Sociology research strengths
The research profile of staff in sociology and social policy makes a significant and innovative contribution to theoretically informed and empirically grounded research around critical social issues, both within Australia and internationally. In particular, the group has strengths in areas including social relations, risk and uncertainty, media and new technologies, migration and post-colonial studies, key dimensions of contemporary social policy, and organizations, as well as a range of sociology and social policy theory and methods.
Jens Zinn's research is focusing on risk and uncertainty in different perspectives reaching from general societal changes and risk regulation to individual perception of and responses to risk. He has contributed to the debate with theoretical and conceptual work and is actively supporting a better interdisciplinary understanding of risk and uncertainty. His empirical research includes a number of studies on people's management of risk and uncertainty during the course of their life (e.g. youth transitions into the labour market and certainty constructions in reflexive modernity). A recent project focuses on the biographical management of risk and uncertainty of British veterans (British Academy 2007-08). He is interested in cross-national comparative work and has developed international networks to Asia, Europe and North America (SoRU).
Dan Woodman’s research investigates the changing experience of youth in contemporary societies and the impact of change on patterns of inequality. His current research activity is focused the Life Patterns Project, a 20-year and ongoing longitudinal study following approximately 1500 Australians from the end of secondary school into middle age (with Johanna Wyn). He explores the way young people manage risk and uncertainty, such as engendered by the growth of insecure work in the youth labour market. Dan also writes on contemporary sociological theory, in particular the work of Ulrich Beck, Pierre Bourdieu and Bruno Latour.
Paul Smyth is one of Australia's leading scholars in the area of social policy, leading major research projects and developing policy around partnership solutions to Australia's social problems. His research engages with areas including social policy as investment, local governance and social inclusion, and social policy and development in the Southeast Asia region. Paul is Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council Grant The Implication of Welfare Reform For Single Parent Families in their Transition to Paid Work. He is also the General Manager of the Research and Policy Centre at the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
Simon Biggs is Professor of Gerontology and Social Policy. His work looks at the relationship between personal identity and social discourse as it concerns the adult lifecourse. Simon has published in the areas of changing attitudes to adult ageing, age-friendly environments, intergenerational relationships, age-diverse workplaces, and cultural adaptation to population change. He has worked in London, Finland and Australia and has been adviser to the WHO, the EU, UK, Canadian and Australian governments. His work is well known both internationally and within Australia and his books include: ‘The Mature Imagination’ ‘Social Policy, Social Theory and Ageing’ and ‘Generational Intelligence’. Simon heads a research team at the Brotherhood of St Laurence that examines retirement and ageing. He is also part of the National Partnership Research Centre on Dementia.
Martina Boese is currently postdoctoral fellow working with Millsom Henry-Waring on the Australian Research Council Linkage-Project Grant Resettling Visible Migrants and Refugees in Regional and Rural Victoria. Prior to this, Martina worked as a policy researcher at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and also has undertaken innovative sociological research in Europe into areas including the cultural industries, migrants' (self-) employment, racism and social in/exclusion.
- Critical Black Studies
- Gender/women's studies
- Post-colonial studies
- Multiculturalism, migration and racism
- Organisational transformation and relations
- Technological innovation
- Corporate social responsibility
- Institutional analysis
Media and New Technologies
- Social and political implications of new technologies
- Media practice, including journalism
- Media content
- Media, law and policy
- Contemporary Australian social policy
- Social policy and development in the Southeast Asian region
- Social inclusion, social exclusion and local governance
- Cultural economy and policy
Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty
- Risk Society
- Risk Regulation
- Risk Communication
- Risk Perception
- Life Course and Biography
- Research Methods
- Sociological Theory