Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedGippsland Second semester 2015 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2015 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Julie Fenley


This unit examines the establishment of alternative communities and their relationship to traditional communities and the state. It gives students a critical understanding of the historical development and contemporary experience of community building, innovation, maintenance and failure. Topics include traditional communities, utopian and socialist communities, theories of social organisations, cooperatives, religious and nomadic communities, and the challenges facing Australian regional and outer suburban communities.


On successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

  1. understand the range of social formations that exist both as parts of communities and as communities in themselves;
  2. comprehend a range of perspectives on community organisation;
  3. critically understand the factors involved in community building, community innovation, community maintenance and community failure;
  4. comprehend the ways in which alternative communities engage with mainstream society;
  5. employ a range of analytical skills and conceptual frameworks;
  6. write well argued and competently written essays for assessment.


Within semester assessment: 60%
Exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


1st year-level Arts sequence (12 credit points) or permission


GSC2701, HPL2511