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  • The authenticity of Carlos Castaneda

    Posted on January 19, 2018

    The below article, by TASA member Ramón Menéndez, was originally published on the Cultural Sociology Thematic Group website. 

    Carlos Castaneda was a best-selling writer born in Cajamarca, Peru in 1925. He migrated to the US in 1951, becoming a millionaire after the publication of his first book, The teachings of Don Juan (1970 [1968]), which resonated among the countercultural audiences of the 1960s and 1970s. The book has steadily sold 7,500 copies per year since then (Marshall 2007). Castaneda remained a New Age guru and icon until his death in 1998 (Fikes 2008).

    Castaneda published twelve books throughout his life. The first nine are articulated through a series of Socratic dialogues between the narrator, Carlos (Castaneda’s alter ego), and his mentor, Don Juan Matus, a 70-year old Yaqui Indian and shaman who lives in exile at the Sonoran desert. The books are about Don Juan’s instruction of Carlos in the “Yaqui way of knowledge” to become a “man of knowledge” like him. They are presented as anthropological, non-fictional works. The third book (Castaneda 2012 [1972]), Journey to Ixtlan, was submitted by Castaneda as his thesis, with slight changes from the published title, for his attainment of a PhD in Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1970 (Löchle 2014). Read more…


  • Call for Papers – Postgraduate and ECR Methods Workshop

    Posted on January 16, 2018

    The Australian Sociological Association and Western Sydney University Institute for Culture and Society, School of Social Sciences and Psychology, and Graduate Research School

    are proud to co-host a two-day workshop for Postgraduates and ECRs

    “Modern Methodologies: Developments in Doing Sociological Research”


    Western Sydney University, Parramatta Campus, February 15th-16th, 2018

    We invite abstracts from Postgraduates and ECRs to participate in a workshop exploring methodological issues and developments in sociological research. This workshop, bringing together select Postgraduates and ECRs, provides participants with an opportunity to present and workshop their own methodological approaches. The event will involve paper sessions and panel sessions, where participants raise questions and issues for discussion, as well as workshop presentations from academics working in social research. We welcome papers addressing social research methodologies including using qualitative, quantitative, digital, participatory, mixed and arts-based research methods. We also encourage practical or interactive presentations. Places have been limited to give participants the opportunity to discuss and develop their research in substantive depth.
    To apply please send a 200 word abstract to by January 19, 2018. Selected participants will be notified on January 22. The workshop is free of charge for TASA members, and $40 for non-TASA members (Annual Postgraduate TASA membership is $53.10).

  • What’s the next big social change coming in 2018?

    Posted on January 15, 2018

    TASA member James Arvanitakis thinks, as the world moves so fast now, taking the middle ground is almost becoming a radical stance. Play the video below to hear what James has to say.


  • 2018 TASA Awards

    Posted on January 10, 2018

    Outstanding Service to TASA

    This honour is accorded to a TASA member who has demonstrated an outstanding level of participation in and promotion of TASA over a number of years. There are many ways in which this can occur, but in all cases the quality of the service is the determining criterion, rather than the quantity alone. Nominations close May 31. Read on…

    Distinguished Service to Australian Sociology

    This award is made to a TASA member who has demonstrated outstanding, significant and sustained service to Australian sociology over many years. While not necessarily a lifetime achievement award, candidates for the Distinguished Service Award would usually be nearing the end of their careers. Nominations close May 31. Read on…

    Sociology in Action  

    This award recognizes contributions to the practice of sociology outside of academic settings. It is conferred on a TASA member who has made an outstanding contribution to sociological practice in Australia. In this context, outstanding contributions to sociology in action highlight the value and impact of sociological methods and theories to society. This includes both broad social issues, as well as more focused issues for industry, government, business or community sectors. Nominations close June 15. Read on…

    Outstanding Contributions to Teaching in Australian Sociology

    This award, first offered in 2015, celebrates outstanding contributions to enhancing the pedagogy, practice or outcomes of teaching and learning sociology in Australia. It recognises contributions at the disciplinary level (rather than acknowledging excellence in teaching within the classroom or institutions). Examples of disciplinary-level contributions include innovations in teaching that increase the impact of sociology teaching beyond university contexts, improve student access, experience and outcomes, or inform disciplinary approaches to learning and teaching Evidence of these achievements may be demonstrated through feedback from students or peers, and/or through publications (peer-reviewed, policy or general), presentations, media, or other relevant indicators. Nominations close June 15. Read on…

    Early Career Researcher – Best Paper Prize

    The TASA Prize for the most distinguished peer-reviewed article published by an Early Career Researcher is an annual process that uses academic peer review to select a paper of outstanding quality published in any journal during the previous three calendar years (ie the 2017 Award will assess papers that were published from 2014 – 2016). The Prize was established in 2016 to provide more opportunities for early career sociologists to gain recognition for the quality of their scholarship and enhance their reputations, especially within interdisciplinary teams. Nominations close June 30. Read on…

    Raewyn Connell Prize

    Nominations are now open for the 2018 Raewyn Connell Prize. The Prize is to honour the work of Professor Raewyn Connell in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Australian Sociology. In particular, it honours her contribution to sociological theory and research, and her support and encouragement of sociologists at the beginning of their careers. On this basis, the Prize is intended to encourage and recognise the work of early career sociologists. The 2018 round covers books published in 2016 or 2017, as indicated by the publication date in the front matter. The nominated book should be clearly from the discipline of Sociology.                                                            Nomination deadline: April 30, 2018. Read on…

    Stephen Crook Memorial Prize

    Nominations are now open for the 2018 Stephen Crook Memorial Prize. The Prize was established to honour the memory of Professor Stephen Crook in recognition of his significant contribution to Australian sociology. This is a biennial prize for the best authored book in Australian Sociology. The 2018 round covers books published in 2016 or 2017, as indicated by the publication date in the front matter. The nominated book should be clearly from the discipline of Sociology.

    Nomination deadline: April 30, 2018.  Read on…


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

    Posted on January 5, 2018

    Journal Articles

    Lucy Nicholas (2017). Beyond quiet tolerance to diversity perspectives: When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression, Ethos – page 9, Journal of Social Education Victoria Inc, Vol 25 No 4 Term 4 2017

    Glover, Andrew, Yolande Strengers, and Tania Lewis. 2017. “The Unsustainability of Academic Aeromobility in Australian Universities.” Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy 13 (1). Taylor & Francis: 1–12. doi:10.1080/15487733.2017.1388620.

    Fileborn, B., Lyons, A., Hinchliff, S., Brown, G., Heywood, W., Dow, B., Malta, S. and Minichiello, V. (2017), Improving the sexual lives of older Australians: Perspectives from a qualitative study. Australas J Ageing, 36: E36–E42. doi:10.1111/ajag.12405

    Fileborn B, Lyons A, Heywood W, Hinchliff S, Malta S, Dow B, Brown G, Barrett C, Minichiello V. (2017), Talking to healthcare providers about sex in later life: Findings from a qualitative study with older Australian men and women. Australas J Ageing. 2017 Dec;36(4):E50-E56. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12450. Epub 2017 Jun 22.

    Alphia Possamai-Inesedy, David Rowe, Deborah Stevenson (2017). Sociology in the 21st century: Challenges old and newJournal of Sociology, 53:4. Article first published online: December 11, 2017; Issue published: December 1, 2017 Read more…


  • December wrap up: Books by TASA members

    Posted on January 3, 2018

    Zinn, J.O. & McDonald, D. 2018: Risk in The New York Times (1987–2014). A corpus-based exploration of sociological theories, Palgrave Macmillan.






    David McCallum,  Criminalising Children,  Welfare and the State in Australia (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2017)







    Read more…


  • December wrap-up: Public output by TASA members

    Posted on January 1, 2018

    Informed News & Analysis

    Shane Duggan: So you’ve got your ATAR, now what? Here are some optionsThe Conversation

    Rebecca Pearse: The federal Climate Policy Review: a recipe for business as usualThe Conversation

    Deborah Lupton: The social factors that influence whether you’ll use your wearable deviceThe Conversation

    Dina Bowman & Marcus Banks: People on low incomes are sacrificing basic goods to take out insuranceThe Conversation

    Jude McCulloch, JaneMaree Maher, Kate Fitz-Gibbon & Sandra Walklate: Finally, police are taking family violence as seriously as terrorismThe Conversation Read more…


  • Challenges for the Future of Australian Sociology

    Posted on December 29, 2017

    The below article, by TASA member Fabian Cannizzo, was originally published on the social thinker blog and has been re-posted here with full permission. You can follow Fabian on Twitter: @fabiancann 

    The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) announced by the Australian Commonwealth Government has received media attention for the inclusion of cost-cutting to universities to the tune of $2.1 billion. The budget ‘savings’ are expected to accrue from a two-year freeze on the Commonwealth Grants Scheme, a cap on funding for Commonwealth Supported Places, and an adjustment of the repayment conditions of government-issued student loans (through HECS-HELP / FEE-HELP). These cuts are of course economic in nature and consequence, quite probably aimed at maintaining the nation’s AAA credit rating and leading to a greater focus on high-return activities in universities, such as teaching full-fee-paying domestic and (especially) international students, to subsidise the university’s operating costs. It seems that market discipline in the higher education sector begins in the Treasury. Read more…


  • Social Sciences Week

    Posted on December 24, 2017

    Social Sciences Week is an opportunity for social scientists to engage non-academic audiences with cutting edge social science research, to show-case the diversity and relevance of social science. It will include interactive community and school-based events, bringing the social sciences to life, particularly for the next generation of university students, social scientists and citizens.

    Social Sciences Week events can be staged by any individual or group attached to an organisation that has the capacity to run an event, including Social Sciences associations, universities, schools, community organisations or businesses. Events can be held at any time during the week of 10-16 September, 2018. If you have an idea for an event, big or small, check in with your organisation to see if they can support it, and then contact us here to register the event and have it included in the web-program. All registered events will be listed in the program, and receive a Social Sciences Week Organisers’ Pack, including an event advertising template, a Social Sciences Week poster, and a set of tips on how to run and promote your event.

    For full details, go to the Social Sciences Week website.


  • Vimeo: Meredith Nash on the #metoo movement

    Posted on December 23, 2017

    TASA member Meredith Nash, the Deputy Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change at the University of Tasmania, was in the news recently discussing the extent to which the #metoo movement will eventuate in social change. You can watch & listen to what Meredith had to say via the below Vimeo.

    Will social change come from #metoo? from WomeninSTEMM on Vimeo.


  • Facebook’s new Messenger Kids app could be good for digital literacy

    Posted on December 21, 2017

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    Facebook’s Messenger Kids has sparked debate about what age children should be using messaging apps.

    Philippa Collin, Western Sydney University

    Facebook is trialling a new Messenger Kids app in the United States.

    The standalone app is aimed at under-13s, who aren’t currently eligible for a normal Facebook account. Parents are responsible for setting up the account and approving any contacts their children add. Kids can then use the app to video chat – both one-on-one or in a group – and send photos, videos and text messages. Currently only available in the US on Apple devices, Facebook expects to extend it to a wider audience in the coming months. Read more…


  • Schools are not adequately preparing young Australians to participate in our democracy

    Posted on December 19, 2017

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    As young Australians approach voting age they need simple, clear and practical instructions about the mechanics of how government works and how to vote.

    Zareh Ghazarian, Monash University; Jacqueline Laughland-Booy, Monash University, and Zlatko Skrbis, Monash University

    Australia’s youth are interested in politics and are passionate about issues but, unless we take note of the latest report into civics and citizenship education, their capacity to participate in democracy and shape society in future may be limited.  Read more…


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