Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSociology
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Helen Forbes-Mewett


Previously coded SCY2041


The main concepts and theoretical approaches in the study of cultural diversity, ethnicity and migration will be introduced. Australia will be placed in the context of globalisation and global migration to take a comparative view on the issues of ethnicity, identity, nation and transnationalism. The unit considers the concepts of assimilation, multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism, comparing settler societies such as Australia with the old nations of Europe and Asia. Australia's cultural diversity will be viewed from a historical perspective to develop a critical understanding of Australian ethnic relations since the beginning of European settlement.


After completing this unit students will have:

  • An understanding of the application of sociological concepts to cultural diversity, citizenship and identity
  • Knowledge of theoretical and methodological approaches to studying these issues
  • A critical understanding of contemporary Australian society in a historical perspective
  • A deeper critical understanding of their own and other people's social identities
  • Understanding of how dominant ideas and assumptions are created
  • Further developed written, research and analytical skills.


Short essay (1000 words): 30%
Research essay (2500 words): 50%
Attendance and participation: 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2- hour lecture/workshop per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Two Gateway units in Sociology or permission