Monash University Handbooks 2008

PLM4440 - Global Soul: Consumers, Citizens and Rebels

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Paul Muldoon


Clayton Second semester 2008 (Day)
Sunway Second semester 2008 (Day)


As the consumer ethos invades every area of our lives, identity is increasingly related less to the place one inhabits and more to what one owns or is capable of attaining. These developments have implications, not only for our political life as citizens, but for the Western tradition of thinking about politics itself. To the extent that political thought and action has traditionally been based around an embedded notion of citizenship, it is in serious need of re-examination. This unit explores how changes in modes of consumption in post-industrial societies have altered our notions of citizenship and produced a new 'politics of rebellion' outside the conventional political arena.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand different theoretical approaches to consumerism.

  1. Connect debates over consumerism to notions of democracy and citizenship.

  1. Develop a deeper understanding of globalisation and its discontents.

  1. Be able to make connections across different disciplines (particularly politics, sociology and cultural studies).

  1. Display advanced oral communication skills.

  1. Undertake independent research and present the results in a coherent written format.


Oral Presentation (1,000 words equivalent): 10%
Research Essay (5,000 words): 50%
Take-home Exam (2 x 1,500 word essays): 40%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week



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