1 x 2-hour workshop weekly
1 1 first year topic in American Studies
1a 1 first year topic in Development Studies
1b 1 first year topic in Asian Studies
1c 1 first year topic in History
1d 1 first year topic in International Relations
1e 1 first year topic in Political Studies
1f 1 first year topic in Sociology
1g 1 first year topic in Social Admin & Social Work
1h 1 first year topic in Women's Studies
2 EDUC1102 - Key Educational Ideas in Early Childhood Education
2a DRAM1002 - Drama 1B: Bodies of Work
2b SCME1001 - Media and Society
2c SCME1002 - Convergence Cultures
2d ENGL1101 - Approaches to Literature
2e JUSS1000 - An Introduction to Justice and Society
2f LEGL1101 - Australian Justice System
2g LEGL1102 - Contentious Justice Issues
2h CRIM1101 - Crime and Criminology
2i CRIM1102 - Criminal Justice System
2j PSYC1101 - Psychology 1A
2k PSYC1102 - Psychology 1B
2l DSRS1201 - Perspectives on Disability and Rehabilitation
2m DSRS1209 - Human Diversity
2n HLTH1003 - Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Care
2o ENVH1702 - Our Environment, Our Health
2p HLPE1541 - Social Determinants of Health
2q NURS1003 - Psychosocial Perspectives of Health Care
2r LEGL1201 - Law in Australian Society
Must Satisfy: (((1 or 1a or 1b or 1c or 1d or 1e or 1f or 1g or 1h)) or ((2 or 2a or 2b or 2c or 2d or 2e or 2f or 2g or 2h or 2i or 2j or 2k or 2l or 2m or 2n or 2o or 2p or 2q or 2r)))
Assumed knowledge
Academic writing skills, including the ability to reference in conformity with disciplinary practice; an basic grounding in library skills; good written and verbal comprehension; adequate word processing and computer literacy skills; a basic grounding in sociological perspectives (at first year level or equivalent); ability to research sociological issues.
Course context
Elective (can be counted towards both major /minor in sociology)
Topic description
Are myths necessarily false? Are ideologies always political? Are utopias only 'ideal societies' that never actually exist? This topic examines the ways in which myths, ideologies and utopias are at work in contemporary social life - often in surprising ways. Students will be introduced to a range of sociological and theoretical perspectives, and offered opportunities to apply this conceptual knowledge to their own lives and extended socio-cultural worlds. Some of the themes the topic will consider include culture, power, social creativity, collective identity, social change, and intercultural modes of knowledge formation.
Educational aims
This topic introduces students to debates on myth, ideology, and utopia as a way of deepening their understanding of social processes in their everyday life and extended social worlds. It aims to challenge conventional understandings of these areas of social life (for example, that myths have no place in modern society), and demonstrate the ways in which myth, ideology and utopia are social activities and processes at work in contemporary societies. In so doing, students will be introduced to a range of sociological perspectives from different subfields (such as cultural sociology, political sociology, the sociology of knowledge, and the sociology of social change) and then be provided with opportunities to apply this conceptual knowledge to the practical contexts of their everyday lives in order to facilitate their understanding and navigation of social worlds. The topic aims to facilitate intercultural approaches to this topic as a way of enriching our understanding of the diversity of cultures and civilizations as well as problematizing assumptions around ‘traditional' and ‘modern' societies.
Expected learning outcomes
On successful completion of this topic students should be able to:
  • Distinguish between myths, ideologies, and utopias, and recognize and describe some of the ways in which they operate in contemporary social words.
  • Use sociological frameworks to interpret the role of myths, ideologies and utopias in social worlds.
  • Assess, and criticize the role of (particular) myths, ideology and utopias in contemporary societies.