Society and Environments

Subject GEOG20001 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Three hours of lectures/practicals per week
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Completion of 100 points of first and/or second year subjects including at least 50 points at first year level from approved subjects in your home faculty.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon
academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation
in the University's programs. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they
must actively and safely contribute to field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who
feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter
with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison
students email:


Dr Adeline Tay


Subject Overview:

This subject aims to think critically and rigorously about the relationship between social and natural worlds. Its primary purpose is to question the idea that the environment exists outside of, and independent from, the realms of science, culture, politics and economy. Students will be introduced to different conceptual frameworks for understanding the environment as a social entity; to the processes by which capitalism and science structures social and environmental relations; and to alternative modes of living in, and thinking about, the environment. These broad themes will be addressed through engaging examples from Australia and beyond. Particular attention will be given to the concept of 'wilderness'; the postcolonial nature of the zoo; ecotourism; the politics of visualising nature (e.g. through wildlife documentary); the 'new natures' of genetic modification; and ideas about 'environmental justice' and ‘climate crisis’.

Learning Outcomes:



A field report of 1,500 words 40% (due early in semester), a take-home exam essay of 2,000 words 45% (due at the end of semester), a practical presentation and participation equivalent to 500 words 15%. Completion of each of these three assessment tasks is a hurdle requirement of this subject.

Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be capable of critical reading;

  • be capable of thinking, writing and speaking in theoretical terms;

  • develop presentation skills;

  • develop skills in written communication;

  • be capable of approaching research problems in the field.


Students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), or a combined BSc course (except for the BA/BSc) may receive science credit on the completion of this subject.

BSc students may receive second year level credit for this subject.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Development Studies
Environmental Geographies, Politics and Cultures major
Environmental Geography
Environmental Studies
Environments Discipline subjects
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Development Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Sociology
Human Geography
Human Geography
Integrated Geography
Integrated Geography
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED
Urban Design and Planning major
Related Breadth Track(s): People and Environment

Download PDF version.