ANTH2407 Australian Society

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Multi-mode
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Anthropology and Sociology major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
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.
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.).
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
any Level 1 arts unit
ANTH2219 Australian Society: Facts and Fantasies
Contact hours
up to 3 hours per teaching week

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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