University of Technology Sydney

54052 Economy, Society and Globalism

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Communication: Social and Political Sciences
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 54050 Self and Society OR 54051 Politics, Ideologies and Beliefs OR 58122 Introduction to Social Inquiry
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 58123 Society, Economy and Globalisation


A critical understanding of how globally interconnected economies work is essential for anyone in communications. In recent decades, the ideology of the free market has gained a powerful influence over governments. Reflecting this, our everyday lives are increasingly structured by global markets, corporations, and institutions; often beyond the reach of democracy. In this subject, students investigate the contest of ideas around policies of marketisation, privatisation, deregulation and austerity, not just to understand economic forces, but how they may be changed. Students gain a grounding in economic literacy through researching an everyday commodity such as coffee or oil, discovering how it is produced, traded, consumed and disposed of. They analyse the role of people and organisations in creating and transforming globalisation, and efforts to promote social justice and sustainability.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Explain important concepts, terms and debates in the economic social sciences and critically analyse their deployment within contemporary processes of social and political change
b. Design and complete self-directed and collaborative research
c. Collate and analyse evidence critically in light of concepts introduced in the subject
d. Advocate from ethical positions arrived at through reflexive dialogue with others and evidence-based research

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Possess a well-developed awareness of professional practice in the context of the communication industries (1.1)
  • Apply theoretically informed understanding of the communication industries in independent and collaborative projects across a range of media (1.2)
  • Possess information literacy skills to locate, gather, organise and synthesise information across diverse platforms to inform the understanding of the communication industries (2.1)
  • Be reflexive critical thinkers and creative practitioners who are intellectually curious, imaginative and innovative; with an ability to evaluate their own and others' work (2.2)
  • Employ professional skills responsibly and respectfully in a global environment (3.2)
  • Possess the awareness of ethical practice in the personal, political and professional contexts of civil society (5.1)
  • Possess the skills to behave ethically in personal and professional contexts (5.2)
  • Possess well-developed skills and proficiencies to communicate and respond effectively and appropriately across different contexts (6.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject consists of a weekly lectures and tutorials, with independent student reading the basis for active, collaborative learning supported by online and open education resources. Face-to-face classes will incorporate a range of teaching and learning strategies including short presentations, videos, discussion of readings and case studies and student groupwork. Tutorials and assignments provide opportunities for students to deepen their knowledge through critical analysis, creative, self-directed, and collaborative inquiry, library and digital research, and through peer and tutor formative feedback. Tutorials and assignments enhance student’s capacity to apply their knowledge and to advocate and intervene ethically in public debates and global civil society, by developing professional skills in communication, responsible leadership and teamwork, project management, and problem solving.

Content (topics)

The subject aims to develop students literacy, curiosity and familiarity at an introductory level with the terms and concepts deployed in (trans)national policy debates and in the broadly ‘economic’ terrain shared by several social science disciplines (political theory, sociology, political economy, economics, development studies, international relations, geography). Beginning with everyday experiences of work and consumption at the level of the household in our ‘market society’, we trace our global interconnectedness with other people through research into commodity chains and the social organisations that shape them: markets, states, corporations, social movements, NGOs and global governance institutions. We compare the different approaches to the analysis of wealth and poverty, democratic government and development taken by standard economists, Marxists, Keynesian social democrats and neoliberals, and consider how quantitative evidence is deployed by those contesting and intervening in processes of global social change.


Assessment task 1: Stakeholder Policy Proposal


a, b, c and d

Weight: 15%

800 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Feasibility of proposal 15 b 1.1
Appropriateness of research questions 15 d 1.2
Level of clarity and detail in proposed methods to answer research questions 20 a 2.2
Level of preparation evident in background research 30 c 2.1
Clarity of written expression and presentation 20 a 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Essay


a, b, c and d

Weight: 40%

1700 words, not including references, data charts, graphs or tables.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Discussion of concepts and debates introduced in lectures and set material 30 a 5.1
Explanation of how concepts are linked to real world contexts 30 d 2.2
Depth and scope of research 20 b 2.1
Clarity of written expression and presentation 10 c 6.1
Accuracy of citation and referencing 10 b 1.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Stakeholder Policy Report


b, c and d

Weight: 45%

2300 words, not including references, data charts, graphs or tables.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Accuracy in using data in context of globalisation 15 c 3.2
Depth of engagement with a range of relevant sources 20 c 2.1
Strength of analysis and findings 20 b 6.1
Relevance and appropriateness of recommendations to stakeholder 30 d 5.1
Professionalism in written expression and correct citation. 15 b 5.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Attendance at tutorials is essential in this subject. Classes are based on a collaborative approach that involves essential work-shopping and interchange of ideas with other students and the tutor. A roll will be taken at each class. Students who have more than two absences from class will be refused final assessment (see Rule 3.8).?

In this subject assessment tasks are cumulative so that each task builds understanding and/or skills, informed by formative feedback. Consequently, all assessments must be submitted in order for you to receive feedback. Students who do not submit all assessments will not pass the subject.

Required texts

Stanford, J. 2015, Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism, 2nd Ed, Pluto Press, Ann Arbour.

  • This book is available online through the UTS library, or can be purchased as a paperback at the University of Sydney Coop bookstore,or as (a less expensive) eBook.

Recommended texts

There are a number of books that you might find useful regarding economic theory and debates.

Accessible paperbacks:

Spies-Butcher, B., Paton, J. & Cahill, D. 2012, Market Society: History, Theory, Practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Chang, HJ. 2014, Economics: The User's Guide, Bloomsbury, London.

Advanced books:

Stilwell, F. 2012, Political Economy: The Contest of Ideas, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Fufeld, DR. 2002, The Age of the Economist, Addison Wesley, Boston.

Hunt, EK. & Lautzenheiser, M. 2015, History of Economic Thought: A Critical Perspective, Routledge, Oxon