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Equality and Difference

Page history last edited by Sara Lennon 8 years, 2 months ago

HSC Depth Study: Equality and Difference


The focus of this study is the nature of equality and difference in societies and cultures.



Students learn about:


The fundamental concepts of society, culture, persons, environment, time and the concepts of power, authority, gender and technology are to be integrated across Equality and Difference.


The key concepts to be integrated across Equality and Difference are:


•   equality •   conflict •   ethnicity

•   social differentiation •   cooperation •   ‘race’

•   prejudice •   discrimination •   hierarchy

•   human rights •   socioeconomic status •   identity

•   continuity •   social class •   change


The Nature of Equality and Difference


Students develop an understanding of the nature of equality and difference through


• considering the nature of difference in societies and cultures,

including the hybrid nature of societies and cultures 

Defining Australian Idenity .docx  

'Average' Aussie is a 37yo mum of two 


ABS The Average Australian



• considering aspects of commonality and difference in societies and cultures  E&D Gap rich and poor article
• considering unequal access to socially valued resources for health care, housing, education, employment and the justice system  Socially Valued Resources - Indigenous .pptx  

 The Miniature Earth

Watch this clip and take notes. 

Using these notes as a basis, create a similar clip about Australia as a 'Miniature Earth'.

Upload your clip.



Food for thought......



Consider equality in Australia by investigating:


• the meaning of equality 


        A Fair Go?


The Australian 'Fair Go'

A peculiarly Australian idea of equality is the concept of the 'fair go'.
Watch the video 'How do we define Australian values?'
Using this information, answer the question "What is a 'fair go?" in 200 words.


Read this article: "Australians value a fair go highest"
Answer these 3 questions:
1. Describe which group(s) in Australia are most worried about inequality
2. Outline methods to make Australia a fairer place.
3. Describe one occasion when YOU contributed to reducing inequality in your community.



• the extent to which the ideal of equality is shared by all Australians 



Same Sex Marriage - Q&A episode


The Conversation



• equal access to resources   
• equal outcomes for all   
• inequality and its consequences, by examining different outcomes experienced by people including:  The Consequences of Inequality in Australia.docx  
– from different ‘racial’ or ethnic groups 

Racial equality and social cohesion in Australia- building a future together (2012)



– who follow different belief systems and cultural practices 

Council planners say no to Muslim school


One Nation Party Website



– with a disability  SHUT OUT - disability.docx  
– living in urban and rural environments

Population Characteristics: Socio-economic disadvantage across urban, rural and remote areas


– of different ages all_about_age_discrimination.pdf  Commissioner slams age discrimination by employers.docx
– of both genders Gender Inequality in Australia.docx  


Examine ways to reduce inequality

• legislation introduced to reduce inequality – local, national and global 






Local, National Global Legislation.docx Task

Larissa Behrendt Stop this Intervention      Human Rights Day 2009


How effective are local, national and global legal measures in reducing discrimination and inequality? Consider the concepts such as power, authority, continuity/change. 

• affirmative action policies 

Ways to reduce Inequality.docx  

One Step Forward: Two Steps Back? Women and Affirmative Action: A case study of the Victorian Teaching Service - Research Paper



One Step Forward - affirmative action.docx  Task

• community initiatives 

Example 1: National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

 Close The Gap Community Guide


Smoke Free Project


NACCHO health awards:Unique trial of a smoking intervention for pregnant Aboriginal women is the winner National Prize for Excellence


Example 2: An Indigenous Australian Employment Initiative

In 1997, Dick Estens established the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES)- a service with the goal of providing employment opportunities for Aboriginal people in Moree. The inequalities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the community were stark. For example, in the year 2000 the Indigenous unemployment rate was 44%, compared to 7% for non-Indigenous people. The AES is an example of a community led affirmative action campaign that has grown to a national level, as it now has nine operational sites throughout Australia and provides employment for approx 130 Aboriginal people per year. 

• welfare systems 


2012-13 Budget Spending Australia


2013 Budget Spending USA










Governments around the world provide different kinds of services and welfare for their citizens, based on their taxation system. In Australia, forms of welfare include unemployment benefits, old age pensions, youth allowance, disability pensions, war veteran allowances and a range of other payments such as the baby bonus. In general, the greatest proportion of government expenditure in Australia is spent on social security and welfare. In the 2011 budget, this proportion was approximately 33% of total government spending (the overall budget expenditure was expected to be approximately $365.8 billion). 2012-13 data is shown in the graph.


 Social security and welfare spending is generally designed to help members of society with a low socio-economic status, so that such individuals/families/social groups can have greater access to resources and the essentials of living, such as housing, food, education, etc.


How fair is Australia’s welfare state?

Australia redistributes more to the poorest fifth of the population than virtually any other OECD country, writes Peter Whiteford

11 July 2011



Australian governments face a decade of budget deficits



The welfare system in Australia is broken - The Australian




The Working Poor - USA



The US Welfare System



2013 Welfare Spending USA




Task: Compare the social security and welfare system in Australia with the USA.  Discuss the inequalities that exist in these countries and evaluate if they are being addressed by the current welfare system?


Examine individual and group commonality and difference:

• the similarities that exist between people from different social and cultural groups  Despite our differences as people, we all share many things in common. Commonality refers to aspects of humanity that we all share. The desire to laugh or cry, to feel happy or sad; the full range of emotions are part of being human. Humans have needs such as food, shelter and clothing. At another level, humans have a need to feel safe. This is therefore a commonality. Difference can be measured in terms of 'social differentiation'. Social differentiation is demonstrated as a result of both physical and cultural differences and can be observed through social class systems whereby some members of societies are perceived to possess higher levels of prestige, status and wealth. Socioeconomic status can also measure social differentiation as person of higher socioeconomic status usually possess higher paying occupation, demonstrate a higher level of wealth in terms of material goods and services. On the other hand, those of lower socioeconomic status may be either unemployed or termed 'working poor', meaning that despite having a job the income level is not sufficient to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Indeed, income is an obvious indicator of wealth, power and status and often the sole indicator of an individual's or groups' ability to access socially valued resources.


Does a class system exist within Australia?

April 04, 2013 , 4:22 PM by Hayley Crane



Struggling, middle class or super wealthy?


1.     According to McCRindle, What is class based upon in Australia?

2.     Outline and describe the typical characteristics of the five quintiles in Australian society.




• the perception of groups by other groups within society  matterfact.pdf  
• influences on individuals’ perceptions of others

The State of the Australian Middle Class.docx  

Read the article and complete the following;

Account for the disparity (difference) between the perceptions of a struggling Middle Class, and the reality. 500-750 words.

• how members of groups see themselves   

Sunrise Family First Debate 2 Aug 2010


Watch the video debate between Family First and The Australian Sex Party. Who you agree with isn't the important part of this exercise - instead, pay attention to how each side speaks about their own party, and their own views. Both sides believe that they are morally and factually right.

• how attitudes of group members towards other groups influence behaviour 

Sample essay

2010 Trial paper Equality and Difference model essays.docx  

E&D Commonality and Difference, consequences and institutionalisation.docx

The Shame - Four Corners - Domestic Violence in Aboriginal Communities

We need to get the children out of here - SMH 2008

Vanishing Orphans of the Intervention SMH - 2009

• the role and influence of historical, political and legal forces in the generation and maintenance of social inequality, prejudice and discrimination in Australian society and culture 

Racism in Australia.docx


Timeline  - Key Dates - Racism, Australia



• the extent to which inequality is institutionalised 








A Focus Study

Students are required to have knowledge of the nature of commonality and difference within ONE society. They will achieve this by examining:

• factors that influence commonality and difference  E&D Prejudice Typical Statements activity.docx  
• social differentiation 

About Indigenous Australia


• conflict and cooperation 

'The Apology'


• power and authority  People Power - Two Australias.docx  
TASK  Watch the Gap 








studied in relation to at least ONE of the following:


•    ‘race’ and ethnicity •    gender •    social class

•    location •    disability •    age

•    sexuality •    health •    religion and belief systems



The Future

Consider possible futures for equality and difference in the focus study society


• evaluating continuity and change in relation to equality and difference 

Timeline  - Key Dates - Racism, Australia


Use the timeline to identify continuities and changes in indigenous equality and difference. Discuss these continuities and changes in 700-1000 words. Use examples.


• what are the possible futures if existing inequalities are maintained? 

Futures for Indigenous Society.docx  


• how can people with widely divergent viewpoints work together cooperatively? 

Stronger Futures in the NT

Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory is a commitment by the Australian Government to work with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory to build strong, independent lives, where communities, families and children are safe and healthy.

Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory is a $3.4 billion investment and responds directly to what Aboriginal people told the Government was important to them.

Stronger Futures is directed to improving the lives of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, particularly those living in remote communities and town camps, who experience much higher levels of disadvantage than anywhere else in Australia.

We are working with all levels of government and with communities in the Northern Territory to:

  • improve services
  • create more local jobs
  • tackle alcohol abuse, and
  • encourage children to go to school every day.

The Government will support Aboriginal organisations to deliver services under Stronger Futures and all services will be expected to employ local Aboriginal people wherever possible. Complementing this investment, the Stronger Futures legislation aims to help deal with the issues that Aboriginal people have said are the most urgent.



Newslines Radio: Working together to Close the Gap in Walgett

Published: 5 February 2013

This Newslines Radio program is part of this month’s community profile featuring the Walgett community and their work to Close the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage. 




Improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is a critical component of Closing the Gap.

The Council of Australian Governments has a target to close the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.

To achieve this target we are working across all levels of government and with communities to:

  • look after children’s health
  • expand primary health care services in partnership with Indigenous health organisations
  • train more local health workers and employ more doctors and other health professionals
  • tackle chronic disease and its causes, including smoking
  • target specific health problems, including eye and ear disease
  • help people who abuse alcohol and other substances
  • stop-petrol sniffing
  • provide more mental health services
  • make sure there is healthy food in remote community stores




• how can desirable outcomes be achieved for all persons?   Futures for Indigenous Society.docx  
• what can individuals and groups do to help achieve desirable outcomes?  Read the following article ‘For the People’ from Outback Magazine about a private construction company responsible for the development of an employment program aimed at reducing poverty in the remote indigenous community of Galiwin’ku, Arnhem Land. 





Students learn to:


• construct scenarios for future directions in equality and difference on a local, national and global scale

• identify and describe equality and difference in their own lives and in the macro world

• utilise social and cultural research methodologies by:

– applying the methodology of case study to their research of the focus study of Equality and Difference

– using content analysis to examine media coverage of equality and difference

• select, organise and evaluate information and sources by utilising ONE of the following methodological tasks:

– survey (using interview or observation or questionnaire), eg attitudes towards equality and difference

– use statistical analysis of data relating to aspects of equality and difference

– ethnographic study, eg a student spends time in a nursing home to study the interaction between staff and residents

– focus group, eg to examine the extent of discrimination within the local community.



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