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The History of TASA’s Journals and Newsletters

The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology and the Journal of Sociology

The Journal of Sociology (originally the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology) is one of two official, peer-reviewed academic journals of The Australian Sociological Association. First published in 1965 with Jerzy Zubrzycki as the inaugural editor, the journal’s original objective was to build a platform for reflecting on the state of sociology within Australia and New Zealand, creating a novel outlet for sociologically-minded scholars to contribute to the establishment of the discipline, and grasp the broader developments of the field.

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The journal was initially supported financially by the Australian National University, and produced by sociologists from that institution. By the late 1960s, concern had developed among some members of the sociological community – particularly the younger members of the student movement generation – that the kind of sociology presented in the journal’s pages was conservative and unrepresentative of their interests. This concern came to a head at the business meeting of the 1972 SAANZ conference held at the University of New South Wales, where a group of these young sociologists ensured the constitution was changed to allow student and non-academic members the right to vote. (Previously, only academic staff had this right). A subsequent motion from the floor was also successful. This ensured the editorship of the journal was elected by the membership. The consequence of this rather heated meeting was the immediate removal of the sitting editors and the election of Lois Bryson as the new, and first female, editor of the journal (Collyer 2012d:18).

The editorship changed every three or four years from this time, and was based at different universities. In 1998, the name of the journal was changed, becoming the Journal of Sociology, with the intent of broadening its readership base to scholars from the Asia-Pacific region. In recent years the journal has internationalised, becoming not only an outlet for Australian sociologists to showcase their research on a global stage, but also a site for international scholars to engage in debate over the state and direction of the discipline. The Journal of Sociology is currently published quad-annually by SAGE publications.

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The Health Sociology Review

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The Health Sociology Review (previously the Annual Review of the Heath Social Sciences) is one of two official, peer-reviewed academic journals of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA). [link to history of the thematic groups, in 8]. First published in 1991 by health sociologists at La Trobe University, the founding editors Jeanne Daly and Allan Kellehear set two primary goals for the journal: first, the journal should reflect the richness and soundness of health sociological research, helping to persuade health workers and funding bodies in Australia and New Zealand of the importance of the social sciences in researching problems in health care; and secondly, to build a comprehensive network of health social scientists from within associated disciplines – in particular sociology, psychology and anthropology – so as to build understanding and respect for each other’s methodological preferences. (List of editors of HSR).

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From 2001 (volume 10, issue 2), whilst under the editorship of Jane Shoebridge and Eileen Willis of Flinders University, the name of the journal was changed to the Health Sociology Review in order to widen its appeal to academic audiences outside Australia and New Zealand, and enable several issues to be produced each year. In 2003, the journal began to be published by eContent Management, a local publishing house. The journal was given a new format, with a glossy cover, and its editors sought to take it in a new direction. It was to be more explicitly sociological in content, and more international, with the editors inviting contributions from the Asia-Pacific region (Editorial 2003, volume 12, issue 1). Although the Health Sociology Review had officially been adopted as a journal of TASA in 2001, produced under its auspices and increasingly given some financial support by the Association, it was not until December of 2009 that the Health Sociology Review was finally recognised in TASA’s constitution (Collyer 2012a:161).

Eileen Willis Photo

Eileen Willis

Jane Shoebridge photo

Jane Shoebridge

Stephanie Short

Stephanie Short

The Nexus Newsletter

Nexus is the official newsletter of The Australian Sociological Association. It began its life as Nexus: Newsletter of the Australian and New Zealand Sociological Association. It was first published in 1974 with Kevin Paul Clements and Edward Douglas of Canterbury and Waikato Universities as the inaugural editors. Nexus—originally published on faculty printers and photocopiers—has provided an important forum for the discussion of news and views about TASA and sociology in Australia (and New Zealand).

In 1989, the title of the newsletter was changed to Nexus: Newsletter of The Australian Sociological Association (reflecting the re-naming of the Association after the separation of the New Zealand section). Nexus has since continued to provide a space for the publication of interviews with prominent sociologies and histories of Australian sociology, and has been the main vehicle for distributing information regarding upcoming conferences, university departmental news, teaching positions, postgraduate news, key book publications, and the work of the TASA Executive. In 2002, Nexus became available online at TASAweb through the members-only section of the website. It is currently freely available through TASAweb, including back copies to all editions.

The many faces of Nexus