United States Politics: Money, Culture, Power - 2018

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sem2
  • Availability for 2018: Sem1
  • Assessment: Essay 1 (20%) , Essay 2 (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2018 Fees
Domestic 809.00
HECS 820.00
International 1,059.00

This unit was previously known as PLTX392 American Politics.

US politics is today, as in much of its past, dominated by money and the power that money can buy. US cultural life is also preoccupied with money, in ways that profoundly affect the distribution of political power. Proceeding from these premises, this unit explores the relationship between money, culture and power in contemporary US politics. Topics covered include campaign financing, interest groups and the media; the impact of social inequalities of class, race, gender and sexual preference on US politics; the role of religion and political parties in the formulation of dominant political ideas; and the politics surrounding the global financial crisis and its aftermath. 

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

  1. find, analyse and interpret primary and secondary US political sources and present the information in a written form
  2. distinguish between competing interpretations of key US political issues, and succinctly express the strengths and weaknesses of these interpretation in written and oral form
  3. explain the main features of US political institutions such as the Constitution, Federalism, Congress and the Presidency
  4. articulate their knowledge of US politics in group discussions.
  • Essay 1 (20%)
  • Essay 2 (40%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam (30%)
  • Participation (10%)

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:

  • PLTX392 — American Politics

Students should have studied some politics at 200 level prior to undertaking this unit.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction: US political culture, beliefs and values
2The American Constitution
3Political Parties
4Political Participation and Elections
6The Presidency
7Research for Essay
8Interest groups
9Religion and Politics
10Race and Politics
11Social Policy and Welfare
12The Economy and Politics
13Examination Week

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

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

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation 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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