Skip to Content

Power, Difference and Recognition - SOCX225

In modern liberal democratic societies, cultural and ethical differences are seen to contribute to the vitality of the community and to the formation of open personalities. Yet the affirmation of difference also presents us with a range of problems that need to be negotiated. How do we think about the common purpose and bonds of solidarity that are necessary to our survival as a society in terms that are consistent with a deeply held commitment to the principle of difference? Liberalism has supposed that the idea of the tolerant society could provide the solution here. This response has however come in for some vigorous criticism. In the unit we will consider the 'dispute' between the concept of toleration and the struggle for recognition. We will thread a discussion of these different strategies for negotiating the claims of difference. We will consider a range of ways of thinking about topics like multiculturalism, gender and class relations, and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations as well as some different accounts of the way in which globalisation processes have thrust upon us the urgency of thinking through questions of power and difference at an international level.

All enrolment queries should be directed to Open Universities Australia (OUA): see

When Offered:

S1 OUA - Session 1, offered through Open Universities Australia

Staff Contact(s): Associate Professor Pauline Johnson
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Sociology

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
Need help? Ask us.