ASIA2004 Popular Culture in Asia

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Multi-mode
Non-standard teaching periodHong KongMulti-mode
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Anthropology and Sociology; Asian Studies; CHNSI Chinese Studies; CHNSA Chinese Studies; INDNI Indonesian Studies; JPNSI Japanese Studies major sequences
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 2 elective
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.
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.

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 Jo Elfving-Hwang & Dr Masafumi Monden
Unit rules
any Level 1 or Level 2 ASIA, K
Advisable prior study:
ASIA1001 Asian Societies and Cultures
SOCS2216 Popular Culture in Asia
Contact hours
This is a blended learning unit with a combination of face-to-face and online lectures (1 hour); and workshops/practical classes 2 hours per week up to 10 weeks, starting from week 2.
Unit Outline
Non-standard teaching period [TS-QTR-A2-2020]
  • 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 via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.