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
OfferedClayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Beatrice Trefalt


The unit explores the 'underside' of Asian societies, enabling a more complete understanding of the political and social tensions in the countries of northeast and Southeast Asia. It addresses such topics as corruption, environmental damage, gendered and ethnic violence, political resistance, religious extremist groups and organised crime. By focussing on a range of themes and topics in countries such as China, Indonesia, Japan and Korea, this unit allows students to explore in depth topics relevant to their broad area of study, and encourages them to reflect on the nature of authority, the definition of justice, the interpretation of what is 'permitted' in Asian societies and the way in which these topics can and should be discussed in an academic context.


  1. Asia literacy and communicative competence: upon completion of this unit, students will be able to identify and comprehend key discourses relating to crime, violence and protest in the Asian region, and reflect critically on the ways in which complex issues are represented through different forms of media.
  2. Knowledge about the Asian region: upon completion of this unit, students will have been able to build on their existing knowledge of the region to gain more insight into social and institutional issues in a variety of national settings.
  3. Cross cultural and intercultural competence: upon completion of this unit, students will had the opportunity to reflect on how the issues studied are pertinent to their own society and culture, and have constructed their own critical frameworks for comparison.
  4. English communication skills: upon completion of this unit, students will have developed further their skills in verbal and written communication to allow them to express ideas lucidly and with an appropriate level of nuance and sophistication.
  5. World view and ethical values: through the exploration of social, environmental and political issues in lectures, tutorials and assignments, students will reflect on their own ethical values and their own role as national and global citizens.
  6. Research skills: students will develop and demonstrate independent research skills and critical thinking through their preparation for class and their written assignments, and will develop a personal voice in their understanding of the research literature.


Tutorial participation: 10%
During semester written assessment: 60%
Exam period exam: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

On-campus: 2 hours of contact tuition per week (one 1 hour lecture and one 1 hour tutorial).

Self directed learning: 1 hour per week on the discussion board; private study 9 hours per week. This includes reading assigned materials as well as preparing assignments as listed above.

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


Successfully completed any first year International studies(Asian studies stream) major unit or International studies major unit or with the permission of the unit coordinator.