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This subject will investigate how gender, sex and race influence the operation of social justice in everyday life. It will also introduce the new area of justice for other species alongside the human. We begin by examining the origins of the concept of social justice in classical texts such as Plato’s Republic before considering the emergence of international movements for social justice, such as universal suffrage, the abolition of slavery and the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights, before considering the impact of the concept of social justice in contemporary culture. In particular, we consider how gender, sex and race and speciesism relate to social justice and how this relationship is manifested in the humanities as well as in legal and medical discourses in Australia. We will examine the key biological, social, political and cultural factors that inform social justice in such areas as: gender equity, personal and sexual relationships; freedom of expression; equity in the workplace; health; human-animal relations, social change and the role of the media in the 21st century. We examine new developments in gender theory, medicine, law, literature and film and philosophy as well as the way in which globalisation impacts upon issues of social justice. The subject explores the work of national and international organizations that attempt to improve the lives of those who face discrimination because they do not conform to the dominant norms of gender, race and ethnicity. We look at the failures within the human rights movement and criticisms that have emerged over the last century. The representation of social justice in film forms a special focus.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who complete this subject should develop:
- a sound understanding of the subject’s key concepts (social justice, race, gender, sexuality, speciesism);
- an awareness of the crucial importance of approaching knowledge from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective.
Students who complete this subject should be able to:
- conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments, and communicate critically, theoretically, creatively and economically through, essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;
- engage in cross-disciplinary thinking and learning through incorporating methodologies from the humanities, social sciences, law and medicine in relation to a common theme driving research;
- conduct research through the competent use of libraries and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;
- relate knowledge across different disciplines from the humanities, social sciences, law and medicine;
- manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, essays and assignments;
- think creatively and express their ideas clearly in written and verbal communication.
Last updated: 9 September 2021