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Society culture

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Society culture

  1. 1. What is Society and Culture? Jodi Arrow, Vice PresidentSociety and Culture Association
  2. 2. What Is Society and Culture? 2 Unit Stage 6 Course, since 1983 HSC External Assessment – 2 hour exam (60%) and Personal Interest Project (40%) About 4000 students per year – 400 schools Multidisciplinary course drawing from sociology, anthropology, communication, cultural studies, media studies, philosophy, psychology and social ecology NOT General Studies!
  3. 3. The Nature of the Course The study of the interaction of persons, societies, cultures and environments across time Enables students to develop an understanding of:  Themselves  Their own society and culture  The societies and cultures of others Conceptually based course that fosters skills of independent thinking and research to develop the qualities of effective citizenship
  4. 4. Objectives of the Course Knowledge and Understanding  Identity, cultures, interaction of the concepts across time  Continuity and change and research methodologies Skills  Conduct social and cultural research  Communication Values and Attitudes  Social justice, intercultural understanding  Informed and active citizenship  Ethical research practices  Lifelong learning
  5. 5. The Nature of Society and Culture
  6. 6. The Role of the Concepts Tools for organising and understanding the content Fundamental course concepts are persons, society, culture, environment and time Four other basic concepts: gender, power, authority and technology Concepts are the metalanguage of Society and Culture Highly abstract and conceptual course – challenging for less able students
  7. 7. Micro/Macro Central concern of the course Synthesis of personal experience and public knowledge of the micro and macro worlds Important that students can relate the reading they do in class to their own personal experience Validates and values students’ own personal experiences, and everyone has something to contribute However, important that students don’t just ‘tell stories’ about their own lives, and reach a synthesis of the two
  8. 8. Macro/Micro
  9. 9. Social and Cultural Literacy Another central aim of the course, the development of Social and Cultural Literacy Reflection of the values and attitudes objectives Not directly assessed, but essential for achievement of the aims of the course and underpin the content Central premise: the demonstration of cultural relativism and overcoming ethnocentrism Making better citizens!
  10. 10. Research Methodologies Key component of the course; separates Society and Culture from most other Stage 6 subjects Students not only learn the theory of conducting research, they become field researchers themselves Research methodologies employed in all sections of the course, most notably in the Personal Interest Project Develop skills in planning, applying and analysing primary research instruments
  11. 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Research
  12. 12. Ethical Research Students are expected to conduct research ethically – applies to primary and secondary research  Gaining participant consent and maintaining confidentiality  Critical awareness of the students’ own bias/perspective  Not conducting research that poses a threat to the participant or student, or school or wider community  Not conducting research that places the student at risk Main ethical concern in recent years – proliferation of uncritical online research (eg, surveys on facebook!)
  13. 13. Preliminary Course – Year 11 120 indicative hours The Social and Cultural World – 20% of course time Personal and Social Identity – 40% of course time Intercultural Communication – 40% of course time
  14. 14. The Social and Cultural World Introduction to the course Interaction between the concepts of persons, societies, cultures, environments and time; and gender, power, authority and technology Introduction to the process of research Cross-cultural study – compare Australian culture with an overseas culture Amish, Maasai – popular cross cultural studies
  15. 15. Personal and Social Identity Socialisation, development and coming of age of individuals in a variety of social and cultural settings The process of socialisation, growing up and coming of age Theories of development – Maslow, Piaget, Erikson, Kohlberg Adolescent development and influences on development Rites of passage and coming of age in different cultures Cross-cultural study within Australia – Yolgnu popular, using the films Yolgnu Boy and/or Ten Canoes
  16. 16. Intercultural Communication How to facilitate better communication across cultures in different parts of the world Communication – effectiveness, role of gender, class and status, verbal and non-verbal communication Role of communication in maintaining social control Intercultural Understanding – using a comparison with another country How to recognise and deal with intercultural misunderstanding Popular cross-cultural studies include Bali, Japan, Vietnam, India, China
  17. 17. HSC Course – Year 12 Core  Personal Interest Project – 30% of course time  Social and Cultural Continuity and Change – 30% of course time Depth Studies – TWO of the following – 20% of course time EACH  Popular Culture  Belief Systems  Equality and Difference  Work and Leisure
  18. 18. Social and Cultural Continuity and Change 20 of the 60 marks in the HSC exam Process of research and research methodologies The Nature of Social and Cultural continuity and change Detailed country study of continuity and change Applying theories of social change – usually Functionalism, Conflict Theory and/or Evolutionary Theory Applying methodologies for hypothesising about the future Popular country studies – Japan, India, Vietnam, China Examined using objective response & short-answer questions
  19. 19. Depth Studies Two sections in the exam – either answer a question in parts OR an extended response If answer Question in parts for Depth Study A, must attempt extended response for Depth Study B Each to the value of 20 marks, spend approximately 40-45 minutes on each section Expected length of response of approximately 800 words Changes to the exam after 2008 consultation on the role of the PIP in assessment
  20. 20. Depth Studies Can appear deceptively simple, especially Popular Culture and Belief Systems For students to achieve, they must ensure that they are combining personal experience with public knowledge It is not sufficient to just ‘tell stories’ about their own belief system etc Importance of valid and credible secondary research Emphasis is on specific examples, evidence to support and application of course concepts
  21. 21. Personal Interest Project Often the most challenging but also rewarding part of the course for students Develops independent research skills Students become experts in their field Excellent preparation for university Externally assessed – marked by the Board of Studies corporate marking process out of 30 Best PIPs from each year collected in the State Library
  22. 22. What is the PIP? Approximately 5500 word project, externally marked Must be personal – a topic of a student’s own choice (within reason) Must be related to the Society and Culture course Must demonstrate the synthesis of personal experience with public knowledge Based predominately on primary research methodologies Must include a perspective different to the student’s own – a cross-cultural component, and a continuity and change component
  23. 23. Topic Choice Students must choose their topic in conference with their teacher Must avoid topics that are unethical or have the potential to be too controversial – must discuss with Principal Something they are interested in (or personally affected by) which has a clear relation to the course Should be original in either topic choice, execution or analysis Narrow is better – allows for more depth Students should seek to explain why a phenomena occurs rather than simply describing it
  24. 24. Examples of Topics Some of the prize-winning PIPs from 2011 HSC:  ‘Rise of the Tiger Cubs’  ‘Gaga vs Gillard: the Rise of Raunch Culture and the Demise of Female Political Identity’  ‘Sikh Gender Roles’  Quality over Quantity: ‘Only Children’ in Society  List of all prizewinners at www.scansw.com.au Popular topics often come from: issues of identity, belief system, forms of popular culture, subcultures, racial issues & multiculturalism, body image
  25. 25. Components of the PIP Must demonstrate consistent application of course concepts Must be clearly communicated Methodologies must be applied ethically and consistently, and should be appropriate to the topic Students need to demonstrate awareness of the limitations of their work and analyse their own process All subject matter should be clearly relevant
  26. 26. Research for the PIP Secondary research crucial for fulfilling the ‘public knowledge’ component Trend towards students using the internet (including Wikipedia!) as their main source of information Should be relying upon books & academic journals (Sociology, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Media Studies) Students still plagiarise, especially from the internet, in spite of the All My Own Work requirements
  27. 27. Primary Research Students must conduct a range of primary research methodologies Generally, 4-5 is a good number of methodologies – must be manageable, but demonstrate their skills Questionnaires are popular – should be conducted in paper form or in a controlled online environment (eg, Survey Monkey), sample size of at least 50 Interviews and focus groups – libraries can be useful sites to conduct these All methodologies must be reliably recorded
  28. 28. Issues with Research Content Analysis – confused with secondary research Observation – not adequately recorded or implemented correctly Use of the Internet  Interviews over email or on MSN  Surveys conducted on online forums like www.boredofstudies.com  Focus groups – as above
  29. 29. How Can Libraries Help? Access to online databases and journals Provision of basic sociology books, like Sociology Australia by Bessant & Watts (1st year University level is perfect) Wide range of books/journals on contemporary social issues, especially regarding Australia Wide range of periodicals – Guardian, New Internationalist Gently steer students towards genuine, face-to-face primary research and away from online focus groups or questionnaires!
  30. 30. How Can the Association Help? Our journal, Culturescope – 3 editions per year, resources, articles and teaching strategies The ‘Best of’ Culturescope series – $20-$30 each, one for each Preliminary and HSC topic (although these will be updated soon) Our website – www.scansw.com.au  Details for membership, Culturescope resources, extracts from past Prize-winning PIPs Dear Pippa – pippa@scansw.com.au - Advice line for students and teachers
  31. 31. Other Helpful Resources Heinemann Society and Culture (2nd Edn), by Bernie Howitt & Robin Julian, Heinemann, 2009 Society and Culture Preliminary and HSC, by Leaver et al, Thomson, 2007 Society and Culture, by Fleming & Fleming, Excel

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