This unit explores expressions of culture and ethnicity within Australian society in two different contexts - Australian Indigenous culture, and ethnicity in relation to migrant groups.

Area of Study 1 involves a critical exploration of the historical suppression of, and increasing public awareness of, Australian Indigenous culture. This requires some knowledge of the past and its influence on subsequent generations, as well as knowledge of contemporary factors that may be supporting and/or limiting increasing awareness of Australian Indigenous culture. Indigenous and non-indigenous perspectives and responses are integral to the area of study.

Ethnicity is investigated in Area of Study 2. Ethnicity is a key sociological category that plays an important role in social life. Individuals often define themselves, or others, as members of at least one ethnic group based on a common heritage that gives them a unique social identity. Ethnicity is not fixed and unchanging; instead, ethnic identities constantly evolve and are shaped through a variety of political, cultural and social forces. The concept is often used in contrast to the concept of race, which generally refers to groups based on visible physical characteristics such as skin colour and facial features. Most sociologists prefer to focus on the concept of ethnicity rather than race.

This unit is delivered in Year 12.

Unit details

Study level:
Vocational and further education (TAFE)
Unit code:


Assessment tasks will be designed to reinforce and extend knowledge in accordance with each unit's learning outcomes, including the setting of practical application tasks designed to provide evidence of competence outcomes, within periodic and scheduled timelines. Students will be expected to demonstrate the following knowledge: Outcome 1 On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse and evaluate changes in public awareness and views of Australian Indigenous culture. Outcome 2 On completion of this unit the student should be able to identify and analyse experiences of ethnicity within Australian society.Assessment will follow the requirements set out in the VCE Sociology Study Guide: SCHOOL-BASED ASSESSMENT 1. Satisfactory completion The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on whether the student has demonstrated the set of outcomes specified for the unit. A variety of assessment tasks will provide a range of opportunities for students to demonstrate the key knowledge and key skills in the outcomes. 2. Assessment of levels of achievement The student's level of achievement in Unit 3 will be determined by School-assessed Coursework (SAC). SAC will be completed mainly in class and within a limited time-frame. SAC for Unit 3 will contribute 25 per cent to the study score. SAC for Unit 4 will contribute 25 per cent to the study score (SO034 Sociology 4). EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT The level of achievement for Units 3 and 4 is also assessed by an end-of-year examination, which will contribute 50 per cent to the study score.

Where to next?

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.