Social Worlds, Social Policy

Unit code: ASS2002 | Study level: Undergraduate
(One credit point is usually equivalent to one hour of study per week)
Footscray Park


The unit provides an opportunity for students to develop and apply the skills of policy analysis and critique to current 'real world' policy issues. It  focuses on the role of social policy in reshaping the everyday lives of ordinary citizens, social identities and the nation-state in these uncertain times. A key concern explored is the way in which neo-liberal conceptions of the social world are shifting the policy debates away from the 'public' citizen to that of the 'self-governing' private individual. Utilising insights from contemporary theories about how we are governed through a range of institutions, social networks and governmental strategies, the unit explores the 'invented' character of various policy debates from selected fields such as immigration, multiculturalism, education, health, employment, urban planning and emerging themes. Through these case studies, attention is directed to the categorisation of individuals and the processes through which they are treated as objects and objectives of government and how social identities become attached to specific social policy formulations. 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Appraise contemporary debates about social policy and civic life;
  2. Critically review the ways in which contemporary forms of governance are reshaping key social policy areas; and
  3. Interrogate key social policy documents by placing these with broader social contexts.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Review
Grade: 25%
Analyse key concepts in policy analysis
Assessment type: Case Study
Grade: 45%
Contextualize a selected policy within a broader policy
Assessment type: Exercise
Grade: 30%
Response to questions

Required reading

As part of a course

This unit is not a compulsorily taken as part of any specific course. Depending on the course you study, this unit may be taken as an elective.

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