SOCI 2014 - Life on Screen: Social Issues Through Film

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

Films are popular texts and therefore reach mass audiences in ways that academic social science and gender theory writings do not. This course is not a film theory course, but rather uses films and other popular media texts (such as television mini-series) to ask questions about representations of inequality and difference in Australian society. The course explores the capacities and limitations of popular texts, including films, to explore structures which model, and provoke debate around gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and class in Australian society. Do films and other popular media narratives offer insights into the experience of social inequality in ways that academic research rarely achieves? Are some issues and experiences better served by popular and/or fictionalised treatments than others? What are the limitations of certain popular representations of inequality in building audience knowledge and understanding? What are some of the debates that have arisen in response to some Australian films or television mini-series?

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code SOCI 2014
    Course Life on Screen: Social Issues Through Film
    Coordinating Unit Gender Studies and Social Analysis
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible GSSA 2108/EX
    Course Description Films are popular texts and therefore reach mass audiences in ways that academic social science and gender theory writings do not. This course is not a film theory course, but rather uses films and other popular media texts (such as television mini-series) to ask questions about representations of inequality and difference in Australian society. The course explores the capacities and limitations of popular texts, including films, to explore structures which model, and provoke debate around gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and class in Australian society. Do films and other popular media narratives offer insights into the experience of social inequality in ways that academic research rarely achieves? Are some issues and experiences better served by popular and/or fictionalised treatments than others? What are the limitations of certain popular representations of inequality in building audience knowledge and understanding? What are some of the debates that have arisen in response to some Australian films or television mini-series?
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Anna Szorenyi

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Identify, interpret and critically evaluate the representation of various social issues and identities in narrative film, including gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexualities
    2 Reflexively evaluate their own critical engagement with social issues in film and media as a basis for lifelong learning
    3 Engage with both film and social theory as means to understand and respect diverse life experiences, with attention to issues of social justice and equity.
    4 Analyse films using established film analysis techniques
    5 Collect, compare and synthesise differing representations of a social issue in order to draw a reasoned conclusion
    6 Use appropriate language, terminology and concepts in order to discuss the influence of social structures and identities on everyday life in Australia
    7 Construct a clear, coherent and independent argument which responds to a particular question and is supported by appropriate scholarly evidence, within identified timeframes.
    8 Demonstrate interpersonal, leadership and teamwork skills in group activities
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,4,5,6
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1,3,5,7
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    8
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3,5,6,7
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1,2,3,6,8
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    2,8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The course MyUni site, available at http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au. Includes digitised set readings, streaming films, lecture recordings, and further resources.

    A selection of films made available for streaming online free-of-charge via Kanopy (access via Barr Smith library at http://adelaide.kanopystreaming.com.proxy.library.adelaide.edu.au/s-homepage).  

    The course library page (URL will be provided during semester).
    Recommended Resources
    An extensive list of further resources will be provided during semester.  These include:
    A list of suitable films for each topic of the course
    DVDs available on reserve in the library
    A list of further readings on each topic
    Resource guides on Harvard referencing and essay writing
    Assistance with finding library research materials.
    Online Learning
    The course has a MyUni course site which provides announcements, digitised set readings, discussion board, recorded lectures, assignment submission and further resources.

    This course also makes use of Kanopy, which allows you to watch selected films online for free via the Barr Smith Library  http://adelaide.kanopystreaming.com.proxy.library.adelaide.edu.au/s-homepage.  Students will be expected to use Kanopy each week to watch feature films, and to make and share clippings for discussion in tutorials.  

    Students wishing to study the course entirely online should enrol in the external course SOCI 2014EX.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Face to face:
    Lectures - overview of material and demonstration of techniques.  Opportunities for self-reflection and discussion included.
    Tutorials - discussion, group exercises, case studies/examples, problem solving

    Independent:
    Reading and related assessment exercises
    Practising film analysis techniques
    Self-reflection/journaling
    Online discussion
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    You are expected to spend 12 hours per week on this course during each week of semester.
    2 hour lecture
    1 hour tutorial
    9 hours independents study, including:2-3 hours on set tutorial readings, including:
    1-3 hours on film viewings
    3-5 hours on further reading and assignment preparation
    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Part   1: Concepts & skills
    Week 1 Introduction: Film, society and the senses
    Week 2 Analysing film: Techniques and methods
    Week 3 Inventing your story: Neoliberalism and biography
    Part 2: social issues and identities through film
    Week 4 Everyday inequaliities: Class and habitus
    Week 5 Film viewing session
    Week 6 'I bet we're dumped': Femininities and feminisms 
    Week 7 'No girlfriends allowed': Men and masculinities
    Week 8 'I'm a sailor and a whore': Sexualities
    Week 9 Whose country? Indigenous sovereignty
    Week 10 Shifting the centre: Migration and ethnicity
    Week 11 Conclusion and summary
    Week 12 Essay consultations
    Specific Course Requirements
    In order to pass this course, you will be required to watch at least one feature film per week.  There is no set screening time; films are available online for you to watch when convenient.

    During semester you may also be required to attend one feature film of your choice in a cinema, preferably with other students from the course.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Film clip presentations: 
    Each student will be required to join a group of 2-3 students, with the task of preparing film extracts to show in one class
    during semester.  This will require them to watch films, identify relevant social issues and critically evaluate how they
    are represented in the films, use Kanopy to edit relevant short clips, consider the wider implications of these examples for their understanding of that social issue, and summarise their insights for presentation to the class.  The clips will be shown in class, enabling
    the tutor and the class to provide feedback and further discuss the issues and insights that arise.



  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Film Analysis Quiz Formative and Summative

    Week 5

    35% 4,6
    Essay Formative and summative End of semester 50%, 1500-2000 words 1,3,4,5,6,7
    Tutorial participation & presentation Formative and summative Weekly throughout semester 15% 1,2,3,4,8
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance and participation in tutorials is compulsory.  Students may miss two tutorials during semester without penalty (other than the missed opportunity for learning). 

    Students who do not meet this requirement may be asked for extra work, or may simply fail their participation grade.  They should also expect to receive lower grades for assignments as they will have missed course material and communication skills development.
    Assessment Detail

    Film analysis quiz: Students will complete a MyUni quiz to demonstate their knowledge of film analysis terminology and skills. 35%

    Major essay 1500-2000 words:  Students will write an essay on a particular social issue in Australia, drawing on films to illustrate their argument and using the concepts and skills we have developed during the course. Set topics will be provided. 35%

    Tutorial participation:  Students will be assessed on their contribution to the learning atmosphere of the class, including evidence of
    preparation, verbal and non-verbal participation, level of comprehension, engagement in group and class exercises, and respect for and consideration of other students. For one week of the course, students will be responsible for working in a group of 2-3 to prepare and bring film clips for the rest of the class to discuss 15%
    Submission
    Assignments will be submitted online via MyUni, and checked for plagiarism using Turnitin.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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