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POL 201 – Contemporary Issues in Australian Politics: Race, Nation, Class and Gender

2017 – S2 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Glenn Kefford
Lorna Barrow
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
12cp at 100 level or above or (3cp in HIST or MHIS or POL units)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
As Australia progresses through the second decade of the 21st century, it confronts a number of persistent questions: Has it lived up to its reputation as an egalitarian country whose unofficial motto is ‘fair go!’? How have class relations been impacted on – if at all – by the economic boom of the past two decades? Are Australian women and men really equal in the context of the rise and fall of the Women’s Liberation Movement and the emergence of so-called ‘raunch feminism’? What are the prospects for closing the gap between the country’s indigenous people and its more recent arrivals? Taking as its central themes, race, nation, class, and gender, the course is structured in the following way: Weeks 2-4 deal with race and nation; Weeks 5-8 with class politics; Weeks 9-12 with gender and sexuality; Week 13 concludes the course by examining the health of the Australian body politic in light of the foregoing discussions about its divided state.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. A. To have the ability to peer below the surface feature of Australian politics and its discourse to identify the underlying inequalities at play (1, 2, 6, 7, 8)
  2. B. To have an appreciation of the limited, contingent, and transient nature of Australian political institutions, and to be able to articulate these effectively, in verbal and written format (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  3. C. To understand and identify linkages between, for example, class and race and Australian nationhood (1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  4. D. To be able to critically analyse Australian politics and assess the degree to which it reinforces and normalises inequality (1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8)
  5. E. To be able to assess the extent that the media and new economic technologies impact – if at all – on the reproduction of existing social relations (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8)
  6. F. To have the capacity to determine how much interplay there is between discourse, ideology, structures and agency in shaping the makeup of Australian society in terms of race, nation, class and gender (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Tutorial Participation 15% No Ongoing
Major Essay 40% No TBD
In-Lecture Quizzes 45% No Ongoing

Tutorial Participation

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 15%

Tutorial topics will follow one week after lectures. The emphasis in tutorials will be on group discussion (advancing and defending arguments orally), exploration of current issues, and practical exercises. The tutorials provide an opportunity to make connections between the broad principles and theories covered in lectures and contemporary political issues and events.

Tutorials provide the opportunity to ask questions about things you do not understand and challenge things with which you do not agree. In preparation for each tutorial you are expected to read as widely as possible and to keep abreast of current affairs in order to contribute meaningfully to weekly discussions.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • A. To have the ability to peer below the surface feature of Australian politics and its discourse to identify the underlying inequalities at play (1, 2, 6, 7, 8)
  • B. To have an appreciation of the limited, contingent, and transient nature of Australian political institutions, and to be able to articulate these effectively, in verbal and written format (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • D. To be able to critically analyse Australian politics and assess the degree to which it reinforces and normalises inequality (1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8)

Major Essay

Due: TBD
Weighting: 40%

The essay, approximately 2500 words in length, provides students with the opportunity to explore a topic of interest in depth. Students will be able develop a considered answer to a specific question based on reading a range of sources wider than simply the key readings.  (Students must read and refer to a minimum of 15 substantive sources. See below for notes on sources.)

A high standard essay would draw upon a wide range of resources to support a well-organised argument in response to the set question. Remember, there is no ‘correct’ answer to each question: rather, there are arguments that are better expressed, more persuasively made, intelligently constructed, supported with evidence, and deeply analysed. Consider whether the arguments you read are logical and provide convincing evidence. The same criteria should apply to your own work.

The Harvard referencing system is required. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • A. To have the ability to peer below the surface feature of Australian politics and its discourse to identify the underlying inequalities at play (1, 2, 6, 7, 8)
  • C. To understand and identify linkages between, for example, class and race and Australian nationhood (1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • E. To be able to assess the extent that the media and new economic technologies impact – if at all – on the reproduction of existing social relations (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8)
  • F. To have the capacity to determine how much interplay there is between discourse, ideology, structures and agency in shaping the makeup of Australian society in terms of race, nation, class and gender (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9)

In-Lecture Quizzes

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 45%

These quizzes will be held in various lectures (9 quizzes worth 5% each) throughout the semester.  They will be based on material covered in the key readings and lectures, and the details in relation to which lectures they will be held in will not be announced prior to each lecture, meaning that you will not know in advance whether a quiz will be held in a given lecture.  This is designed to ensure maximum participation in the course and maximum achievement in the quizzes. More information about the quizzes will be provided at the lecture in Week 1.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • B. To have an appreciation of the limited, contingent, and transient nature of Australian political institutions, and to be able to articulate these effectively, in verbal and written format (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • C. To understand and identify linkages between, for example, class and race and Australian nationhood (1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • D. To be able to critically analyse Australian politics and assess the degree to which it reinforces and normalises inequality (1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8)
  • F. To have the capacity to determine how much interplay there is between discourse, ideology, structures and agency in shaping the makeup of Australian society in terms of race, nation, class and gender (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Delivery and Resources

Resources

There is no set-text for this unit. Instead key weekly readings will be posted on ilearn or will be available through the library website. Additional relevant readings will be listed on ilearn.

Delivery:

For lecture times and classrooms please consult the MQ Timetable website: http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au. This website will display up-to-date information on your classes and classroom locations.

Internal students are expected to attend the following classes each week:

Lecture: Wednesday 11-1 E7B T4

Tutorials: Wednesday 2-3; 3-4; 5-6

External students: The lecture is digitally recorded and can be downloaded from the ILearn website shortly after it is delivered. You will also find lecture slides on the website.

External student participation is based on participation to discussion board questions. This includes responses to questions listed by the unit convenor and discussion with fellow external students. Students are expected to contribute and participate each week on the discussion board as they would in an on-campus tutorial.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • A. To have the ability to peer below the surface feature of Australian politics and its discourse to identify the underlying inequalities at play (1, 2, 6, 7, 8)
  • B. To have an appreciation of the limited, contingent, and transient nature of Australian political institutions, and to be able to articulate these effectively, in verbal and written format (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • D. To be able to critically analyse Australian politics and assess the degree to which it reinforces and normalises inequality (1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8)
  • E. To be able to assess the extent that the media and new economic technologies impact – if at all – on the reproduction of existing social relations (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8)
  • F. To have the capacity to determine how much interplay there is between discourse, ideology, structures and agency in shaping the makeup of Australian society in terms of race, nation, class and gender (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Assessment task

  • Major Essay

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • A. To have the ability to peer below the surface feature of Australian politics and its discourse to identify the underlying inequalities at play (1, 2, 6, 7, 8)
  • C. To understand and identify linkages between, for example, class and race and Australian nationhood (1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • D. To be able to critically analyse Australian politics and assess the degree to which it reinforces and normalises inequality (1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8)
  • E. To be able to assess the extent that the media and new economic technologies impact – if at all – on the reproduction of existing social relations (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8)
  • F. To have the capacity to determine how much interplay there is between discourse, ideology, structures and agency in shaping the makeup of Australian society in terms of race, nation, class and gender (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Assessment task

  • Tutorial Participation

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • A. To have the ability to peer below the surface feature of Australian politics and its discourse to identify the underlying inequalities at play (1, 2, 6, 7, 8)

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • In-Lecture Quizzes

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • A. To have the ability to peer below the surface feature of Australian politics and its discourse to identify the underlying inequalities at play (1, 2, 6, 7, 8)
  • B. To have an appreciation of the limited, contingent, and transient nature of Australian political institutions, and to be able to articulate these effectively, in verbal and written format (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • C. To understand and identify linkages between, for example, class and race and Australian nationhood (1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • D. To be able to critically analyse Australian politics and assess the degree to which it reinforces and normalises inequality (1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8)
  • E. To be able to assess the extent that the media and new economic technologies impact – if at all – on the reproduction of existing social relations (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8)
  • F. To have the capacity to determine how much interplay there is between discourse, ideology, structures and agency in shaping the makeup of Australian society in terms of race, nation, class and gender (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Major Essay
  • In-Lecture Quizzes

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • A. To have the ability to peer below the surface feature of Australian politics and its discourse to identify the underlying inequalities at play (1, 2, 6, 7, 8)
  • B. To have an appreciation of the limited, contingent, and transient nature of Australian political institutions, and to be able to articulate these effectively, in verbal and written format (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • D. To be able to critically analyse Australian politics and assess the degree to which it reinforces and normalises inequality (1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8)
  • E. To be able to assess the extent that the media and new economic technologies impact – if at all – on the reproduction of existing social relations (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8)
  • F. To have the capacity to determine how much interplay there is between discourse, ideology, structures and agency in shaping the makeup of Australian society in terms of race, nation, class and gender (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Major Essay
  • In-Lecture Quizzes

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • E. To be able to assess the extent that the media and new economic technologies impact – if at all – on the reproduction of existing social relations (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8)
  • F. To have the capacity to determine how much interplay there is between discourse, ideology, structures and agency in shaping the makeup of Australian society in terms of race, nation, class and gender (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Assessment task

  • Major Essay

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Assessment task

  • Tutorial Participation

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Major Essay
  • In-Lecture Quizzes

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • C. To understand and identify linkages between, for example, class and race and Australian nationhood (1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • D. To be able to critically analyse Australian politics and assess the degree to which it reinforces and normalises inequality (1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8)
  • E. To be able to assess the extent that the media and new economic technologies impact – if at all – on the reproduction of existing social relations (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8)
  • F. To have the capacity to determine how much interplay there is between discourse, ideology, structures and agency in shaping the makeup of Australian society in terms of race, nation, class and gender (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Assessment task

  • Major Essay