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MIN4000 - Introduction to Mind and Society

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Faculty of Arts

Leader: Carla Lipsig-Mumme


Caulfield First semester 2007 (Evening)


Introduction to Mind and Society introduces major themes of the Mind and Society Programme. Its organising theme is that society shapes the self and the mind in the modern world: self and mind are socially constructed. But the modern world is also shaped by theories of subjectivity which have defined our understanding of the modern and possibly postmodern worlds. We examine the interdependence between mind and society through several themes: Reason and beyond? interpreting the dilemmas of multicultural societies. The rise and rise of ethics. Regulation and professional identity in the psychotherapies. Mind and brain, Mind vs brain. Citizenship, belonging, marginalization, exclusion.


Upon successful completion of this subject students should have

  1. acquired detailed knowledge of the main historical and contemporary debates which situate the study of the mind in relation to intellectual and social history; developments in neuroscience; issues of citizenship and legitimacy; the development of the profession and its relation to the State
  2. a good grasp of key texts reflecting the intellectual debates that expose these issues,

3. have learnt to identify ideological orientations and link these to historical and social contexts. They should be capable of 4. critical analysis of theoretical positions around each of the themes 5. presenting the results of their own research in the form of a research essay 6. identifying the intellectual, policy, and political relationships between the theme.


Research paper (4,000 words): 45%;
Group presentation(debate) or panel (2500 words) 30%;
Annotated bibliography (1,500 words) 15%;
Summary of research question and approach (1,000 words) 10%

Contact hours

1 two hour seminar per week for 12 weeks