Top Menu

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3

TASA Blog


  • Applied Sociology

    Posted on June 29, 2017

    TASA member Alan Scott, is the Continuing Education Officer for the Applied Sociology thematic group. Each month, Alan writes about a topic that has caught his eye. This month’s topic is about Applied Sociology.

    For the Terry Pratchett enthusiasts, I have just finished re-reading ‘Thud’.  If there is a book for today then this is it.  It deals with two different groups of beings living in the same community who have a past history of being in conflict and what could be about to happen.  In Discworld fashion Terry shows a way to sort the conflict out.  One short sentence in this book stood out for me: “What kind of creature defines itself by hatred?”  Despite its fictitious presentation this book is about sociology at work. Read more…

    Share

  • Zines

    Posted on June 28, 2017

    TASA member and Postgraduate Portfolio Leader, Ashleigh Watson, has created a sociological fiction Zine: So Fi

    Share

  • Free textbooks for first-year university students could help improve retention rates

    Posted on June 24, 2017

    File 20170614 21372 e7mdxhTextbooks can be costly. from shutterstock.com

    James Arvanitakis, Western Sydney University

    Despite 20 years of focus on improving university retention rates, we are still losing one in five of our first-year students.

    And the release of a new report by TEQSA again reminds us of the challenges of retention.

    The report highlights that, on average, universities have a 20% attrition rate. This builds on an article by The Australian earlier this year which showed that one in three university students failed to complete the course they began within six years of enrolling. Read more…

    Share

  • Featured Member Profile: Erin Carlisle

    Posted on June 22, 2017

    This post was originally published on TASA’s Postgraduate website and has been republished here with the postgraduate sub committee’s permission:

    Member: Erin Carlisle

    What are you researching?
    I’m developing a new approach to a theory of collective political action by bringing political social theory into dialogue with hermeneutic phenomenological philosophy, and critically comparing the work of Hannah Arendt, Cornelius Castoriaids, and Peter Wagner.
    What drew you to this topic?
    Good question! I guess I’ve been interested in what politics ‘is’ and what political action ‘does’ for a long time, mostly in light of conversations with friends about dissatisfaction and frustration with the political process in Australia, and the rest of the world more broadly. My honours thesis focussed on the television show Q&A, and considered whether that constituted a form of political engagement. My PhD takes the question of what politics is and what political action looks like even further, as a theoretical and philosophical question.
    What have been the highlights of your Postgraduate journey?
    I was lucky to be accepted to present at the European Sociological Conference in Prague in 2015, and won a Junior Scholar award for the paper I presented there. Prague was fantastic; Bauman was a keynote speaker in the opening address, and I even asked Agnes Heller a question in her symposium (#nerdalert). I’ve also been really lucky to develop great friendships with other sociology RhD students at Flinders, I wouldn’t be where I am without their support.
    What do you wish you had known before you started?
    How f#&*ing hard a PhD is! And how isolating it can be. Although you read information and blogs about the PhD being hard and isolating etc, you kind of take it with a grain of salt and go “pfft it can’t be that hard, that won’t happen to me”. Nope – it did, and does.
    What advice would you give to others who are either just beginning, or contemplating starting post graduate study?
    First, I’d say don’t give in to the ‘impostor syndrome’, or beat yourself up too much throughout the process. You and your work are great, just push yourself further. (I don’t admit to taking my own advice, by the way).
    Second, talk to your peers and academics about the whole process, about their experiences – the good and the bad – and really think about whether undertaking higher study is something you can and want to do. And more importantly, whether it is something you can kick-ass at, because you need to kick-ass if you want to have a career in research or academia. I have said throughout my journey that “if i had known X, Y, Z, then maybe I wouldn’t have done the PhD”. Although I said that (frequently) through the (very) low-points of the research process, I’ve also learnt a lot about myself and opened an amazing pathway for my future, one where I hope to make a difference in the way we think about and participate in politics.
    What do you do when you aren’t working on your research?
    Ha, as if I have time to not be working on my research right now.. But: hanging out with friends; cartoons (classic Simpsons, Rick and Morty, South Park, etc); football (go Crows!); drinking (with friends, not alone (yet)); and travelling (next on the list is a return to Europe, to celebrate submitting my thesis).
    Thanks Erin! If you think you could answer our 6 quick questions, drop us an email at postgraduates@tasa.org.au.

    Read more…

    Share

  • The Other Gallipoli Pilgrim: Islamism and the Rise of Neo-Ottoman Memory Politics in Turkey

    Posted on June 21, 2017

    TASA members Brad West, University of South Australia talking about the recent Turkish referendum.  . Please note, this report was originally published in TASA’s Cultural Sociology thematic group blog space

    The recent Turkish referendum that enhanced presidential power has fundamental repercussions for parliamentary democracy in the country and for Turkish-West relations.

    It is also significant for the collective memory and commemoration of WWI Gallipoli Campaign in both Australia and Turkey.

    Even prior to the referendum the numbers of Australians along with other Westerners visiting Turkey had already dramatically declined following the 2016 attempted coup d’état and a series of terrorists attacks, including at Istanbul’s main airport.

    The recent warnings from the Australian government over the potential of terrorists directly targeting Anzac Day on the Gallipoli battlefields and then a dramatic decline in the actual number Australians and New Zealander ‘pilgrims’ attending services on the battlefields, with estimates as little as 1000, may reflect the start of a general shift away from Australians having a commemorative focus on the battlefields. Read more…

    Share

  • Dominant Theory

    Posted on June 20, 2017

    TASA member Alan Scott, is the Continuing Education Officer for the Applied Sociology thematic group. Each month, Alan writes about a topic that has caught his eye. This month’s topic is about the impact of the dominant theory on groups.

    “They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.”  Terry Pratchett.  I have just been reading Dean Burnett’s book, The Idiot Brain.  It’s worth a read.  It’s a book about how the brain works.  This, it transpires, is not how most of us think about it.  One section I thought ought to be of particular concern to Sociologists is the section on how the brain is influenced by other people.  This is our territory, not the psychologists’.  It deals with: how we can be conned.  How the brain reacts to being part of a group and lots of other situations.  Read more…

    Share

  • May wrap up: Podcasts by TASA members

    Posted on June 18, 2017

    Nicholas Hookway: How kind are we?

    Ashley Barnwell et al: Memory, Socbites

    Share

  • May wrap up: Reports by TASA members

    Posted on June 17, 2017

    Roslyn Russell, Dina Bowman, Marcus Banks and Ashton de Silva: All being well? Understanding Financial wellbeing, inclusion and risk. A summary of the presentations to the joint Brotherhood of St Laurence and RMIT University seminar

    Penny Jane Burke, Anna Bennett, Matthew Bunn, Jacqueline Stevenson and Sue Clegg. (2017) ‘It’s about time: Working towards more equitable understandings of the impact of time for students in higher education’. Report for the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education.

    Share

  • May wrap up: Journal Special Issues by TASA members

    Posted on June 16, 2017

    Melissa Phillips & Antje Missbach: Co-editors of a Special Issue on Transit Migration: Renewing the Focus on a Global PhenomenonInternational Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 2017 Vol. 3 No. 2/3

    Suzi Adams, Paul Blokker, Jeremy CA Smith (Eds.) Social Imaginaries, Volume 3, issue 1 (Spring 2017)

    Share

  • May wrap up: Working Papers by TASA members

    Posted on June 15, 2017

    Dina Bowman, Marcus Banks, Geraldine Fela, Roslyn Russell and Ashton de Silva:  Understanding financial wellbeing in times of insecurity, BSL / RMIT

    Share

  • Sydney public housing evictions a policy success? Only if you ignore the high human cost

    Posted on June 14, 2017

    Alan Morris, University of Technology Sydney

    Three years after New South Wales’ housing minister announced that all 579 public housing tenants in Millers Point, Dawes Point and the Sirius Building would be moved within two years and their homes sold, only 24 tenants are still resisting the move. So far, 151 properties have been sold for A$400.89 million, with a median sale price of $2.44 million.

    The NSW government would argue that these statistics indicate the displacement has been a great success. But, drawing on 40 in-depth interviews I conducted with tenants, the displacement has been a monumental policy failure on various levels.

    Let’s begin with the justifications for the displacement. The NSW government’s main justifications were that the homes were expensive to maintain and that the escalation of house prices in Millers Point represented an opportunity to raise $500 million that would be used to build 1,500 additional social housing dwellings. Read more…

    Share

  • TASA 2017 Submission deadline

    Posted on June 13, 2017

    BREAKING NEWS: The local organising committee have just added an extra day to the TASA 2017 submission deadline making it this Friday June 16, midnight.

    Share

View all posts
Share