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Subject details

  • Topics
    • Introduction: politics & social division
    • Indigenous politics: "History wars", Reconciliation, Intervention, 'Closing the Gap'
    • People Movement: Immigration, Asylum-Seekers, Nationalism, and the Politics of Border Controls
    • The Domestic Politics of Foreign Wars: Conflicts on the Homefront
    • Class in Australia, `Affluenza', and the Impact of the Economic Boom
    • Labor, Reformism, and Class: The End of Australian Social Democracy?
    • Class and Industrial Relations: The Accord, Enterprise Bargaining, WorkChoices, Fair Work
    • Class Action: the 1998 Maritime Union Dispute
    • Gender: The Rise and Fall of the Women's Liberation Movement in Australia
    • `Are We There Yet'? Equality, Post-Feminism, `Raunch Feminism', the 3rd Wave
    • Women, Babies, and the Family: the Politics of Raising Children
    • The Politics of Sex: Same-Sex Relationships in Australia
    • Conclusion: Are We Happy Now? The Australian Body Politic & Happiness, Affluence, Self-Improvement, and Depression
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

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

  1. promote an appreciation of the ways in which 'race' & ethnicity has, implicitly or explicitly, informed several recent political controversies
  2. introduce you to key debates about the connection between national; identity and citizenship, inclusion and exclusion, and the ways in which these are played out in party politics and the media
  3. make you aware of the effects of recent international economic, environmental and security crises on Australian politics
  4. explore the political ramifications of social class and gender in early 21st Century Australia.
  • Assignment 1 - Reading Critique (10%)
  • Assignment 2 - Minor Essay (30%)
  • Assignment 3 - Major Essay (45%)
  • Assignment 4 - Online Participation (15%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

Entry Requirements

Equivalent Subjects

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

  • MAQ-PLT210

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as PLT210 Contemporary Issues in Australian Politics: Race, Nation, Class & Gender.

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 subject 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 subject by examining the health of the Australian body politic in light of the foregoing discussions about its divided state.

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