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ASS204 - Urban Spaces, Global Places


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Classes and seminars in Trimester 2/Semester 2, 2020 will be online. Physical distancing for coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect delivery of other learning experiences in this unit. Please check your unit sites for announcements and updates one week prior to the start of your trimester or semester.

Last updated: 2 June 2020

Enrolment modes:

2020 - Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Cloud (online), CBD*

2021 - Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Cloud (online), CBD*

Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: David Giles




Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

 1 x 1-hour class per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

1 x 1-hour class per week (recordings provided), 1 x 1-hour online seminar per week


*CBD refers to the National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation (NIKERI) Institute; Community Based Delivery


For the first time in human history, more people live in cities than outside of them. Cities around the world swell and transform. New ones spring up virtually overnight. The anthropology of the twenty-first century, therefore, must be an urban anthropology. Meanwhile, these transformations in habitation and migration reflect a sea shift in global economies and political systems with parallel implications for diverse people in far-flung corners of the world. New kinds of cities emerge to reflect this shared landscape, from sleek financial centres to cosmopolitan postcolonial crossroads to industrial megalopolises. An urban anthropology, therefore, must be an anthropology of global connectedness. This unit will explore the intersection of these two approaches.

We will ask a range of questions. What are cities and how are they constructed, socially and materially? How do urban environments remake everyday life, and vice versa? How does space become place? How do cities facilitate the comings and goings of people, things, and ideas around the world?  The unit will feature the work of anthropological researchers, urban ethnographers, and other social scientists who have wrestled with these questions. In addition, students will conduct their own experiential research in their own urban environments.


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit

At the completion of this unit, successful students can:

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes


Analyse cultural processes of urban space- and place-making according to anthropological theories and methods; and engage these with the theories and methods of other disciplines, including geography and sociology

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Identify the relationships between urban place-making and global forces such as migration, mass communication, economic liberalisation, and post-colonial conflict

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO8: Global citizenship


Identify and pursue a specific line of anthropological inquiry; develop and support an argument regarding contemporary events using primary and secondary data sources

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking


Capture detailed, effective descriptions of sociocultural processes and systems using text and visual media; effectively and communicate and support arguments in writing

GLO2: Communication

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Trimester 2:
Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Online exercises   25% Ongoing
Assessment 2 - Journal   35% Week 6
Assessment 3 - Essay   40% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: ASS204 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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