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This is a play based on the idea of a married woman, Judy Jones, wrestling with a decision. Judy is an OU tutor on the Risk course. Triggered by a discussion with a student, Judy tries to apply the... arguments developed in the course to decision-making in her own life. She is trying to decide whether she should take a full-time, permanent job. During the course of one day, she puts to her husband (who appears in fantasy), the views of John Rawls, a Political Philosopher and John Maynard Smith, a Biologist and Darwinist, as they affect male/female roles.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: U201, Risk
Item code: U201; 09
First transmission date: 12-08-1980
Published: 1980
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: Frances Berrigan
Contributors: Jack Dowie; Deborah Paige; John Harding; Susan Wallace; Ellie Smith; Christina Nagy
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Decision making; Risk
Footage description: After taking her children to school Judy is met by one of her O.U. students at her home. They discuss some problems the girl is having with an essay. Judy discusses with her the work of Rawls and Maynard-Smith and this brings up the question of inequality in society between the two sexes. When the student leaves Judy gets a letter informing her that she has an interview for a job that she wants. She feels that her husband will oppose this as she must look after the children. She decides that her future is at risk. She talks to Professor Rawls on the telephone to see if his theory of social justice can help her to make a decision about going for the job. Rawls states that his theory is general and cannot help with specific problems. Judy then has an imagined conversation with Roger, her husband. He discusses Rawls argument about fairness and justice, arguing that it does not relate to the real world. In another imagined sequence Roger refuses to take her seriously and argues that he is so busy at work that he could not cope with the extra housework if Judy took a job. Judy talks to Maynard-Smith, on the telephone, about his theories of genetically inherited behaviour. He argues that biology cannot express an opinion about the rights and wrongs of a situation, such as the social inequality of the sexes. Judy is walking on Hampstead Heath. She talks to Roger, out jogging, about uncertainty and change. Jack Dowie, standing by a giant dice, tells Judy to decide what she wants each face to represent. Having chosen her options, giving herself a 5 to 1 chance of getting and taking the job, to Roger's imagined complaints Jack rolls the dice. In the final scene, at home, Judy is preparing dinner. Roger tells her that he has been made redundant and asks her if she would like to work full-time. The actors now drop out of role to ask Jack about the play. He argues that it is about whether intellectualising and theorising about the world can help us to make better decisions.
Production number: FOUD017W
Videofinder number: 1318
Available to public: no