ANTH2407 Australian Society

Credit
6 points
Offering

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

AvailabilityLocationMode
Not available in 2021UWA (Perth)Multi-mode Multiple modes of delivery. Unit includes a mix of online and on-campus study requirements. On campus attendance for some activities is required to complete this unit.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Anthropology and Sociology major sequence
  • 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
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) research symposium ; 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 arts unit
Incompatibility:
ANTH2219 Australian Society: Facts and Fantasies
Contact hours
up to 3 hours per teaching week
Texts

Cuervo, Hernan, and Wyn, Johanna. 2012 Young People Making it Work: Continuity and Change in Rural Places. Melbourne University Press, Youth Studies Series.

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  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.