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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Intermediate

Former School/College

Former School of Law and Justice

Pre-requisites

72 credit points in any university course

Co-requisites

N/A

Anti-requisites

N/A

Unit aim

Introduces students to the concept of ideology. It investigates the role of law in legitimising the ideology of western liberalism and global capitalism. Theories and thinkers are introduced and examined. The use of contemporary film to maintain capitalist ideology is explored.

Unit content

Topic 1 Introduction to historical materialism and class instrumentalism

Base and Superstructure, Role of Law in Marxist theory, law’s coercive and ideological role; Marx on The Factory Acts

Topic 2 Antonio Gramsci, Cultural Hegemony and Louis Althusser Repressive and Ideological state apparatuses: “Ideology has very little to do with consciousness. It is profoundly unconscious.” Introduction to the Subject of the Unconscious; Hitchcock, Psycho, 1960

Topic 3 Slavoj Zizek:

(a) we are far from post-ideological

(b) culture as displaced belief

(c) culture as today’s foremost ideological battleground

The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, 2006

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, 2013

Topic 4 Illustrations

They Live, John Carpenter, 1988

Argo, Ben Affleck, 2012

Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow, 2013

Twelve Years a Slave, Steve McQueen, 2013

American Sniper, Clint Eastwood, 2014

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: , GA2: , GA3: , GA4: , GA5: , GA6: , GA7:
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 Critically analyse historical materialism and class instrumentalism in Western society
2 Explain the concept of ideology and critique its function in maintaining social structures
3 Interrogate the role of law in legitimising ideologies
4 Critique the use of contemporary film in maintaining and supporting ideological constructs

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Critically analyse historical materialism and class instrumentalism in Western society
    • GA1:
    • GA5:
  2. Explain the concept of ideology and critique its function in maintaining social structures
    • GA1:
    • GA5:
  3. Interrogate the role of law in legitimising ideologies
    • GA5:
  4. Critique the use of contemporary film in maintaining and supporting ideological constructs
    • GA2: