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Editorial

Peter Robinson, Swinburne University of Technology:  Welcome to the August 2018 issue of Nexus where the focus is on professionalisation in the style of the work of Evan Willis from La Trobe university. When we sent out a call for writers, we stressed that we were interested in contemporary issues about research into professions and […]

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The ‘Professionalization’ of Academic Teaching and the Challenges for PhD graduates

Tom J. Kehoe, University of New England:  The academic profession is changing rapidly creating challenges for Australian doctoral programs and their graduates. Reflecting university requirements, hiring committees often seek impeccable credentials in discipline research and in teaching, including in course design and knowledge of relevant higher education literature. Applicants for first lectureships should have taught […]

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Taking a whole-school approach to trauma-informed practice

Carmel Hobbs, La Trobe University:  “Ultimately what determines how children survive trauma, physically, emotionally, or psychologically, is whether the people around them – particularly the adults they should be able to trust and rely upon – stand by them with love, support and encouragement” (Perry & Szalavitz 2017, p.5) It is estimated that up to […]

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Contemporary professionalisation among the healthcare professions

Olivia King, Monash University:  Professionalisation is not a finite process with a clear and unchanging end-point but rather an on-going journey characterised by efforts to establish spheres of expertise and achieve aspirational objectives in the face of interprofessional competition [1-3]. Milestones such as national registration, title protection and legislative reinforcement for specific practices (such as prescribing) […]

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Occupational boundary disputes in the Australian operating room

Allegra Schermuly, Monash University and Andy Schermuly, Clinical Facilitator, Theatres, Royal Children’s Hospital:  Timmons and Tanner have explored occupational boundary disputes involving theatre nurses and Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) in the UK (2004). In Australia, conflict over whether nurses or anaesthetic technicians (ATs) should assist the anaesthetist in the operating theatre is a classic example […]

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Multiple meanings of professionalisation

Edgar Burns, La Trobe University:  Professionalisation, like other concepts in the crosshairs of intense and sustained social contestation, has multiple, even contradictory, meanings. Its most conventional usage refers to the 200+years historical development of occupations and professions within Western modernity. This linear model assumes progress from craft to occupation to profession, building modern knowledge, sometimes traced […]

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Postgraduate Corner July 2018

Ashleigh Watson, Griffith University: TASA Post-graduate land is busy as ever – this year, the postgrad portfolio sub-committee is working hard to better support members and deliver more opportunities to develop their research careers. Following on from the great success of our Modern Methodologies workshop, which ran in February this year, we are busy preparing […]

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From Toronto 2018 to Melbourne 2022

Dan Woodman, University of Melbourne:  Toronto, Canada is a long way from Australia. Go much further and you’re technically on your way back. Despite the distance and the costs involved, TASA had a large and vibrant presence at the International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology in Toronto last month, contributing papers to the theme […]

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Southern Notes #5 June 2018

Bruce Curtis, Waikato University: “Congratulations and well wishes poured in from all corners of the globe following the news of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford welcoming a baby girl into the world.” “Welcome to our village wee one,” Ardern wrote on Instagram at 6.15pm on Thursday. The little girl [Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford] […]

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Contested ground: Migration intermediaries and the state

Marina Khan, Western Sydney University: It was a great pleasure to receive a scholarship to present my study at my very first TASA conference in 2017. I had just submitted my Master’s thesis and was awaiting the PhD scholarship announcements. The timing couldn’t have been better, because I was in the process of applying for […]

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TASA 2018 Conference on Precarity, Rights and Resistance: Themes, Keynotes and Plenaries

Alexia Maddox, Deakin University: The next TASA Conference is on the 19–22nd November, 2018, with the theme Precarity, Rights and Resistance. The conference will be held in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne at the Burwood campus of Deakin University. In this article, Local Organising Committee members Grazyna Zajdow, Anna Halafoff and myself reflect on how […]

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Editorial

Eileen Clark: Welcome to the first issue of Nexus for 2018. In this issue we have three articles that each, in its own way, provokes thought about ethical matters that we may face as researchers or more broadly as citizens. In the first, Anna Denejkina writes about conducting research in Russia and raises a fundamental […]

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Ethics of de-identification: Exploring issues of erasure, safety, and agency

Anna Denejkina, University of Technology, Sydney: This article is an overview of a paper I presented at TASA’s 2017 Annual Conference. In it, I reflect on some of the ethical issues I encountered in my research, and how I overcame them. My PhD study investigated intergenerational transmission of combat-related trauma from parent to child, focusing […]

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TASA President’s Letter. Beyond the Engagement and Impact Agenda – Social Sciences Week, Australia, 2018

Dan Woodman, University of Melbourne: We’re already through three months of 2018 and TASA members are busy teaching, researching and otherwise using their sociological imagination. At my university, we are under growing pressure to demonstrate that our work is having an ‘impact’, and that we are ‘engaging’ outside the academy. This is the same across […]

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Euthanasia: Morality or money?

Alan J. Scott:  Late in 2017, State parliaments in NSW and Victoria debated assisted dying (euthanasia) legislation, with Victoria sanctioning this action and NSW opposing it. The word ‘euthanasia’ comes from two Greek words eu and thanatos that together mean a ‘good’, or perhaps a ‘gentle’, death but the way the word is used today […]

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‘I want to be straight’: Same sex marriage is homophobic

Rock Chugg: I wanna be straight Come out of the cold and Do what I’m told and Don’t deviate  – Ian Dury and the Blockheads Assimilated ‘equality’ In the light of current public controversy, which to the thoughtful ear-witness can sound like a familiar 1980s row between Mary Whitehouse and her alter ego, the subtitle […]

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Postgraduate Corner

Ashleigh Watson, Postgraduate Portfolio Leader and the Postgraduate sub-committee: 2017 Postgraduate Day Welcome session and poster exercise Like all good ice-breaker activities, the ‘Poster Exercise’ was a cleverly crafted (pun intended) practical activity with a deeper purpose. Postgraduates were organised into groups, provided with craft materials and invited to create a poster that captured a […]

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2017 TASA Postgraduate Conference Scholarship

Ashleigh Haw, University of Western Australia: As a high school student, two of my teachers strongly discouraged me from pursuing university education because of my ‘poor attention span’. I was told on many occasions that I was simply not cut out for higher education. Fifteen years later, it feels surreal to be in the final […]

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2017 TASA Postgraduate Conference Scholarship

Lutfun Nahar Lata, University of Queensland: I was extremely pleased and honoured to receive a TASA Postgraduate Conference Scholarship to attend the TASA Annual Conference in Perth in November 2017. This scholarship is an important recognition of my PhD research in the area of urban sociology. This scholarship further provided me an opportunity to network […]

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2017 TASA Postgraduate Conference Scholarship

Kate Vincent, University of Tasmania: My name is Kate Vincent and I am a Euro-Australian PhD candidate within the Social Work discipline at the University of Tasmania. At the TASA conference I presented the paper ‘Adopting a decolonising lens: Towards as epistemological transformation of social work’. I’m in the second year of my candidature and […]

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2017 TASA Sociology in Action Conference Scholarship

Catherine Robinson, Social Action and Research Centre, Anglicare Tasmania: In 2016, after 15 years as an academic, I left both Sydney and academic life to move home to Tasmania and into the NGO sector. Always fascinated with the complexities of knowledge transfer between university, government and non-government sectors, I am relishing the new professional capacities […]

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Doctoral completions

  Congratulations to the following members who have recently completed doctoral studies: Name: Antonia Canosa Title: Voices from the margin: Youth, identity and belonging in a tourist destination Institution: Southern Cross University Supervisors: Professor Anne Graham and Associate Professor Erica Wilson Summary: Children and young people’s views have often been marginalised in social research about […]

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Update on thematic group activities

The year of 2018 was a dynamic time for thematic groups. The 1 March 2017 Thematic Group funding round drew a record number of applications. It was fortunate that TASA was able to support most of these activities, which included: ‘Development for Species: Animals in Society, Animals as Society’, held on 18–19 September 2017 (Sociology […]

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Emotions and social theory: Reflexivity, critique and structure

Erin Carlisle, Flinders University: Among the trees at the lush green central campus of the University of Wollongong, a collective of sociologists – theorists and emotions researchers alike – met to debate the points of contact between the seemingly disparate fields of social theory, on the one hand, and contemporary emotions research, on the other. […]

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Research methods in youth studies: Doing ‘Difference’ differently

Amy Dobson, Benjamin Hanckel and Rose Butler: On 22 November 2017 the Sociology of Youth Thematic Group, in partnership with the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, hosted a youth symposium entitled Research methods in youth studies: Doing ‘Difference Differently’. Held at the University of Melbourne’s Youth Research Centre, the symposium brought together over […]

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Mobilising health sociology for impact: How can complex understandings of injustice and inequality be used in policy and practice?

Ally Gibson, University of New South Wales: On 13 October 2017, the TASA Health Thematic Group and the Practical Justice Initiative (PJI) co-hosted a one-day symposium, entitled Mobilising health sociology for impact: How can complex understandings of injustice and inequality be used in policy and practice? This event was generously supported by funding from TASA […]

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Chasms and bridges: Religion and secularity in a polarised world

Rosemary Hancock, The University of Notre Dame Australia & Alan Nixon, Western Sydney University. On 29 September 2017, the Sociology of Religion Thematic Group and Western Sydney University’s Religion and Society Research Cluster co-hosted a symposium titled Chasms and bridges: Religion and secularity in a polarised world. Twenty-two sociologists gathered at the new Western Sydney […]

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Editorial

Eileen Clark: Welcome to the final issue of Nexus for 2017. November is traditionally the month when TASA holds its Annual Conference showcasing members’ research and we hope this issue of Nexus will whet your appetites. In the first article, Brady Robards gives some tips on getting the most out of conference attendance. Those who […]

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Five tips for making the most out of an academic conference

Brady Robards, Monash University: Conferences are an important part of research in several ways: meeting other researchers, finding out about the latest research in the field, and presenting and receiving feedback on your own research. At the 2016 TASA conference in Melbourne, Luke Gahan and I ran a short session during the Postgraduate Day to […]

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TASA President’s Letter. Belonging and recognition in a mobile world of sociology

Dan Woodman, University of Melbourne: In August, I attended the American Sociological Association Meeting for 2017. Every few years, the ASA leaves the USA and heads North to Canada for its conference. This year’s meeting was in the vibrant bilingual city of Montreal. It’s been booked in for a few years, but it was serendipitous […]

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The ethical practice of social enquiry (Or, Never mind the question, let’s get the answer right)

Alan J. Scott, Independent researcher:  (Editor’s note: This is a revised version of an article first written in 1979. The questions it raises are still relevent today.) There is a group of words that are often used as if they have precise meanings, but in practice they overlap and are interwoven, to the extent that […]

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Ethical dilemmas of fieldwork in China

Elly Leung, University of Western Australia: In my PhD research ‘Exploring Worker Consciousness in China’ I am examining how the lived experience of everyday Chinese workers has influenced their willingness to improve their working and living conditions as a class for themselves and others in China. This research focus is justified by the explosion of […]

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Ethical treatment of human remains and relatives of the missing in Spain‬‬‬

Natalia Maystorovich Chulio, University of Sydney:  ‘Human remains are not just another artefact, they have potency, they are charged with political, evidentiary and emotional meanings…’ (Cassman et al., 2006:1). As the above quote reflects, human remains are never neutral; they are imbued with meaning. There is an expectation that those working in medico-legal forensic work […]

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Ethical dilemmas when working across disciplines

Eileen Clark, Clarks Clerks Research Services:  We might imagine that the ethical principles governing research are universal and clearly delineated, so that an action is either right or wrong with little room for doubt. However, my recent work has shown me that different disciplines may interpret the principles of beneficence, respect for human dignity, and […]

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Learning from Habermas

Ann Lawless, independent scholar: In my doctoral thesis ‘Activism in the Academy’, I integrated case study methodology and critical ethnography with the somewhat intellectually challenging theory of Jurgen Habermas, in particular his work on the communicative turn in sociology and his work on the public sphere. I investigated how activists in the workforce, including general […]

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Revealing a counterstory of Aboriginal Education Success

Sheelagh Daniels-Mayes, University of Sydney: In my thesis I sought to reveal and develop a counterstory of Aboriginal education success through an investigation of what successful teaching of Aboriginal students in metropolitan Adelaide looked like. Generally speaking, traditional research methods have developed ways of initiating research and recruiting participants that are located within the cultural […]

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Symposium: Crime Control in the 21st Century

Joel McGregor, University of Newcastle: Last month, the Crime and Governance thematic group hosted a one-day symposium on the theme, ‘Crime Control in the 21st Century’. Held at the University of Newcastle Sydney campus, the day was well attended by TASA members, other academics non-members and practitioners. We were extremely fortunate to host two brilliant […]

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Crime and Governance Thematic Group Symposium

Ben Lohmeyer, Tabor College of Higher Education: Politics and Crime Control in the 21st Century: Controversies and Challenges After the TASA Crime and Governance symposium, sitting with a small group of attendees in the heart of Sydney, a senior academic reflected ‘I think that the best presentations today were by the postgrads’. This was not […]

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Sociology & Animals Thematic Group Event

Zoei Sutton, Flinders University: The ‘Development for species: animals in society, animals as society’ symposium was held on 18–19 September 2017, at Deakin University, Melbourne. Conveners were Yamini Narayanan, Zoei Sutton and Vince Marotta, and the symposium was sponsored by Deakin University (who provided in kind and financial support as hosts), The Alfred Deakin Institute […]

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Engaging with the ‘Other’: Issues in Muslim and Non-Muslim dialogue

Mohamed Wehby, HIKMA Research: HIKMA Research is a multidisciplinary collaborative effort constituting higher degree research students from various universities in Australia and across multiple disciplines of study. On 30 June 2017, HIKMA Research hosted a workshop in Sydney to discuss issues of inter-faith engagement and dialogue. Wrestling with contemporary challenges that concern the future of […]

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Postgraduate Corner

Ashleigh Watson, Postgraduate Portfolio Leader: The annual Postgraduate Day at the TASA Conference is nearly upon us! Over the past few months the postgraduate subcommittee has been working hard on the Postgraduate Day sessions for 2017, which will happen on Monday 27 November. Participants can expect a varied line up catering to those just starting […]

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DOCTORAL COMPLETIONS

Congratulations to the following member who has recently completed doctoral studies: Name:                        Alison Herron Title:                           Male engineers extending working life: issues in ongoing professional practice development Institution:                  Swinburne University of Technology Supervisors:              Professor Nita Cherry, Associate Professor […]

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Editorial

Peter Robinson: Welcome to the August 2017 issue of Nexus, in which the focus is on rural sociology and the methodologies of doctoral candidates. As well, we invite readers to contribute to a discussion in the next issue of research ethics, a perennial for research-active academics, and one requiring more thought and reflection as sources […]

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Employing a ‘plurality of theories’ to examine rural social change

Diane Luhrs, Monash University: Abstract Social change in any setting can be examined through various theoretical perspectives, thereby creating knowledge dependent on the particular perspectives employed. However, complex social phenomena may not be amenable to examination through a single theoretical perspective. For my recently completed PhD thesis on the social change phenomena of intergenerational family […]

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Resilience, farming, and fairness in northern Australia

Keith Noble, James Cook University & Insideout Architects: Abstract Options for development in northern Australia range from extensive agriculture through to conservation management, but policy decisions will need to include the endemic knowledge of the landscape and its rural industries possessed by residents, while being politically and socially accepted by Australians who live elsewhere. Northern […]

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Implications of the rise of egoism for altruistic social participation

Bill Calcutt, University of Wollongong Doctoral research being conducted under the auspices of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre into the primary motives for volunteering in emergency services in Australia has highlighted the potential broader implications of evolving social values for traditional forms of altruistic civic engagement. Volunteers are the lifeblood of emergency […]

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Engaging with the media, punditry and public sociology: On becoming the accidental voice of a micro-generation

Dan Woodman, TASA President: Many TASA members are regular contributors to the media (old and new). I try to take up as many opportunities as I can to talk to journalists about my research, particularly if there is an opportunity to defend the groups I study from unfair attack, or to advocate for the importance […]

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Sport for Development

Sarah Oxford, Victoria University: My PhD questions the extent to which young women’s participation in sport, and specifically so-called Sport for Development (SDP) programming, shapes or constrains gender relations. Although SDP organizations are diverse, they typically offer sport in conjunction with an educational component to youth living in low-income, marginalised communities. My research motivation stemmed […]

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Outing an unspoken past: Homosexual desire and survival in post war Australia

David Gould, Swinburne University of Technology: PhD title Outing an unspoken past: Homosexual desire and survival in post war Australia. The social, religious, political, medical and legal frameworks that governed the lives of homosexual men and women in Australia, 1946 to 1959. Theoretical framework: Narrative analysis An interpretivist/constructionist theoretical approach underpins this research because it […]

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Hearing the quiet voice – the lived experience of older mothers of adults with dual disabilities

Kristin Kelly, Swinburne University: In my research titled ‘Hearing the quiet voice – the lived experience of older mothers of adults with dual disabilities’, I will examine the daily experiences of mothers who care for their adult children who have an intellectual disability together with a mental illness or autism and associated behavioural support needs. […]

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Postgraduate Corner

Ashleigh Watson, Griffith University: Building on the successes of the Postgraduate Portfolio under the previous portfolio leader Christina Malatzky and with the postgraduate sub-committee, I have been working this year to extend the services that TASA offers postgraduates and better address current postgraduate needs. We have reflected on our online engagement and explored expanding the […]

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Doctoral completions

Congratulations to the following members who have recently completed doctoral studies: Name: Fabian Cannizzo Title: Governing Australian academics: An analysis of governance and subjectivity in Australian universities Institution: Monash University Supervisors: Professor Alan Petersen, Dr David Holmes, Dr Nick Osbaldiston Summary: This dissertation addresses the question of how academic work is governed in universities in […]

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Editorial

Eileen Clark: Welcome to this issue of Nexus, in which we sum up the very successful 2016 TASA Conference held at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. The campus itself mirrored the conference theme, Cities and Successful Societies, with its clever blending of the new and the old. The striking Mannix building had everything needed […]

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Invisible labour: Tales from the undercity

Sujatha Fernandes, University of Sydney:  Karl Marx expected that the great cities of the future would industrialise in the same ways as Manchester and Berlin. The high modernist architect Le Corbusier sought to design cities as workshops for production to house the industrial working classes. Yet the contemporary city has been marked by deindustrialisation, slum […]

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Getting respect: Responding to stigma and discrimination.

Michèle Lamont: [Editor’s note: This article was first published in The Sociologist, May 2016, pp. 3–5. We thank the editors for permission to republish it here.] Racism is a common occurrence for members of marginalized groups around the world. Getting Respect [1] is a book that illuminates experiences of racism by comparing three countries with […]

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On mobility, academic freedom and advocating for the social sciences – Letter from the President of TASA

Greetings TASA members and TASA friends, After the political and social upheavals of 2016, we live in a world that needs sociology more than ever. Yet sociological perspectives are often missing from where they are needed most. The early part of 2017 has highlighted for me some of the barriers sociology faces, and that they […]

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Acceptance speech for TASA Sociology in Action Award

Yoland Wadsworth, Research Sociologist:  The Award for Sociology in Action was presented by TASA President Katie Hughes at the 2016 TASA conference dinner. As Yoland took the podium and prepared to speak, she said: ‘I don’t want you to think that if you spend a lifetime working outside in applied sociology, you’ll need a little […]

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Postgraduate Day, TASA Conference 2016

Ashleigh Watson, Griffith University:  The 2016 Postgraduate Day was a big, busy and delicious way to kick off the annual TASA Conference. In Melbourne, a real hub for sociology PhDs, our biggest cohort yet convened at ACU in Fitzroy. Bright eyed and bushy tailed (and freezing! Or was this just me, coming from sweltering Brisbane?) […]

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TASA 2016 postgraduate scholarship winner

Cassie Curryer, University of Newcastle:  When I was 17, my father told me I would never go to university because we were too poor. It was to be many years before I took the chance to enrol as a mature age student and complete my Bachelor of Social Science (the first in my family to […]

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TASA 2016 postgraduate scholarship winner

Aqua Hastings, University of Newcastle:  I was escaping the heat in the air-conditioned public library of the remote township where my study is focused when I read the email that informed me I was the recipient of a TASA 2016 Conference scholarship. In the parched landscape of thesis writing, where the horizon stretches endlessly and […]

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TASA 2016 postgraduate scholarship winner

Yangtao Huang, Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland: I am a PhD candidate in quantitative sociology at Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland. My research interests involve intergenerational transmission of socio-economic statuses, gender inequality, social networks and subjective wellbeing in Australia. It was my great honour and privilege to […]

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TASA 2016 postgraduate scholarship winner

Elly Leung, University of Western Australia:  I was extremely honoured and delighted to receive a TASA Postgraduate Conference Scholarship to attend the Annual Conference in Melbourne in November 2016. This scholarship generously gave me an opportunity to network with other academics and students and to get some constructive feedback on my research. I am in […]

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TASA 2016 Jerzy Zubrzycki postgraduate scholarship winner

Oznur Sahin, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University:  I am very pleased and honoured to be awarded the 2016 TASA Jerzy Zubrzycki Postgraduate Conference Scholarship. Thanks to the TASA award committee for granting me this award, which provided me an opportunity to attend and present the findings of my PhD research in an […]

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TASA 2016 Sociology in Action scholarship winner

Melanie Shier-Baker, Case Manager, Queensland:  Receiving the TASA Conference Scholarship for Sociology in Action gave me acknowledgment that my experience and contribution to applied sociology in Australia has been valued and useful. I am truly appreciative for this recognition. Having spent much time and energy managing the activities of the Applied Sociology Thematic Group as […]

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TASA 2016 conference

Sandy Hart, Social Worker, NSW: Thanks to the TASA team for enabling me to attend the 2016 conference in Melbourne. It was a wonderful experience and really valuable. It was lovely to be welcomed and included despite currently not studying or working in academia or being attached to a university. The conference was an enjoyable […]

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ORCID and KUDOS: Two tools for authors

Eileen Clark, Clarks Clerks: We are all familiar with doi (digital object identifier) codes used to identify and distinguish journal articles, and ISBN numbers in books. In a similar way, authors can now get a personal identifier. The ORCID number is a unique, persistent digital identifier (similar in format to a credit card number) that […]

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TASA 2017 Belonging in a Mobile World

The University of Western Australia is pleased to host the 2017 Australian Sociological Association Conference, which returns to Perth after ten years. This year’s conference will be held at the beautiful UWA campus on the shores of the Swan River, from 27–30 November. As one of the most isolated cities in the world, with a very […]

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Report from the Thematic Group Portfolio Leader

Peta S. Cook, University of Tasmania:  As the new Thematic Group Portfolio Leader on the TASA Executive, I would first like to thank Karen Soldatic for her leadership as Thematic Group Portfolio Leader from 2015 to 2016. During her leadership, Karen provided excellent mentorship for thematic group conveners. This included producing an e-manual for conveners […]

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From surviving to thriving: Work and economic security for refugees and people seeking asylum

John van Kooy, Brotherhood of St Laurence: The Surviving to Thriving (S2T) research forum was held on 7 December 2016, convened by Dr Dina Bowman and John van Kooy at the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) Research & Policy Centre in Melbourne. TASA sponsored the event through the Support Scheme for Thematic Groups, under the […]

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[Out] In with the old, in with the new

Rebecca E. Olson, University of Queensland & Jordan McKenzie, University of Wollongong: The TASA Sociology of Emotions and Affect Thematic Group joined with The University of Wollongong’s Contemporary Emotions Research Network and The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions to host the First International Conference on Contemporary and Historical Approaches to Emotions. […]

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Meaning and morality in an age of uncertainty: A symposium and workshop

Erin Carlisle, Flinders University & Ashleigh Watson, Griffith University: Our contemporary global age is certainly an uncertain one. Major events of 2016 demonstrated this: Brexit and the victory of Trump indicated a collective ambivalence toward globalisation. These two sensations—Trump and Brexit—buzzed frequently throughout the 2016 TASA Conference. Erin’s own conference presentation was no exception! These […]

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Health sociology in the 21st century: Innovative approaches

Michelle Black, Australian Catholic University, Ally Gibson, University of New South Wales & Sophie Lewis, University of New South Wales: Hosted by the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, TASA’s Health Sociology Thematic Group held a one-day symposium entitled Health sociology in the 21st century: Innovative approaches on 2 December 2016. The theme of innovative approaches […]

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Relationality in the metropolis

Deborah Warr, University of Melbourne & Peter Walters (University of Queensland): The fledgling Urban Sociology Thematic Group hosted its first symposium at the University of Melbourne on 2 December 2016. The thematic group is keen to foster a distinctive sociological approach to the interdisciplinary field of urban studies and the theme for the symposium, ‘Relationality […]

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Applied Sociology Thematic Group Review 2016

Melanie Shier-Baker, Mithzay Pomenta and Jon Gray: The TASA Applied Sociology Thematic Group aims to provide opportunities for sociologists working outside the academy to network, collaborate and share knowledge. Furthermore, we work to promote the use of sociological tools and theories across a diverse and broad range of public and industry arenas. It is well […]

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Doctoral completions

Congratulations to the following members who have recently completed doctoral studies: Name: Jane Brophy Title: Stem cell tourism in China: The dynamics of a moral economy Institution: Monash University Supervisors: Professor Alan Petersen, Associate Professor Megan Munsie Summary: ‘Stem cell tourism’, where patients travel internationally to access clinically unproven stem cell treatments, has prompted concern […]

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Editor’s Letter

Eileen Clark, Clarks Clerks: Welcome to this first-ever special issue of Nexus, devoted to one of the most significant issues affecting universities and TASA members today. The exponential growth in short-term, part-time and casualised forms of employment has been a feature of neoliberal, post-industrial economies. Otherwise known as contingent or precarious labour, this form of work […]

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TASA statement on contingent labour

Kristin Natalier, Flinders University:       During 2016, I had the privilege of collaborating with a group of TASA members* to develop a Working Document setting out practical responses to the increasingly widespread, destructive and exploitative use of contingent labour in academia. The process had its roots in my concern that as sociologists, many of us […]

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The never-ending search for work

Christian Mauri: TASA’s Working Document on contingent labour clearly identifies issues and proposes strategies for academics who employ staff and as such it is welcomed by those who face the never-ending search for work every semester. The anxiety over whether I’d get work in 2017 settled in a month before Christmas. I’ve been living without […]

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The hidden problem of insecurity among research academics

Tom Barnes, Australian Catholic University: There is now a lot of research on the excessive casualisation of teaching in Australian universities and its related problems like employment insecurity or the mistreatment of casual teaching staff, including TASA’s recent report. But little has been documented on the problem of contingent employment among research-focused academics. This raises […]

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Unsettled lives? The personal relations of precarious academics

Lara McKenzie, University of Western Australia: It is common to hear about academics’ personal lives in terms of a lack. We know, for instance, that academics have fewer children and work longer hours than those in other ‘professions’ (Mason et al. 2013; NTEU 2015). Other matters are summarised in the recent TASA Working Document on contingent […]

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Editors’ Letter

Eileen Clark, Clarks Clerks & Alexia Maddox, Deakin University:             We welcome you to our first issue of Nexus as editors. We hope you enjoy it and find it thought provoking and informative. There is discussion of the marriage equality plebiscite, insights into the use of new technologies in research, […]

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Marriage equality: How did we get here?

Luke Gahan, Federation University: Months before the Marriage Amendment Act 2004 was proposed, a small group of LGBT people (yes, we had at least one of each) from around Australia exchanged emails and organised a teleconference. Each of us had raised the issue of marriage equality in our own communities and we wanted to place […]

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Marriage equality: What I want to say

Helen Marshall, RMIT University: The request was to write something about the struggle to alter the Australian legal definition of marriage for Nexus. I was being asked because, as a heterosexual woman, my views might provide a contrast with other writers. I said ‘yes’, then thought ‘oh dear’. I didn’t and still don’t feel capable […]

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Marriage equality: It’s not the main issue

Peter Robinson,  Swinburne University: Between 2009 and 2011, I interviewed 97 men in a variety of international cities including Auckland, Hong Kong, Mumbai, and New York. I asked them questions about their experience of age and ageing as gay men and the results were published in 2013. The book, Gay Men’s Relationships Across the Life […]

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TASA Marriage plebiscite statement

Katie Hughes, TASA President: The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) strongly rejects the proposal to hold a plebiscite on “same-sex marriage” and recommends instead that Parliament resolve the question by free vote. TASA is issuing this statement because we believe as Sociologists that any move which implicitly or explicitly encourages an intensification of abuse or violence, […]

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Finding a home for the digital in sociological research, methods, supervision and teaching

Kim Toffoletti and Alexia Maddox, Deakin University:             Over the past five years in the discipline of sociology we have noticed that doctoral research projects are frequently engaging with the online behaviours and digital networked technologies embedded in our daily lives. The type and level of engagement varies, with some […]

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Drones and social research

Edgar Burns, La Trobe University: Growing exposure and interactivity of participants and researchers is a feature of research in the digital era, in contrast to the creation of taste and preference bubbles that seem to decrease exposure. In relation to the Internet of Things (IOT) that tends to mediate this interactivity in research, Orton-Johnson and […]

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Webinars for professional development

Melanie Shier-Baker, Applied Sociology Thematic Group: The Applied Sociology Thematic Group has two central themes: (1) to provide opportunities for sociologists working outside of academe to network, collaborate, and share knowledge, and (2) to help promote the usefulness of sociological theory and analytical tools in a wide range of arenas. Sociologists paving a career outside […]

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Southern Notes #4

Bruce Curtis, University of Auckland: We live in interesting times. I’m just back from the first industrial strike action at the University of Auckland in over a decade. Meanwhile, colleagues at Victoria University (Wellington) have also taken action over a pay dispute. Theirs was a little more creative than the noisy and well attended rally […]

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President’s Letter

Katie Hughes, TASA President: 2016 seems to be the year of elections, and TASA is no exception to this! Thanks to all TASA members who took the time and made the effort to vote for our next Executive which will hold office in 2017 and 2018. It was very pleasing to see the number of […]

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Thematic group three-year handover

Karen Soldatic, Thematic Groups Portfolio Leader: The number of thematic groups has grown significantly over recent years, and we now have more than 25 groups. When the first groups were established, the TASA Executive resolved that conveners should hold office for no more than three years. There were two reasons for this. First, it was […]

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Postgraduate Corner

Christina Malatzky, Postgraduate Portfolio Leader: It is with much pleasure that I congratulate Ashleigh Watson on being elected as the Postgraduate Portfolio Leader from January 2017. Ashleigh is a PhD candidate at Griffith University and has a passion for Public and Applied Sociology. TASA’s postgraduate members will have an opportunity to meet Ashleigh at the […]

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2016 TASA Conference Scholarship Recipients

2016 Postgraduate Conference Scholarship Recipients: Cassie Curryer School of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan; and the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, University of NSW. Ageing-in-place and the risks associated with housing in later life. How might older individuals adapt and plan for later life within uncertain policy and housing contexts? […]

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TASA 2017 Conference

Farida Fozdar, University of Western Australia: It’s been ten years since the last very successful TASA conference was held in Perth at University of Western Australia, so we are very pleased to be able to host it next year. The fact that Perth is one of the most isolated cities in the world, and certainly […]

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Contesting Boomageddon? Journal of Sociology special issue, 2018

Sue Malta, National Ageing Research Institute and Swinburne University:  In June 2016 the Ageing and Sociology Thematic Group under the direction of Cassie Curryer put in a bid for the 2018 special issue of the Journal of Sociology, and we are thrilled to say our bid was successful. The title of the special issue – […]

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Editor’s Letter

Written by Sue Malta, outgoing Nexus editor: With all things Brexit monopolising the news landscape, it seems valid that I co-opt the catchphrase, as this issue marks my Nexit – my last edition as editor of Nexus. This edition contains two groups of themed articles on issues that are both topical and, for me, compelling. The […]

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Last Exit to Little Britain

Written by David Rowe, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University: When a word enters the popular lexicon, the social imaginary has surely been tapped. ‘Brexit’ was on multiple lips to describe the UK’s narrow referendum decision to leave the European Union. It then spawned many variations, such as the hashtag ‘#Quexit’ by those […]

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BREXIT – IS THIS SCHRÖDINGER’S NEOLIBERALISM?

Gratefully reprinted with kind permission from Liz Morrish Academic Irregularities Blog, 25 June 2016 The day after what the BBC has been calling a seismic event is bound to feel rather numbing. The prospect of leaving the EU is disorienting and scary precisely because no manifesto, no roadmap has ever been presented by the quitters. […]

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Lessons from Brexit

Written by Eileen Clark, Clarks Clerks: Result too close to call? Conservative leader under threat from his own side? Financial chaos and credit rating threatened? This seems like a bad case of déjà vu. Last week it was Brexit, today it’s the Australian double dissolution election. In both cases, it appears the little people turned […]

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Towards a sociology of ‘anti-ageing’

Written by Alan Petersen, School of Social Sciences, Monash University: Over the last two decades, the term ‘anti-ageing’ has gained considerable currency. There is a huge and burgeoning number of interventions labelled as ‘anti-ageing’ (or the more common Americanised spelling ‘anti-aging’) advertised online. The term is also widely used ‘off line’, with specialist clinics labelled […]

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