Australian Popular Culture
University of Queensland
Area of Study
Australian Culture, History, Sociology
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Host University Units2
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units6
Hours & Credits
OverviewCourse DescriptionExamines the historical formation and social meanings of selected forms of popular culture in Australia from the early twentieth century to the present. Areas considered include the bush, the beach, cinema, television, popular music, Aboriginality, sport, and food.Course IntroductionAUST2000 Australian Popular Culture examines the social function of popular culture in Australia with particular emphasis on the period from the 1960s to the present. It explores how popular culture is produced and consumed and asks how specific forms (such as cinema, magazines, music, television, sport and leisure) contribute to concepts of indivdual and national identity. The course does not attempt to define a uniquely Australian form of popular culture. Rather, the course examines the distinctive ways in which cultural activity and practice, whether originating in Australia or overseas, have been produced and consumed in Australia.The course begins by establishing a framework and some working definitions. 'Popular culture' is a notoriously difficult concept to define adequately and simply. Both words, 'popular' and 'culture' have complex histories and they carry a wide range of different meanings. Rather than attempt to produce a single neat definition we will develop a loose, but more useful, series of descriptions of many of the main 'fields' covered by the broad term 'popular culture'. We will also explore some of the concepts (mythology, representation, discourse) and theoretical tools (textual analysis, discourse analysis) that we will use in our analysis of popular culture.Having examined some of the key concepts and approaches we turn to particular aspects of popular culture in Australia since the 1970s through a series of topics such sport and leisure, television, cinema, music, Aboriginality, gambling and food cultures.Learning ObjectivesAfter successfully completing this course you should be able to:
Class Contact1hour Lecture, 1.5 hours Tutorial
- Identify the ways in which popular culture in Australia contributes to the construction of national, cultural and self identity.
- Situate popular culture in Australia within a global context
- Collect, analyse and organise information about specific fields of popular culture
- Convey ideas and concepts related to the field clearly and fluently in both written and spoken forms
- Develop an understanding of the key role of specific public and private institutions in the shaping of Australian culture.
- Critically engage with contemporary media and academic writing
- Critically reflect on your own engagement with popular culture.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.