Power, Difference and Recognition - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1
  • Assessment: Essay - Major Research Essay (35%) , Online Discussion - Online Participation (15%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit was previously known as SGY220 Power, Difference and Recognition.

In modern liberal democratic societies, cultural and ethical differences are seen to contribute to the vitality of the community and to the formation of open personalities. Yet the affirmation of difference also presents us with a range of problems that need to be negotiated. In particular, how do we think about the common purpose and bonds of solidarity that are necessary to our survival as a society in terms that are consistent with a deeply held commitment to the principle of difference? Liberalism has supposed that the idea of the tolerant society could provide the solution here. This response has however come in for some vigorous criticism. We will consider the 'dispute' between the concept of toleration and the struggle for recognition at a general theoretical level. The unit will thread a discussion of these different strategies for negotiating the claims of difference through a study of some concrete issues. We will consider a range of ways of thinking about topics like multiculturalism, gender and class relations, and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations as well as some different accounts of the way in which globalisation processes have thrust upon us the urgency of thinking through questions of power and difference at an international level.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an improved capacity for creative and independent thinking
  2. demonstrate an improved capacity for argumentation and debate
  3. evaluate the arguments of Liberalism in relation to difference and diversity.
  • Essay — Major Research Essay (35%)
  • Online Discussion — Online Participation (15%)
  • Tutorial Paper — Tutorial Responses 2 (25%)
  • Tutorial topics — Tutorial Responses 1 (25%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • SGY220 — Power, Difference and Recognition

This unit is taught with the presumption that you have studies 100 level Sociology before enrolling in this 200 level unit.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Module 1: Theoretical Approaches
2Module 2: The Interpersonal: Negotiating Differences and Celebrating Individuality
3Module 3: Power and Difference in an Unequal Society
4Module 4: Interconnected Fates in an Unequal World

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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