Credit points: 15

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 racialized 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. This subject addresses the La Trobe Innovation and Entrepreneurship essential.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorCarolyn D'Cruz

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning ActivitiesResearch and access current public debate; compare with academic readings and historical bacground of debate; discuss with other classmates and lecturer during chat sessions and online blogs; identify problems and work through solutions in tutorials; write critical evaluation based on these activities

Capstone subjectYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Students should have completed 45 credit points of subjects in any discipline


Incompatible subjectsGSD2DDD

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Evaluate diverse positions/arguments regarding topics/ debate
02. Present brief and persuasive argument to peers that focuses on GSDS issues within democracy
03. Produce an original piece of sustained complex written argument that can contribute to current public debate regarding diversity and democracy
04. Produce original, well researched response to relevant topic in GSDS
05. Summarise research and arguments regarding key debates relating to diversity within democracy
06. Work effectively and cooperatively in groups

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorCarolyn D'Cruz

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 10 - 22
One 2.00 hours lecture other recurrence on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.

TutorialWeek: 10 - 22
One 1.00 hour tutorial other recurrence on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Evaluative Essay (800 words equivalent) This is an individual assessment task.

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo20 SILO1, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5

Reflective Assessment tasks, (1200 words equivalent) Includes 1 x 200 word reflection on presentation and peer review and multiple reflections on blogs that will be synthesised at the end of semester (1,000 words).

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo35 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO5, SILO6

Research Project (2,400 words equivalent) The research project includes an annotated bibliography, essay plan and research essay.

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo45 SILO1, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5