The Critical Imagination

Subject SOTH40003 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2 hour Seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: An average of 10 hours each week.
Prerequisites: Admission to 4th year honours or postgraduate diploma in Anthropology and Social Theory, the postgraduate diploma or 4th year combined honours in Social Theory, or a Masters program and permission of the subject co-ordinator.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: Knowledge gained in 3 year Bachelor of Arts Degree or equivalent.
Non Allowed Subjects: Formerly available as 136-078 and 136-546. Students who have completed 136-078 or 136-546 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :


Assoc Prof John Rundell


Associate Professor John Rundell

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the three currents that social and critical theorising grows out of: the Enlightenment, revolutionary tradition and romanticism. It critically assesses these currents through an examination of the works of key classical critical and social theorists. Students completing this subject should have developed an understanding of the central ideas of key thinkers in the social and critical theory tradition among them, Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche. and developed an understanding of some of the key issues and theories including their critiques of modernity.


Students who successfully complete this course should

  • develop skills in written and oral communication.

  • conduct independent research.

  • make appropriate use of primary and secondary sources in mounting an argument.

  • form defensible judgements based on a critical evaluation of conflicting arguments.

Assessment: A research essay of 4000 words, 55% (due during the examination period), and a class paper of 1000 words, 45% due during the semester.
Prescribed Texts:
  • The Imaginery Institution of Society. (C. Castoriadis)
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Arts in Social Theory (Advanced Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
Anthropology and Social Theory
Social Theory
Social Theory
Social Theory

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