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
Organisational UnitPolitics and International Relations
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Michael Ure


This unit aims to introduce students to some of the key thinkers and themes in classical and contemporary political and social theory. The contrasting perspectives of the classical thinkers Marx, Nietzsche,Weber, Durkheim and Freud are discussed, along with the new perspectives of theorists such as Foucault, Habermas, Giddens, Bauman and Agamben. The unit will examine central theoretical issues such as action, structure, power, culture and modernity.


Students who study this unit:

  1. Will acquire knowledge about a broad range of political and social theories, both classical and contemporary, as alternative and differing approaches to analysing social relations, and hence will gain an understanding of how political and sociological knowledge has developed over time;
  2. Will learn to critique certain accepted political and social theories and learn how to question dominant ideas and assumptions;
  3. Will develop their oral and written skills in order to analyse theoretical material.


Within semester assessment: 50%
Exam: 50%

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)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units. It is highly recommended that students only take this unit after they have completed two gateway units in Politics.


ATS2719, AZA2719, AZA3719