This unit aims to deepen students understanding of key concepts within the social sciences, through an in-depth consideration of the social construction of selves in everyday life. Students will engage in a problem-based learning project to explore the ways that social context can shape and inform a particular life trajectory. Students will elicit, record and write up a life story, then analyse the ways this life has links with, or has been impacted by, aspects of social and historical context in contemporary Australia. In each session, students will be introduced to key social science concepts relevant to understandings of the self and everyday life in a globalised world. These concepts will be explored and interrogated by students in learning activities, and through the biographical projects. The life narrative case study will focus upon the impact of widespread, large scale social change on everyday life and experience. In this, students will investigate the lived experiential dimensions of tradition and modernity, post modernity, and globalisation. Areas that may be explored include family and community, place and place-making, experiences of colonialism, migration and cultural diversity in the Australian context, citizenship and global citizenship, tradition, modernity, and the impact of global changes on everyday experience. This unit will support successful university study by strengthening the essential academic skills of listening and speaking, attentive reading, working with a range of text types, identifying and building an argument, use of evidence, and formal academic writing.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Interpret some key concepts in the social sciences;  
  2. Analyse the impact of social forces and change on everyday life and experience;  
  3. Evaluate a range of academic and non-academic text types;  
  4. Locate, manage and use information effectively and efficiently, according to established academic conventions  
  5. Discuss with a level of cultural awareness a range of topics relating to contemporary Australian life.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Short written response to a short provided text 20%
Portfolio Portfolio of written pieces developing written life narrative and analysis 40%
Presentation Visual presentation of life narrative and analysis 40%

Where to next?

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