UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

ANTH2407 Australian Society

Credit 6 points
  Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Not available in 2017UWA (Perth)Multi-mode
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Anthropology and Sociology major sequence
  • Category B broadening unit for Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Design students
  • Level 2 elective
Content What does it mean to live within (and outside of) Australian social structures and systems? Is there any such thing as 'Australian society' and, if so, how do social scientists go about describing and analysing it? This unit examines the main theoretical perspectives that have been applied to studies of Australian social life. An important objective is to provide students with the conceptual tools required for developing a critical understanding of major characteristics of 'Australian society'. Particular attention is paid to issues relating to institutions like the family and education, as well as issues of belonging and community identity. Topics covered include Australian community studies, national identity and migration, gender relations, social inequality and stratification, and the rural versus urban divide. Historical and contemporary analyses of Australian society are complemented by a selection of thought-provoking ethnographic and documentary films.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of key concepts in anthropology and sociology as applied to Australian society, including cultural diversity, social inequality, the nature of social relationships and institutions, systems of symbolic meaning, and processes that underpin social and cultural change; (2) demonstrate knowledge of sociological and anthropological studies of Australia in historical context and with attention to contemporary issues; (3) demonstrate an ability to critically review, analyse, sumarise and synthesise anthropological and sociological research and theory; use statistical data on Australian society; and be able to critique portrayals of Australian social life that appear in media and other public sources; (4) demonstrate an ability to formulate, investigate and discuss anthropologically and sociologically informed research questions and develop arguments based on a critical evaluation of evidence; and (5) demonstrate an ability to communicate anthropological and sociological ideas, principles and knowledge to specialist and non-specialist audiences using a range of formats (written, oral, visual etc.).
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) tutorial participation; (2) quizzes; and (3) research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Martin Forsey
Unit rules
Prerequisites: any level 1 ANTH unit
Incompatibility: ANTH2219 Australian Society: Facts and Fantasies
Contact hours up to 3 hours per teaching week

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.