This unit of study examines a range of theoretical and disciplinary approaches to the study of contemporary 'Asia' and the 'Pacific'. The disciplines investigated will include: history; sociology, politics; economics; law; anthropology and cultural studies. Students will analyse how disciplinary approaches, initially developed during the period of European expansion, have evolved since the (re)emergence of independent states. The contribution of Asian scholars in the postcolonial development of these disciplines will receive particular attention. The unit will deconstruct how these disciplines have been applied to the study of 'Asia' through a number of case studies of particular countries or regions. The case studies will highlight cultural, religious, ethnic, political and economic variation with contemporary 'Asia' and the 'Pacific'.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Commentate upon various regional matters from varying disciplinary perspectives;  
  2. Discriminate and theorise about a range of approaches and methods for understanding cultures and societies; and  
  3. Write on problems of social change demonstrating the intricacies of balancing individual and public good and the workings of local and global communities and individuals' responsibilities within these.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Review Critical review of literatures focusing upon contemporary issues confronting Asia and the Pacific 20%
Assignment Response to debatable and controversial socio-cultural and political issues confronting Asia and the Pacific 40%
Essay Essay on set topics focused on key contemporary issues 40%
Effective total word limit 7000 words

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