contemp society

Answer ONE of the following essay questions in 1200 words.

Essay Requirements:You must consult at least five (5) scholarly texts in researching this essay, and reference them in a reference list. At least four (4) of the five (5) scholarly texts must be from outside the essential (weekly) readings (textbook). That is, you must use at least four scholarly texts and the unit’s textbook. You are expected to engage in independent scholarly research. Scholarly texts include books, an essay from a collection or an article from an academic journal. Please do not use general websites, including Wikipedia, or any dictionary definitions. Any scholarly texts from the Internet MUST be from a reputable academic or university website. If you are not sure, choose only university-based websites for your sources. You must not use any other general Internet-based material in your essay unless it is directly related to answering your question and relevant.

Referencing:All quotations MUST be in quotation marks with page number references using the referencing system specified in this unit’s student learning guide, which is Chicago. All material that is not your own MUST be referenced. Students are required to follow the UWS style guidelines in relation to references, quotations and bibliographies. The University of Western Sydney has proactive plagiarism rules in place and all essays must be submitted to Turnitin. If your Turnitin match is more than 25% it may trigger an Academic Misconduct review of your work.

Presentation:You are expected to submit a clear, well-written document. You must edit and proofread your work before submitting it.

Submit your assignment online by Monday, September 8 before 9am.Remember,late submission penalties apply.

Essay Writing:An essay is an extended intellectual engagement with a particular question. A written essay must demonstrate not only an ability to write to an acceptable university standard but, just as importantly, an ability to think to a university standard. Students are required to research the question, and to show evidence of that research in the form of appropriate reference and bibliographic material being used in the essay. As students, you are asked to query and evaluate all material that you read, or notes and recordings you have accumulated from lectures and tutorials and, through a critical engagement with this information, express your own ideas and concepts in the essay. These ideas and concepts must be argued and substantiated by rational means, and presented in a logical, cohesive order that develops your essay’s argument or position.

This essay will be assessed on:A clear response that demonstrates an understanding of the essay question chosen. Correct use of concepts from the course. The appropriate use of examples and evidence to support your argument/s,

your facility to undertake independent scholarly research and correctly reference that research, and your ability to write clearly and concisely.

Also, see your learning guide for more specific marking criteria.


  1. On page eight of the textbook it states that the authors oftheDictionary of Sociology (Abercrombie, Hill and Turner) describe culture as “the symbolic and learned, non-biological aspects of human society, including language, custom and convention, by which human behaviour can be distinguished from other primates”. Reflect on how this could be understood from the viewpoint of socialisation. To support your argument, your response must include the analysis of at least two specific examples related to culture and identity.
  2. Is your body a pawn in a power game? What makes your body particularly suited to manipulation as part of the way that power operates in a modern free society? Analyse media coverage of a recent cultural conflict or popular cultural debate to support your argument in response to this question, paying particular attention to cultural rules.
  3. Is our contemporary society’s engagement with mobile phones a positive thing that simply encourages enhanced communication, or does it entrench us further into a virtual world controlled and monitored by both governments and commercial vendors? Compare and contrast the use of this technology in Australia using at least three examples from your everyday life to support your position.
  4. Religious food taboos have less to do with health or nutrition and more to do with the control of subjects within an ideological structure. What is purely ideological in intent and what is not? Discuss using one or more specific examples from a recognised contemporary religion or embodiment of spirituality.
  5. OnOctober 31, 1987, the1980s British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said in an article inWomen’s Own magazine: “there is no such thing as society”. Compare and contrast that statement with the comment on page 24 of the unit textbook “that the term [society] could be dropped all together”.
  6. In a recent comment on ABC radio, politician Joe Hockey said: “The poorest people either don’t have cars or actually don’t drive very far in many cases”.Critically analyse that statement using sociologist Antonio Gramsci’s argument on page 31 of the textbook about culture and politics.

7.How does the myth of Australia being a classless society continue to circulate? Through an analysis of three examples, explore how this myth may allow a wealthy and privileged minority of Australians to reinforce ongoing inequality while making their exercise of power all but invisible? Some aspects to consider more closely in your analysis include class consciousness, historical materialism, and stratification.

  1. On page 28 of the textbook, James Arvanitakis talks about power as “stuff” and power as “relational”. What do you think he means by that? Discuss this statement from Professor Arvanitakis by considering the work of philosopher Michel Foucault referred to in the textbook.

LATE SUBMISSION PENALTIES: A student who submits a late assessment without approval for an extension will be penalised by 10% per day up to 10 days, that is, marks equal to 10% of the assignment’s weight will be deducted as a ‘flat rate’ from the mark awarded.

I have looked at the essay questions and think question 3 is quite good.