 word write-up of their topic or, depending on an assignment working group composed of a MAXIMUM of THREE participants, the submission of a 7000 word write up of their topic (60%).  

This module’s assessment allows for assessment of CORU Standards of Proficiency as follows:

Feasibility Pitch (Domain: 1.18, 2. 7)

Project write-up (Domain: 1.18, 2.6, 3.5, 3.6, 4.3,5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6, 5.11)

Repeat Assessments

Submission of a 4,000-word module related assignment.

Indicative Syllabus

  • Introducing the study of futures and forecasting
  • Futures: methodological considerations and forecasting techniques (Delphi technique, anchored and unanchored approaches, futures scanning, extroplation, trends analysis, scenario construction, identification of drivers of change, etc)
  • Welfare, the political economy, and futures
  • The future as risk society
  • Futures, values, and ethics
  • Information technology and the futures of public services provision
  • Futures of the voluntary sector
  • Private welfare futures
  • Genomics and health futures  
  • Futures of education
  • Social security futures
  • The family and its futures
  • Identity, community, and society
  • Religion and spiritualities
  • Environment
  • The future and welfare theory
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Robotisation of society and implications for care
  • Ethical implications of AI and Robotisation

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Presentation Individual or group topic audit/project feasibilty presentation Continuous Assessment Project 40 % Week 6 1,2,3,4,5
2 Project Individual student project write-up (4000 words) Continuous Assessment Written Report 60 % Week 12 1,2,3,4,5,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Weekly Lectures 2 Weekly 2.00
Workshop Flat Classroom Weekly project oriented workshops 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2013-03-01 Robot Futures The MIT Press
ISBN 0262018624 ISBN-13 9780262018623

With robots, we are inventing a new species that is part material and
part digital. The ambition of modern robotics goes beyond copying humans, beyond the
effort to make walking, talking androids that are indistinguishable from people.
Future robots will have superhuman abilities in both the physical and digital
realms. They will be embedded in our physical spaces, with the ability to go where
we cannot, and will have minds of their own, thanks to artificial intelligence. In
Robot Futures, the roboticist Illah Reza Nourbakhsh considers how
we will share our world with these creatures, and how our society could change as it
incorporates a race of stronger, smarter beings.

imagines a future that includes adbots offering interactive custom messaging;
robotic flying toys that operate by means of "gaze tracking";
robot-enabled multimodal, multicontinental telepresence; and even a way that
nanorobots could allow us to assume different physical forms. Nourbakhsh examines
the underlying technology and the social consequences of each scenario. He also
offers a counter-vision: a robotics designed to create civic and community
empowerment. His book helps us understand why that is the robot future we should try
to bring about.

Recommended Reading
2014-01-10 Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics (Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series) The MIT Press
ISBN 026252600X ISBN-13 9780262526005

Robots today serve in many roles, from entertainer to educator to
executioner. As robotics technology advances, ethical concerns become more pressing:
Should robots be programmed to follow a code of ethics, if this is even possible?
Are there risks in forming emotional bonds with robots? How might society -- and
ethics -- change with robotics? This volume is the first book to bring together
prominent scholars and experts from both science and the humanities to explore these
and other questions in this emerging field.

Starting with an
overview of the issues and relevant ethical theories, the topics flow naturally from
the possibility of programming robot ethics to the ethical use of military robots in
war to legal and policy questions, including liability and privacy concerns. The
contributors then turn to human-robot emotional relationships, examining the ethical
implications of robots as sexual partners, caregivers, and servants. Finally, they
explore the possibility that robots, whether biological-computational hybrids or
pure machines, should be given rights or moral

Ethics is often slow to catch up with technological
developments. This authoritative and accessible volume fills a gap in both scholarly
literature and policy discussion, offering an impressive collection of expert
analyses of the most crucial topics in this increasingly important field.

Recommended Reading
2013-08-05 Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach Pearson Education Limited
ISBN 1292024208 ISBN-13 9781292024202
Recommended Reading
1992 The Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence Oxford University Press
ISBN 0198248547 ISBN-13 9780198248545
Recommended Reading
Future Crimes: A Journey to the Dark Side of Technology - and How to Survive it Bantam Press
ISBN 0593073657 ISBN-13 9780593073650
Recommended Reading
2012-10-02 Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other Basic Books
ISBN 0465031463 ISBN-13 9780465031467

Technology has become the architect of our intimacies. Online, we fall prey to the illusion of companionship, gathering thousands of Twitter and Facebook friends and confusing tweets and wall posts with authentic communication. But, as MIT technology and society specialist Sherry Turkle argues, this relentless connection leads to a new solitude. As technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down. Alone Together is the result of Turkle's nearly fifteen-year exploration of our lives on the digital terrain. Based on hundreds of interviews, it describes new unsettling relationships between friends, lovers, parents, and children, and new instabilities in how we understand privacy and community, intimacy, and solitude.

Recommended Reading
2008 Forecasting Methods and Applications WSE
ISBN 8126518529 ISBN-13 9788126518524

Forecasting refers to a series of events, using which one can infer the accurate outcomes of the future that are yet to be determined. With a new approach to the basic concepts of exact forecasting, Forecasting Methods And Applications is a book that comprehends modern approaches adapted by administrators to determine the future..

Recommended Reading
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics Allen Lane
ISBN 1846144035 ISBN-13 9781846144035
Recommended Reading
2009-12-22 This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future (Edge Question Series) Harper Perennial
ISBN 0061899674 ISBN-13 9780061899676

This Will Change Everything offers seemingly radical but actually feasible ideas with the potential to change the world.Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel

Editor John Brockman continues in the same vein as his popular compilations What Are You Optimistic About and What Have You Changed Your Mind About with This Will Change Everything. Brockman asks 150 intellectual superstars what game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see? Their fascinating responses are collected here, from bestselling author of Atonement Ian McEwan to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek to electronic music pioneer Brian Eno to writer, actor, director, and activist Alan Alda.

Recommended Reading
2012-06-13 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN 1603584218 ISBN-13 9781603584210

Forty years ago, The Limits to Growth study addressed the grand question of how humans would adapt to the physical limitations of planet Earth. It predicted that during the first half of the 21st century the ongoing growth in the human ecological footprint would stop-either through catastrophic "overshoot and collapse"-or through well-managed "peak and decline."

So, where are we now? And what does our future look like?  In the book 2052, Jorgen Randers, one of the coauthors of Limits to Growth, issues a progress report and makes a forecast for the next forty years. To do this, he asked dozens of experts to weigh in with their best predictions on how our economies, energy supplies, natural resources, climate, food, fisheries, militaries, political divisions, cities, psyches, and more will take shape in the coming decades. He then synthesized those scenarios into a global forecast of life as we will most likely know it in the years ahead.

The good news: we will see impressive advances in resource efficiency, and an increasing focus on human well-being rather than on per capita income growth. But this change might not come as we expect. Future growth in population and GDP, for instance, will be constrained in surprising ways-by rapid fertility decline as result of increased urbanization, productivity decline as a result of social unrest, and continuing poverty among the poorest 2 billion world citizens. Runaway global warming, too, is likely.

So, how do we prepare for the years ahead? With heart, fact, and wisdom, Randers guides us along a realistic path into the future and discusses what readers can do to ensure a better life for themselves and their children during the increasing turmoil of the next forty years.

Recommended Reading
2015-11-25 Genomics and Society: Ethical, Legal, Cultural and Socioeconomic Implications Academic Press
ISBN 0124201954 ISBN-13 9780124201958

Genomics and Society; Ethical, Legal-Cultural, and Socioeconomic Implications is the first book to address the vast and thorny web of ELSI topics identified as core priorities of the NHGRI in 2011.

The work addresses fundamental issues of biosociety and bioeconomy as the revolution in biology moves from research lab to healthcare system.

Of particular interest to healthcare practitioners, bioethicists, and health economists, and of tangential interest to the gamut of applied social scientists investigating the societal impact of new medical paradigms, the work describes a myriad of issues around consent, confidentiality, rights, patenting, regulation, and legality in the new era of genomic medicine.

  • Addresses the vast and thorny web of ELSI topics identified as core priorities of the NHGRI in 2011
  • Presents the core fundamental issues of biosociety and bioeconomy as the revolution in biology moves from research lab to healthcare system
  • Describes a myriad of issues around consent, including confidentiality, rights, patenting, regulation, and more

Recommended Reading
2012-09-28 New Mega Trends: Implications for our Future Lives Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN 1137008083 ISBN-13 9781137008084

New Mega Trends predicts the ten trends that will make the greatest impact to business - and our lives - in the future and offers practical advice on how to profit from them.

Recommended Reading
2016-01-01 The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts Oxford University Press
ISBN 0198713398 ISBN-13 9780198713395

This book predicts the decline of today's professions and describes the people and systems that will replace them. In an Internet society, according to Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind, we will neither need nor want doctors, teachers, accountants, architects, the clergy, consultants, lawyers, and many others, to work as they did in the 20th century.

The Future of the Professions explains how 'increasingly capable systems' -- from telepresence to artificial intelligence -- will bring fundamental change in the way that the 'practical expertise' of specialists is made available in society.

The authors challenge the 'grand bargain' -- the arrangement that grants various monopolies to today's professionals. They argue that our current professions are antiquated, opaque and no longer affordable, and that the expertise of their best is enjoyed only by a few. In their place, they propose six new models for producing and distributing expertise in society.

The book raises important practical and moral questions. In an era when machines can out-perform human beings at most tasks, what are the prospects for employment, who should own and control online expertise, and what tasks should be reserved exclusively for people?

Based on the authors' in-depth research of more than ten professions, and illustrated by numerous examples from each, this is the first book to assess and question the relevance of the professions in the 21st century.

Recommended Reading
2015-08-04 Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence Yale University Press
ISBN 0300213557 ISBN-13 9780300213553

Selected as one of the 10 best science and technology books of 2015 by The Economist
After billions of dollars and fifty years of effort, researchers are finally cracking the code on artificial intelligence. As society stands on the cusp of unprecedented change, Jerry Kaplan unpacks the latest advances in robotics, machine learning, and perception powering systems that rival or exceed human capabilities. Driverless cars, robotic helpers, and intelligent agents that promote our interests have the potential to usher in a new age of affluence and leisure but as Kaplan warns, the transition may be protracted and brutal unless we address the two great scourges of the modern developed world: volatile labor markets and income inequality. He proposes innovative, free-market adjustments to our economic system and social policies to avoid an extended period of social turmoil. His timely and accessible analysis of the promise and perils of artificial intelligence is a must-read for business leaders and policy makers on both sides of the aisle.

Recommended Reading
2015-08-25 Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots Ecco
ISBN 0062266683 ISBN-13 9780062266682

As robots are increasingly integrated into modern societyon the battlefield and the road, in business, education, and healthPulitzer-Prize-winning New York Times science writer John Markoff searches for an answer to one of the most important questions of our age: will these machines help us, or will they replace us?

In the past decade alone, Google introduced us to driverless cars, Apple debuted a personal assistant that we keep in our pockets, and an Internet of Things connected the smaller tasks of everyday life to the farthest reaches of the internet. There is little doubt that robots are now an integral part of society, and cheap sensors and powerful computers will ensure that, in the coming years, these robots will soon act on their own. This new era offers the promise of immense computing power, but it also reframes a question first raised more than half a century ago, at the birth of the intelligent machine: Will we control these systems, or will they control us?

In Machines of Loving Grace, New York Times reporter John Markoff, the first reporter to cover the World Wide Web, offers a sweeping history of the complicated and evolving relationship between humans and computers. Over the recent years, the pace of technological change has accelerated dramatically, reintroducing this difficult ethical quandary with newer and far weightier consequences. As Markoff chronicles the history of automation, from the birth of the artificial intelligence and intelligence augmentation communities in the 1950s, to the modern day brain trusts at Google and Apple in Silicon Valley, and on to the expanding tech corridor between Boston and New York, he traces the different ways developers have addressed this fundamental problem and urges them to carefully consider the consequences of their work.

We are on the verge of a technological revolution, Markoff argues, and robots will profoundly transform the way our lives are organized. Developers must now draw a bright line between what is human and what is machine, or risk upsetting the delicate balance between them.

Recommended Reading
2015-09-03 The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment Oneworld Publications
ISBN 1780747497 ISBN-13 9781780747491

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Bell, Wendell. (2003), Foundations of Futures Studies: History, Purposes, and Knowledge (Human Science for a New Era). New Brunswick: Transaction Publications.

Bell, Wendell. (2004), Foundations of Futures Studies: Values, Objectivity, and the Good Society (Human Science and the New Era). New Brunswick: Transaction Publications.

Dixon, P. (2007), Futurewise: The six faces of global change. London: Profile Books.

Ervasti, H., Andersen, J.G., and Fridberg, T. (eds) (2012), The Future of the Welfare State: Social policy attitudes and social capital in Europe. London: Edward Elgar.

Jäger, J., and Cornell, S (eds) (2010), The Planet in 2050: The Lund Discourse of the Future. London. Routledge.

Karraker, M., and Grochowski, J.R. (2012), Families with Futures: Family studies into the 21st century. London: Routledge.

Ott, M.R. (2009), The Future of Religion. Haymarket Books.

Outhwaite, William (2005), The Future of Society. Blackwell.Cambridge.

Rothwell, S. J. (2009), Living for the Future: A study in the ethics of immortality. BiblioBazaar.

Rowthone, A., and Barnes, C. (2005), Working Futures: Disabled people, policy and social inclusion. London: Policy Press.

Slaughter, Richard A. (2004), Futures Beyond Dystopia: Creating Social Foresight. Routledge Farmer,London.

Smith, L.C. (2011), The World in 2050: Four forces shaping civilization’s northern future. Plume Books.

Stinhcomb, J.B. (2011), Corrections: Foundations for the future. New York: Routledge.

Tofler, A. (1973), Future Shock. New York: Pan Books.

Other Resources

Online access to the following Futures resouces:

Journal of Futures

The Futurist

Additional Information