Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


The unit focuses on how contemporary socioeconomic, cultural and political transformations in the Asian region intersect with forms and practices of popular culture. Specifically, it seeks to highlight the relevance of popular culture as a lens through which to analyse social, cultural, political and economic change. Through the study of popular culture, students explore how globalisation, inter- and intra-regional integration, cultural politics, consumerism, gender and sexual identities are articulated across societies in East and Southeast Asia. The unit also considers globalisation and global discontinuities in the context of the production, circulation and consumption of popular culture both from the West to Asia, and increasingly from Asia to the rest of the world. The unit examines these issues with reference to various spaces and practices of popular culture, such as film, television and popular music; fan cultures and social media; fashion and beauty cultures; postcolonialism and nationalism; and popular protest cultures. The unit can be counted towards a major in either Anthropology or Asian Studies.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Asian Studies; CHNSI Chinese Studies; CHNSA Chinese Studies; INDNI Indonesian Studies; JPNSI Japanese Studies major sequences
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) recognise the ways in which popular culture in contemporary Asian societies is shaped by, reflects, and in turn shapes, broader social, cultural, political and economic processes in Asia; (2) apply this understanding of the relationship between popular culture and sociocultural, economic and political processes to analyse and explain any other sociocultural context (including Australia); (3) critically analyse popular culture texts and practices, thereby gaining the ability to appreciate the influence and significance of popular culture in society and at a personal level; (4) assess and identify relevant resources for a research project, and be able to prioritise conclusions reached from an analysis of a variety of cultural and academic texts, giving reasons; and (5) express an argument clearly and persuasively in writing and orally.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial participation which may include an online component; (2) short written assignment; and (3) essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Caleb Kelso-Marsh
Unit rules
any Level 1
or POLS unit.
SOCS2216 Popular Culture in Asia
Advisable prior study
ASIA1001 Asian Societies and Cultures
Contact hours
This is a blended learning unit with a combination of online and face-to-face unit content. Key to learning are active and practice-focused 2 hour-tutorials every 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.
  • 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.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.