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? This paper discusses ageing-in-place (remaining in the home supported by family and community and aged care services) as a cornerstone of contemporary ageing policy in Australia. It explores the role of risk and choice in relation to ageing-in-place and considers the relevance of Beck’s theory for research in this area. It draws attention to the ways in which risk is negotiated in later life, and argues that contemporary policy idealises ageing in the home as a choice, while downplaying social inequalities and the lack of affordable and appropriate housing over the lifecourse. It places risk as the flipside of choice on the research agenda relating to ageing-in-place.

Aniqa Farwa
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work. The University of Queensland

The operation of Zakat and role of Intermediaries (Sifarish): A case study of social assistance programs in Pakistan 

Social assistance programs are one of the initiatives to support the poorest of the poor. In developing countries, such programs are reported to have administration problems and their impact on poverty is trivial, because these programs have poor targeting, and small benefit levels (World Bank, 2007). In Pakistan, Zakat is one of the key social assistance programs that operate at the grass roots level. This paper examines the experiences of applicants of Zakat in relation to role of Sifarish in receipt of benefit. This investigation builds on a broader doctoral research project conducted in the poorest districts of Punjab to understand perspectives of program applicants regarding its operation. A qualitative methodology was adopted for this study. The findings elaborate how the system operates at grass roots level. They further demonstrate that applicants for the social assistance program in Pakistan face issues in receipt of the benefit which involve the use of local reference systems, discretion and limited funding. These elements provoke questions about fairness in the system.

Aqua Hastings
The University of Newcastle

Defining health: How users and practitioners of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine experience health care in a remote area of Australia.

Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) approach health care with definitions of health beyond the hegemonic ‘absence of disease’. The World Health Organization recognises the role of TCAM in improving health equity because of its cultural accessibility, especially in remote areas. Given that people in remote Australia have comparatively poor health and higher usage of TCAM, this study fills a gap in the literature by increasing sociological understanding of what health means and what socio-cultural factors makes TCAM health care relevant to people living remotely.

A constructionist approach and a feminist theoretical framework have been taken because this recognises the multiple determinations of people’s health realities and the ways power is dispersed through health knowledge and practices. Interviews were conducted with people who use and, in most cases, also practice TCAM in a remote area of Central Australia, and data analysed using thematic and narrative analysis. Emerging findings show that health is experientially constructed through the interactions that people have with factors in their social and geographic environment.

Greater understanding of how people conceptualise and experience health through their use and practice of TCAM can help address health access and needs, and thereby improve health outcomes.

Yangtao Huang
Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland; and Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course, The University of Queensland

Towards togetherness: Change in financial organisation within couples with transitions towards marriage and parenthood

This paper constitutes the first attempt to examine empirically patterns in bank account transitions accompanied with pathways into marriage and parenthood using the state-of-the-art sequence analysis and multilevel discrete outcome modelling with predicted probabilities in bank account choices on a nationally representative sample. We find a great shift from financial separateness to jointness as couples transit to marriage and parenthood, and a strong time effect of marriage and parenthood transitions on couples’ bank account choices. Trends in the predicted probabilities of bank account choices are characterised by noticeable gaps between the prior and posterior trends at the time of the event occurrences.

Elly Leung
University of Western Australia, Business School

Docile bodies and minds: A genealogy of Chinese workers in China

This paper draws on a historical elaboration of Michel Foucault’s (1980) concept of power-knowledge to analyse how worker consciousness has been shaped in China to reflect ‘docile bodies and minds’.  After presenting this discussion, the paper concludes with considering the implications of the future labour activism in China.

2016 Jerzy Zubrzycki Postgraduate Conference Scholarship Recipient

Oznur Sahin
Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University

Gender and civic engagement: The Bagcilar Municipality Women’s Council in Istanbul

Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country, is a secular democracy with no official state religion. Secularism permeates the space and everyday life practices of people in Turkey in relation to, rather than as the opposite of, religion. This relationship, which involves both contestation and interaction between the secular and religious, plays out a role in place-making and spatial subjectivities. In this paper, I scrutinise women’s participation in urban life that is shaped through discursive and performative practices of the secular and religious in the district of Bagcilar in Istanbul. Bagcilar has been governed by Islamist oriented parties since it gained municipal status in 1992. The Bagcilar Municipality has not only produced projects and organised events for women, but also initiated the Bagcilar Municipality Women’s Council as part of the United Nations Development Programme on citizen participation and local democracy. Drawing on my fieldwork in Bagcilar in 2015, I argue that a new form of civic engagement in new spatial arrangements have emerged for women in a district shaped by Islamic political discourse, pious practices and gender segregation.

2016 TASA Conference Scholarship for Sociology in Action Recipient

Melanie Shier-Baker
Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, Queensland

Transition from care: How sociology informs practice when supporting young people with a disability to exit the care of child safety services.

Working in an arena dominated by allied health professionals within a clinical governance framework, I often need to remember why my sociological contribution is important and relevant to the people I support.

I work for the Queensland Public Service, in a program funded to prevent homelessness for young people exiting the care of Child Safety Services. My role specifically is to effect the transition of young people with disabilities, who are under Child Protection Orders, into adult services upon turning 18 years of age. Balancing administrative and clinical service provision, I coordinate various government and non-government agencies, health professionals and general stakeholders to action priorities such as housing, income, support service and employment, as well as working directly with the young people and their carers to develop rapport, explore identity and increase independent/interdependent living skills. Furthermore, championing this program requires me to provide comprehensive data collection to inform policy, promote training and awareness for staff across departments and stay well-informed of current research within this domain. Outlining intersections of social structure and theory in this context, I present how my sociological thinking has inspired my practice, allowing me to offer valuable insight to assist colleagues in their assessment processes, thus contributing to an enhanced clinical discourse.

Share Button