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  • Busting the Myth of Writer’s Block

    Posted on July 16, 2018

    In this video, TASA member James Arvanitakis, from the Graduate Research School Western Sydney University,
    busts the myth of writer’s block and talks about 8 practical tips to help you move forward and progress your writing.

  • See sociology as human interactions, not theory

    Posted on July 12, 2018

    Quintus Tullius Cicero a Roman soldier and commentator, in the first century BC, commented that people should, “Avoid any specific discussion of public policy at public meetings.”  He followed this up with a position statement which I would adopt for my contributions to the community:

    Although you have all the accomplishments within the reach of human genius, experience, or acuteness, yet I thought it only consistent with my disposition to set down in writing what occurred to my mind while thinking, as I do, on the subject, not with the expectation that you would learn anything new from it, but that the considerations on a subject, which appeared to be disconnected and without system, might be brought under one view by a logical arrangement.

    Over the years I have done a lot of that.  I have 51 publications listed in the National Library Catalogue.  Many of these come from taking what was already there and presenting it in a different way, often shocking people because I was able to show that what they thought was happening wasn’t, and, with a few ideas of my own, what could happen. Read more…

  • Upcoming Election Announcement

    Posted on July 1, 2018

    TASA’s Executive Committee volunteers govern the Association and manage its daily business as outlined in the Constitution and by established policies. The Executive Committee consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Postgraduate portfolio leader and up to four portfolio leaders as voting members, as well as the Immediate Past President and one representative of the editorial team for each of TASA’s publications as non-voting ex officio members. Every two years an Executive Election is held. The next call for nominations will be disseminated to all TASA members on August 1 this year.

    We encourage all members to consider standing for an Executive position. To assist your thinking about this opportunity, please access a copy of TASA’s current Executive Organisational Chart here and the current Executive Committee Position Descriptions here.

    Please note, prior to an election, the Executive review the four changeable portfolios and decide if amendments are needed. After a detailed review process, it was decided that a new portfolio focused on equity and inclusion would be added and the responsibilities for digital media distributed across other portfolios, particularly public engagement. The pending election will see a call for portfolio leaders for:

    1. Applied Sociology
    2. Equity & Inclusion
    3. Public Engagement
    4. Thematic Groups

    Position descriptions for each of the above portfolios and the other committee positions are available on TASAweb here. If you are interested in a particular Executive position, and you would like more information, we encourage you to contact the member currently in that role for a confidential chat. If you are interested in the new Equity and Inclusion portfolio, please contact TASA’s President, Dan Woodman. The current Executive are listed on TASAweb here.

  • TASA Precarious Work Scholarship Fund

    Posted on June 29, 2018

    TASA’s Precarious Work Scholarship Fund (PWSF) was established in 2018 and is funded by TASA. The scholarships aim to support participation at TASA annual conferences by those academics or applied sociologists who find themselves in casual or fixed term work conditions. Precarious work is defined for these scholarships as non-standard employment characterized by sub-standard work benefits. This broad definition has been further clarified to include the criteria of holding casual positions or a fixed term contract of no more than six months.

    Applications for the 2018 round will close on August 24, 2018.

    For the full details, please go to the scholarship web page.

  • Data ethics is more than just what we do with data, it’s also about who’s doing it

    Posted on June 27, 2018

    File 20180621 137711 15deaks.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
    Power over business, democracy and education will likely continue to lie with data and data-dependent tools, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.

    James Arvanitakis, Western Sydney University; Andrew Francis, Western Sydney University, and Oliver Obst, Western Sydney University

    If the recent Cambridge Analytica data scandal has taught us anything, it’s that the ethical cultures of our largest tech firms need tougher scrutiny.

    But moral questions about what data should be collected and how it should be used are only the beginning. They raise broader questions about who gets to make those decisions in the first place.

    We currently have a system in which power over the judicious and ethical use of data is overwhelmingly concentrated among white men. Research shows that the unconscious biases that emerge from a person’s upbringing and experiences can be baked into technology, resulting in negative consequences for minority groups. Read more…

  • Why stereotypes of sexy women fans persist at the World Cup

    Posted on June 22, 2018

    Kim Toffoletti, Deakin University

    This article is part of a World Cup series exploring the politics, economics, science and social issues behind the world’s most popular sports event.

    Globally, women’s football fandom is on the rise, with women comprising around 40% of worldwide television audiences for the 2014 men’s football World Cup. Couple this with the growing prominence of the women’s World Cup – to be held again next year in France – and it’s clear that football mega-events are no longer just for men.

    Yet, if you Google the terms “World Cup” and “women fans”, what appears is a constellation of international beauties, draped in their nation’s colours and flags – a sea of long hair, short shorts and cropped jerseys.

    Why do these stereotypes about women sport fans persist and why are they so popular? Read more…

  • May wrap-up: Public output by TASA members

    Posted on June 20, 2018

    Informed News & Analysis

    Amanda Wise, Kristine Aquino & colleagues (April 30, 2018). Pushing casual sport to the margins threatens cities’ social cohesionThe Conversation

    Donna Bridges & Ben Wadham (April 23, 2018). Media reporting on women in the military is preserving a male dominated cultureThe Conversation. 

    Marcus Maloney, ‘Jordan Peterson: The battle for the hearts and minds of young men‘, Mojo News

    Andrew Butt, Andrew Fisher & Shakira Hussein, ‘Can meat exports be made humane? Here are three key strategies‘. The Conversation Read more…

  • May wrap-up: articles/papers/reports/reviews by TASA members

    Posted on June 18, 2018

    Journal Articles

    Han, G-S., Forbes-Mewett, H. and Wang, W. (accepted 25 April 2018) My own business, not my children’s: Negotiating funeral rites and the mobility and communication juncture among Chinese migrants in Melbourne. Mobilities.

    Davis, J. P., & Bellocchi, A. (2018). Objectivity, subjectivity, and emotion in school science inquiryJournal of Research in Science Teaching.

    Chesters, J. (2018) The marketisation of education in Australia: Does investment in private schooling improve post-school outcomes? Australian Journal of Social Issues DOI: 10.1002/ajs4.38. published online 16/4/2018

    Stone, M., Kokanović, R., & Broom, A. (2018) Care(less) encounters: Early maternal distress and the haunted clinicSubjectivity Read more…

  • May wrap-up: Books by TASA members

    Posted on June 16, 2018

    Forbes-Mewett, Helen (2018). The New Security Individual, Community and Cultural ExperiencesPalgrave Macmillan. 






    Forbes-Mewett, H. (2018) Responsibility, in Bruce A. Arrigo and Geoffrey J. Golson (eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Surveillance, Security, and Privacy. Thousand Oaks: Sage.




    Robert van Krieken (2018) Celebrity’s histories, in A. Elliot (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Celebrity Studies. Routledge.


  • Family Friendly Initiatives

    Posted on June 14, 2018

    The Australian Sociological Association Conference 2018
    Supporting Conference Participation for Primary Carers

    This year’s TASA conference provides a range of initiatives to better support conference attendees who are pregnant, breastfeeding and/or caretaking.

    They have been devised by the Local Organising Committee, in consultation with Deakin University’s Equity and Diversity Office and TASA, to promote conference accessibility and address the career disadvantages experienced by delegates who are parents to young children.

    The strategies outlined in this document are in accordance with Deakin University’s Child Safety Policy. Read more…

  • Podcast – Peace and gender: Behind the refugee stereotypes

    Posted on June 8, 2018

    TASA members Lesley Pruitt, Monash University, & Helen Berents, Queensland University of Technology, were interviewed recently by Andrea Thiis-Evensen, for MOJO NEWS, about their research on gender, peace, and security. You can listen to the interview via the podcast below:


  • Doing Gender: Relationships, Emotions and Spaces of Learning

    Posted on June 2, 2018

    Monday, August 13th, Deakin Downtown, 9.30-2.30pm
    Conveners: Amanda Keddie (Deakin University) and Garth Stahl (University of South Australia)
    Sponsor: Deakin Research for Educational Impact (REDI)


    Research in sociology of education has long engaged with the contentious terrain of social justice.

    In designing our research, many of us continue to grapple with questions of gender, subjectivity and emotions. Furthermore, these questions keep changing in response to an ever-shifting economic, cultural and political landscape that is creating new and rearticulating old equity challenges. How are these challenges playing out in formal and alternative/informal sites of learning? And how can we build on the strong and robust history of education research in this area to respond to these new challenges? Read more…

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