Credit points: 30

Subject outline

This subject measures the ideal of democracy against its capacity to deal with the diversity of the people. We look at how different identities, based on class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity (among others) articulate, negotiate and contest their place and (mis)representation in democratic life. We study the heritage of the concept of democracy in relation to its concrete manifestations in nation states, and compare how the democratic ideal of living together in a political community is debated in various contexts. Topics include: minority and equal rights within a system of majority rule; free speech, censorship and political correctness; the gendered, sexualised and racialised character of social recognition and economics (re)distribution; religious freedom and secularism; political activism, civil disobedience and violence; law and justice; and discourses of human rights. Texts include legal documents, petitions, government papers, propaganda, various media, and academic writings.

FacultyFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points30

Subject Co-ordinatorCarolyn D'Cruz

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites 15 credit points of any first year GSDS subject and 15 credit points of any Humanities and Social Sciences subject, or subject coordinator's approval.


Incompatible subjects GSD2DDD

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2014, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorCarolyn D'Cruz

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 10 - 22
One 2.0 hours lecture other recurrence on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.

Tutorial Week: 10 - 22
One 1.0 hours tutorial other recurrence on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementComments%
Annotated bibliography and essay plan (equivalent to 1, 200 words)15
Evaluative essay (1, 600 words)20
Reflection on presentation and peer review (800 words)10
Reflective and responsive blogs, ongoing and synthesised at end of semester (2000 words)25
Research Essay (2, 400 words)30