UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

ASIA2002 Australia and Asia

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Not available in 2017UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Asian Studies; CHNSI Chinese; CHNSA Chinese; INDNI Indonesian; JPNSI Japanese major sequences
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Science students
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 2 elective
Content This unit explores the major political, social and cultural issues which have characterised the relationship between Australia and the Asian region. It critically examines a range of arguments about the way in which the Australian nation-state has dealt with the external and internal dimensions of an Asian presence, from issues of security and trade to immigration and multiculturalism. Throughout white Australian history there have been many instances of intersection between the external and internal concerns. Most notably during the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century there was a concurrent fear of the rise of certain Asian nations and a pathological concern with the 'polluting' effects of the presence of Asians within Australia. Both of these were informed by a common discourse of 'race' and social Darwinism. In the contemporary period the forces of globalisation and the changing structure of the international power order have impacted on the search for a new formula to ensure Australian security and for a cultural policy (i.e. 'multiculturalism') that will do likewise for the internal configuration of the Australian nation-state.

The unit also explores cultural issues in the relationship including the representation of 'Asian' peoples and cultures within Australia, and the construction of identity. The unit examines how trade and security issues shape Australia–Asia relations; how these relations have been affected by changing ideas of 'race'; and how Asian culture is consumed in contemporary mainstream Australia; what is multiculturalism and has it made Australia a 'tolerant' country; how has globalisation affected the status of Asian and Anglo-Australian identities in Australia; and how is 'Australia' perceived and understood within Asian contexts. Students consider critically the Australia–Asia region in the contemporary global political/cultural environment.

The unit draws on and teaches students to use and apply the latest research in political and cultural history, international relations, identity politics and cultural studies. As a broadening unit it equips students with an enhanced level of cultural competency and understanding of the complex nature of global forces which have impacted on Australia and Asia. These forces are constantly in a state of change and shape attitudes, policies and interactions between Australia, Asia and the world.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) identify and critically analyse key social and cultural issues in relations between Australia and Asia; (2) understand and critically assess the various economic and geopolitical issues in relations between Australia and Asian nations and peoples; (3) understand and apply relevant theoretical approaches to the analysis of these issues; (4) construct cogent analyses of the changing nature and significance of these issues over time; (5) express information and ideas coherently and logically in written forms; and (6) recognise and practise ethical scholarship and develop more advanced research skills related to the discipline.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) tutorial participation and presentation; (2) research essay; and (3) examination. 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 Gary Sigley
Unit rules
Prerequisites: a Level 1 ASIA, JAPN, CHIN,KORE or INDO unit
Incompatibility: ASIA2206 Understanding Asia–Australia Issues
Contact hours lectures: 20 hours; tutorials: 9 hours

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • 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.