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  • Sport: Participation versus performance

    Posted on May 26, 2018

    TASA members Ramon Spaaij, Karen Farquharson & Ruth Jeanes, along with their colleagues, have been researching diversity in sport. Their research has culminated in the following articles and reports. 

    Ramon Spaaij & Ruth Jeanes, ‘Practical steps to supporting diversity in junior sport‘. Play by the Rules.

    Spaaij, R., Farquharson, K., Gorman, S., Jeanes, R., Lusher, D., Guerra, C., White, S., & Ablett, E. (2018). Participation versus performance: Managing (dis)ability, gender and cultural diversity in junior sport. Full report. Melbourne: Centre for Multicultural Youth.

    Spaaij, R., Farquharson, K., Gorman, S., Jeanes, R., Lusher, D., Guerra, C., White, S., & Ablett, E. (2018). Participation versus performance: Managing (dis)ability, gender and cultural diversity in junior sport. Summary report. Melbourne: Centre for Multicultural Youth.

    Spaaij, R., Farquharson, K., Gorman, S., Jeanes, R., Lusher, D., Guerra, C., White, S., & Ablett, E. (2018). Infographic: Participation versus performance. Inforgraphic. Melbourne: Centre for Multicultural Youth.

  • Research Waste

    Posted on May 24, 2018

    TASA member Alan Scott is the Continuing Education Officer for the Applied Sociology Thematic Group.

    How valued is the work that we do?  This last week or so the employment of the disabled has been to the fore.  With the death of Stephen Hawking, aged 76, who was written off when he was born but, with great determination and luck, was able to demonstrate that despite the medical model’s view of his condition, he was one of the greatest thinkers of our times.  The ABC ran its series on the employment of the disabled, and boasted how their new ideas were changing lives.

    Yet, in 1976, I was commissioned by the Royal Commission on Australian Government Administration to undertake a study of the employment of the disabled (it was actually called “the Handicapped” back then) as part of its overall study of how the Australian Government did things.  In the report of the commission, they have eight pages of quotes from my study, together with seventeen of my recommendations; much of which covered issues that the ABC Programme has put forward. Read more…

  • TASA 2018 plenary session

    Posted on May 22, 2018

    “Working in the Global Academy: Precarity, Rights, Opportunities and Resistance”

    At the upcoming TASA 2018 conference there will be a fascinating plenary session entitled “Working in the Global Academy: Precarity, Rights, Opportunities and Resistance”. This session will cover many of the current challenges faced by sociologists and practitioners in allied disciplines within the higher education sector. Matters close to many of TASA’s membership.

    The plenary session will  held by Associate Professor Fran Collyer, who has recently been named Sociologist of the month by the journal Current Sociology for her work onGlobal patterns in the publishing of academic knowledge Global North, global South. Other speakers will include: Nour Dados and James Goodman (UTS); Fabian Cannizzo(RMIT) and Christian Mauri (Murdoch); and Grant Banfield (Flinders) and Ann Lawless(UWA). Read more…

  • Stop the Jargon

    Posted on May 20, 2018

    TASA member Alan Scott is the Continuing Education Officer for the Applied Sociology Thematic Group.

    The vocabulary of most people is relatively small and sometimes confusing with the use of regional dialect words or jargon words which are used in some English speaking communities but not understood in most others. For instance, did you know that when you use the noun ‘skype’ you are actually using a Scottish word meaning ‘a worthless, lean person of disagreeable manner and temper?’   Well, I know that since Microsoft took over Skype, it has become a disagreeable program that frequently infuriates me.  Of course ‘Skype’ the program, is the name given to software that derived its name from “Sky peer-to-peer”, which was then abbreviated to “Skyper”. However, some of the domain names associated with “Skyper” were already taken so the final “r” was dropped leaving the current title “Skype”.  One word, arrived at from two entirely different circumstances, and giving entirely different meanings. Read more…

  • TASA 2019 & TASA 2020

    Posted on May 18, 2018

    The locations for TASA 2019 & TASA 2020 conferences have been confirmed. Next year’s event will be hosted by a team of sociologists within Western Sydney University at Parramatta city. Updates for this conference will be communicated shortly. The host of our 2020 event will be the School of Sociology team at Australian National University, Canberra. Details of TASA 2018 are available on the conference website here.

  • How Indonesia is dealing with the new threat posed by returning Islamic State fighters

    Posted on May 17, 2018

    TASA member Joshua Roose, Australian Catholic University

    It was no coincidence that Sunday’s suicide attacks on three Catholic churches in Indonesia came as Muslims began the holy month of Ramadan.

    For the observant, this is a time of charity, introspection, renewal and closeness to God. For Islamic State, however, Ramadan has become a strategic time in which to strike, inspired by the Battle of Badr in the year 624, when the Prophet Muhammad and his army defeated a vastly superior force and laid the foundation for the growth of Islam.

    Around the time of Ramadan last year, the Islamic State claimed over 300 separate attacks worldwide.

    The gruesome church attack on Sunday, which involved using children as suicide bombers and left 13 people dead and more than 40 injured, also follows another pattern – an uptick of violence linked to the terrorist group in Southeast Asia. Read more…

  • Sociological happiness: Why the dominant discourse needs to change

    Posted on May 16, 2018

    This article, by TASA member Jordan McKenzie, was originally published on TASA’s Cultural Sociology subsite.

    At the 2016 annual TASA Conference at ACU in Melbourne, the eminent Professor Bryan Turner offered an opening keynote on the topic of happiness. Using this platform, Turner rightly acknowledged the absence of sociological perspectives in contemporary happiness debates.

    This rapidly growing field is drawing interest from academics and the general public alike, and yet the dominant perspectives are almost exclusively based in the disciplines of economics and psychology. However, Turner’s evaluation overlooks the abundant – although arguably neglected – history of sociological perspectives on happiness. I would argue that the canonical sociological thinkers could all be read as responding the question ‘in what ways do social conditions interrupt or derail our efforts to find happiness?’ I have argued this in more detail elsewhere (McKenzie 2016) but for now it seems evident that from Marx’s alienation, and Weber’s disenchantment, to Simmel’s blasé attitude and Durkheim’s anomie, sociology has always been interested in the structural road-blocks to happiness and well-being. But what these perspectives lack – and economists and psychologists readily offer – are the affirmative rather than critical pieces of happiness advice. This is perhaps why the sociology of happiness is not a more established and recognised field. Read more…

  • Learning at a Scholarly Pace: On the Socialised Temporalities of Academic Work [Guest Blog by Fabian Cannizzo]

    Posted on May 14, 2018

    This article, by TASA member Fabian Cannizzo, was originally published on TASA’s Cultural Sociology subsite.

    The tempo, frequency and pace of activities form an integral background to everyday life. While we ordinarily reflect on time in terms of the mechanical qualities of clocks, calendars, timetables and schedules, our everyday life is also embedded with other habituated and less cognitive modes of timekeeping and temporality. The rotation of the earth brings light, heat, and rituals of dressing, undressing, warming, and cooling; chemical changes in organic bodies bring on cycles of hunger, emotion, and energy; climatological shifts alter entire economies and the habitability of geographies; while the power dynamics within organisation bring in temporalities of career, professional development and the indefinite business lifecycle. These temporalities may take a variety of forms, linear, circular, toroidal as well as sporadic, but each form timescapes that are central to the organisation of rhythm and regularity in social life (Adam 1995). This rich temporal environment leads British sociologist, Barbara Adam (1995, p. 6) to take the view that time is ‘embedded in social interactions, structures, practices and knowledge, artefacts, in the mindful body, and in the environment’. Experiences of time are hence inseparable from our social, spatial, and historical relations. Read more…

  • April wrap-up: Books by TASA members

    Posted on May 12, 2018

    Tom Barnes, (No date available). ‘Making Cars in the New India Industry, Precarity and Informality‘ Cambridge University Press.








    Judith Bessant (2018). The Great Transformation: History for a Techno-Human FutureRoutledge. 







    Read more…

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

    Posted on May 10, 2018

    Journal Articles

    Paternoster, Henry John., Deborah Warr and Keith Jacobs (2018) ‘ The enigma of the bogan and its significance to class in Australia: a socio-historical analysis‘ Journal of Sociology. Article first published online: April 20, 2018

    Stephens, Anne, and Monro, Davena (2018) Training for Life and Healing: The Systemic Empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men and Women Through Vocational Education and Training. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education,

    Stephens, Anne, Lewis, Ellen, and Reddy, Shravanti (2018) Towards an Inclusive Systemic Evaluation for the SDGs: Gender equality, Environments and Marginalized voices (GEMs). Evaluation, 24 (2). Read more…

  • April wrap-up: Public output by TASA members

    Posted on May 8, 2018

    Informed News & Analysis

    Scott Doidge, ‘Friday essay: the politics of the US family sitcom, and why Roseanne rocks.’ The Conversation

    Lisa Denny, ‘Migration is slowing Australia’s rate of ageing, but not necessarily in the regions.’ The Conversation

    Riaz Hassan,  ‘The UAE’s Unsustainable Nation Building​’, YaleGlobal, April 24, 2018

    Jack Hynes & Ramon Spaaij, ‘Commonwealth Games injuries highlight a problematic culture in elite sports‘. The Conversation. Read more…

  • Fran Collyer: Sociologist of the Month

    Posted on May 3, 2018

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