This unit teaches innovative social action to promote social justice for disadvantaged groups. This unit also examines the context of advocacy work within the welfare state and various strategies to address this.
Over the past two decades, global capitalism had rapidly expanded and the Australian welfare state – like other welfare states around the world, has contracted. In contrast to the post war period, public welfare has been reoriented to promote economic development at the expense of social and environmental issues. Welfare recipients are asked to demonstrate their deservedness in order to receive assistance, while many services previously offered through the State have been sold off to private companies, where the bottom line is more important than the service they are providing. For many, these changes have been dramatic, harmful and confusing. To redress these changes and to prevent further disadvantage innovative social action is required.
This unit will examine both theoretical and practical ways to address these issues of disadvantage. Students will critique social movements and the different concepts of the welfare state that they correspond to, and learn to organise and participate in social action. Different concepts of protest and power are included in this exploration, as are the ‘tools’, skills and strategies of social action.
The starting point for this unit, is a Christian Worldview, commitment to equity, social justice and human rights. Therefore, you will be asked to consider your own values, beliefs and attitudes to these concepts, the reflection of which will impact greatly on the types social action that you will participate in.
+ Introduction defining advocacy, social action and activism
+ ‘Old’ social movements and the Australian Welfare State
+ ‘New’ social movements and the Australian welfare state
+ Using Party Politics & the role of Government Departments, Ombudsman, Law Reform
+ Using the media, Internet & social networking sites
+ International Advocacy
+ Campaigning (5 weeks)