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POLS323 Marxism: Classical and Contemporary

Major figures in classical and contemporary Marxism, criticisms of Marxism, and Marxist analysis of current issues including alienation, inequality, economic crisis, imperialism, war, climate change, media bias, and democracy.

This paper will complement and traverse themes in the political theory, international relations, comparative politics and domestic politics streams in Politics.

Paper title Marxism: Classical and Contemporary
Paper code POLS323
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2019
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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18 200-level POLS points or one of GEOG 210, GEOG 214, GEOG 228, GEOG 310, GEOG 328, GEOG 374, HIST 217, HIST 223, HIST 229, HIST 252, MFCO 102, MFCO 202, PHIL 227, PHIL 232, SOCI 202, GEND 201, GEND 208, GEND 308
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff
Associate Professor Brian Roper
Core texts will be available on close reserve, and there will be a course reader for this paper.
Course outline

View a sample course outline for POLS 323. (Students taking this paper should refer to blackboard for the current course outline)

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the paper students should be able to:
  • Recognise the central figures in Classical Marxism
  • Understand some of the most important theoretical ideas in Classical Marxism
  • Understand the central features of Marxian (and critical realist) methodology
  • Understand some of the most common and influential academic criticisms of Marxism and the responses to these criticisms by contemporary Marxist scholars
  • Recognise internationally influential contemporary Marxist scholars
  • Understand how Marxists analyse a number of important contemporary issues
  • Provide a considered and informed assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Marxist tradition of thought
  • Apply Marxist concepts in order to make sense of current events and issues and also to better understand the relationship between biography, social structure and historical change.
Thus, a major outcome is 'the development in graduates of lifelong learning skills so that graduates are prepared to go on learning after graduation'.

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Not offered in 2019

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system