• Offered by Department of Political and Social Change and the School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences / ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • 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
    • Dr Nick Cheesman
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2023
    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]

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 Political Science (HPLSC), Bachelor of Development Studies (Honours) (HDEVS), Bachelor of Policy Studies (Honours) (HPOLS), Bachelor of International Relations (Honours) (HIR), Bachelor of European Studies (Honours) (HEURO), Bachelor of Latin American Studies (Honours) (HLAMS), Bachelor of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies (Honours) (HMECA), Bachelor of Public Policy (Honours) (HPPOL), Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Honours) (HPPE) or Bachelor of Asian Studies (Honours) (HASIA).

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable.

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.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
14
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2023 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5820
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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
3252 20 Feb 2023 27 Feb 2023 31 Mar 2023 26 May 2023 In Person N/A

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