Course Title: Youth Studies and Social Action

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Youth Studies and Social Action

Credit Points: 12


Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

HWSS2142

City Campus

Undergraduate

365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Dr Kathy Edwards

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 8260

Course Coordinator Email: kathy.edwards@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Location: 37.2


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

None


Course Description

This third year course begins with a recognition of the way a vocabulary of ‘community building’, ‘social capital’, ‘trust’, ‘neighbourhood renewal’, ‘mutual obligation’ and ‘youth development’ and ‘youth participation’ has won the support of governments and policy makers across Australia and internationally. Students engage with a number of intellectual traditions that inform this conceptual vocabulary by addressing ideas of ‘community’ (ie. Tonnies, Sennett, Anderson, Sen and Putnam), ‘social action’ (ie., Weber, Arrow and Elster), and ‘social movements’ (ie., Melucci and Touraine).
This course will investigates both the diversity of ideas of community and how young people experience different communities through a series of youth-focused case studies paying special attention to how this approach has informed recent youth policy. Students will be asked to think firstly about how recent models of ‘community’ and ‘social capital’ have informed both left and right versions of communitarianism and ‘Third wayism’ (a mix of economic liberal fiscal policies with some regard for social equity). They will then turn to the ways ideas of development and participation have influenced the youth sector. Questions are posed about whether the idea and experience of ‘community’ continues to be useful. In what ways if at all does the idea of community connect to a young person’s sense of being a particular kind of person (ie., being Australian, gay, lesbian)? And, is there a ‘dark side’ of community?
The second part of the course concentrates on the practice of social action, community development (by young people and youth workers) and social movements. We begin by reviewing different models of social action (ie., grass-root approaches, top-led community development, judicial advocacy, media mediated development, health promotion). Students are then introduced to a range of skills for engaging young people in the framing and reframing ‘youth/social problems’, how to access information and resources, and networking skills.
 


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

By the end of this course students will:
1. Be able to recognise how the vocabulary of ‘community building’, ‘social capital’, ‘trust’, ‘neighbourhood renewal’, ‘mutual obligation’ and ‘youth development’ and ‘youth
participation’ informs government and policy making across Australia and
internationally.
2. Have an appreciation of the diversity of ideas of community as well as the different
experiences young people have of community.
3. Have an elementary knowledge of the intellectual traditions that inform ideas of community, social action and social movements.
4. Be able to demonstrate an appreciation of recent models of ‘community’ and ‘social
capital’ have informed both left and right versions of communitarianism and ‘Third wayism’.
5. Understand how ideas of youth development and participation have influenced the
youth sector.
6. Have started thinking about the contemporary relevance of more traditional ideas and experiences of ‘community’ and change.
7. Be able to recognize the ‘dark side’ of community.
8. Have a working knowledge of the different models of social action and community
development, and an appreciation of the skills required to contests and reframe youth
problems.

The course will produce outcomes identified in the generic graduate capabilities 1, 2, 3 and 4. It also provides learning activities designed to realize youth work specific graduate capabilities 1, 2 and 3.
 



Overview of Learning Activities

The kind of learning activities students will experience in this course include use of electronic information and communications technology to research sources, such as the internet, printed media, historical, philosophy, social science as well as biographies.
Learning activities will also include some formal lectures/presentations, seminars incorporating active problem based learning, interviews, comparative and field work.
 


Overview of Learning Resources

Students will need to access to prescribed and recommended texts and electronic information technology (computers, data bases).


Overview of Assessment

Assessment tasks are directly linked to the stated objectives and graduates capabilities. Assessment tasks will include class based activities, and written reports, essays, folios, oral reports, and annotated visual reports.