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This unit applies a sociological lens to the terrain of racial and ethnic relations in Australia. It introduces theories of race, ethnicity, Indigeneity and whiteness and applies these to historical and contemporary race relations and the empirical research on Australian Indigenous, settler, migrant and refugee peoples. Specifically the unit examines the history of Australia's relationship as a settler society with its Indigenous peoples, with a particular emphasis on citizenship rights and realities. The unit also critically examines the Australian post-war immigration program, and the experiences of different migrant and refugee groups in overcoming discrimination and adapting to Australian society. It addresses the processes of ethnic identity construction, cultural diversity, multiculturalism and transnational communities in the context of globalisation. These are a central social issues for Australians in their everyday lives and in political and social policy. By applying sociological theory and utilising empirical research to examine these contemporary social issues, students further develop the sociological imagination. At Level 300 students will additionally critically evaluate sociological theories and research evidence to develop a theoretical position. This unit builds on introductory lectures on these topics at level 1, and employs theories introduced in HGA202, the core theory unit. This unit focuses on the inter-related themes of inequality and difference. This makes it a central unit in the Inequality and Difference stream, and a unit that is taught in a sociology major at most universities. The unit is also appropriate for students interested in social research, social policy, criminology and social work.

Summary 2020

Unit name Ethnicity, Religion and Race: Understanding Social Diversity
Unit code HGA224
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Social Sciences
Discipline Sociology and Criminology

Dr. Max Travers

Teaching staff

Level Intermediate
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes




25 points at introductory level in any discipline in any faculty


Teaching Pattern

On campus: 13 x 2 hour lectures + 6 x 1 hour tutorials

Off campus/Distance: Online lecture recordings and supporting materials, plus online tutorial discussions.


Formative assessment task equivalent to 1000 words (20%) + 1500 word assignment (40%)+ 2 hr examination (40%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable




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