GEOG3309 Global Inequalities and Population Change: Transformation and Crisis

6 points
(see Timetable)

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.

Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Human Geography and Planning major sequence
Inequality within and between nation states has never been greater, and is on the rise. This presents challenges to our ability to advance just and equitable long-term developmental trajectories and design effective policy responses to recurrent crises. This unit equips students with a conceptual toolkit of critical reasoning and analytical skills, as well as access to empirical evidence with which to understand the economic and demographic transformations that underpin the geography of uneven development across time, and at a range of scales (from the global to the individual).

It takes a geographical approach to examining the relationship between changing patterns of uneven development, the economic, demographic and cultural processes generating those spatial patterns, and the social and spatial structures through which inequalities are produced and sustained. Viewed from the global perspective of interdependent national and regional economies, the focus is on shifting regimes of accumulation, restructuring spatial divisions of labour, global systems of trade, and entrenched drivers of poverty. At the local scale, the unit also considers how individuals, communities and ethnic minorities in lower-income countries navigate livelihoods within these broader economic constraints, and how the lives of the wealthy and poor are entwined through both local and globally interdependent systems.

The unit then turns to the dynamics of rapid global population change over the last 200 years in relation to economic drivers of differential inequality. Students will analyse the key components of, and debates about, population change (fertility, mortality and migration) in the context of uneven development globally. We will explore the ways in which inequality relates to comparative population structures (e.g. in ageing vs youthful societies) and the implications of increasingly uneven distribution of the world's population in urban areas. Here again, the context of economic, demographic, and cultural change forms the backdrop for exploring individual and local-level choices and actions.
Students are able to (1) explain theories of economic and demographic change and how these inform understandings of inequality between cultural groups at various spatial and temporal scales; (2) produce interpreted analyses of economic, ethnic and demographic data from international comparative databases such as the World Bank and United Nations; (3) evaluate the interconnected economic and demographic choices and constraints faced by individuals, communities and cultural groups across the economic spectrum, globally.; (4) communicate complex demographic and economic concepts to different non-expert audiences; and (5) critically reflect on the personal, social and ethical dimensions of economic inequality and population change globally.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) report; (2) policy brief; and (3) presented article. 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)
Dr Sarah Prout Quicke
Unit rules
GEOG2205 or GEOG2206 or approval of unit co-ordinator
Contact hours
  • 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.