Sex, Race, Species and Social Justice

Subject UNIB30007 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2.5-hour seminar per week plus occasional film screenings (2.5-hours)
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

800-303 Sex, Race and Social Justice; UNIB30007 Sex, Race and Social Justice

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

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. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Barbara Anne Creed, Prof Jeanette Hoorn


Prof Jeanette Hoorn

Subject Overview:

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.

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.

A tutorial presentation equivalent to 500 words 10% (done during the semester), a 1500 word class paper 40% (due during the semester), a 2000 word research essay 50% (due in the examination period). This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance, regular participation in tutorials is required. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available from the University bookshop and a comprehensive online database of reference materials will be available through the LMS.

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:

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.

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