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SY2018 - Power and Protest in a Globalising World

[Offered in odd-numbered years in Townsville. Offered in even-numbered years by Internal on-campus mode. ]

Credit points: 3
Year: 2014
Student Contribution Band: Band 1
Administered by: School of Arts and Social Sciences (pre 2015)

Protest has long been a driving force of social change in society, but many people argue that it has substantially changed in recent years. In 2000, there was an explosion of support for the anti-corporate globalisation movement. Since about 2008, social media such as Twitter and Facebook have changed the face of activism yet again, fuelling the organisation of protests in Iran, throughout the Arab world, and in the Western world through such protests as Occupy Wall Street. In this subject, students will explore a number of different issues affecting social movements. This will be done through a lens of agency and power - who is powerful? How do the "powerless" bring about change? In particular, we look at the shifting locus of power from nation-states to corporations, the global hegemony of business interests, and the possibilities for global civil society.

Learning Outcomes

  • apply appropriate theoretical frameworks and concepts to analysis of specific examples of collective action, in particular to new forms of global activism;
  • demonstrate a general knowledge and understanding of major Australian social movements;
  • discuss and critically evaluate key theoretical debates in the area of social movements and collective research;
  • distinguish between the major social theories as they are applied to the study of social movements and collective action and critically assess their strengths and weaknesses.


Townsville, Internal, Study Period 2
Census Date 28-Aug-2014
Coord/Lect: Assoc. Professor Theresa Petray.
Workload expectations:
  • 2 hours lectures
  • 1 hours tutorials
Assessment: particpation (20%); essays (40%); activism project (40%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.