• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest International Relations, Policy Studies, Political Sciences, International Business, Asia Pacific Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr April Biccum
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

The 20th Century witnessed profound challenges to classical knowledge paradigms in the social sciences. Approaches to the study of society and politics diversified. Critical, social, post-structuralist, post-colonial and ‘post-modern’ interventions drew attention to structures and practices of meaning-making and to the relationship between knowledge paradigms and power. Interpretivist scholars made substantial contributions to developments in the theories of language and communication, and in the 'second order observation' involved in varieties of discourse analysis. Scholars across a variety of disciplines are working in interpretivist traditions that depart from the  positivist paradigm adopted constructivist, thick descriptive, inductive and context-based approaches to assess, explain and understand sites and assemblages of ‘meaning making’.  

The aim of this course is to  introduce students to the long tradition of Interpretivist Social Science, and to invite them to consider how its theoretical claims might inform their own epistemological and methodological decisions. The course offers practical training for students interested in modes of enquiry into the increasingly communicative, media driven, institutional and text based world in which we live that are not covered by conventional quantitative and qualitative approaches. In addition to equipping students with skills for interpretivist research design, data generation, analysis, inference, interpretation and critique, it addresses fundamental questions about the logic, conduct and significance of social scientific inquiry and the politics of knowledge in the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. engage in epistemological debates that relate to methodological approaches;
  2. assess the diverse range of strategies and approaches available to scholars in the social sciences;
  3. develop techniques and skills appropriate to the design and conduct of interpretivist research; and
  4. assess the logics that distinguish methodologies and the creative possibilities for their assembly.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Research paper, 4000 words (40) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Weekly reading response, 10 x 200 words each (3% each) (30) [LO 1,2,4]
  3. Oral presentation, 20 mins (20) [LO 1,2,3]
  4. Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (HARTS or HART2), Bachelor of International Relations (Honours) (HIR), Bachelor of Policy Studies (Honours) (HPOLS), Bachelor of Public Policy (Honours) (HPPOL), Bachelor of Development Studies (Honours) (HDEVS), Bachelor of European Studies (Honours) (HEURO), Bachelor of Latin American Studies (Honours) (HLAMS) or Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Honours) (HPPE), or completed 144 units towards the Bachelor of Philosophy (Arts) (APHAR or APNAR). You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed POLS8047.

Prescribed Texts

None

Preliminary Reading

Bevir, M. and R. A. W. Rhodes, Eds. (2016). The Routledge Handbook of Interpretive Political Science. London and New York, Routledge.

Rabinow, P. and W. M. Sullivan, Eds. (1979). Interpretive Social Science: A Reader. Berkley & Los Angeles, University of California Press.

Schaffer, F. C. (2016). Elucidating Social Science Concepts: An Interpetivist Guide. New York, Routledge.  

Scott, J. W. and D. Keates, Eds. (2001). Schools of Thought: Twenty-Five Years of Interpretive Social Science. Princeton, Princeton University Press.  

Yanow, D. and P. Schwartz-Shea, Eds. (2006). Interpretation and Method. New York, M.E. Sharpe.

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate knowledge in a social science discipline.

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
1
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4033 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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