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The Youth + Work Pre-Congress Symposium.

Disrupted plans, digital modalities, and undecided futures

Call for papers:

Young people’s ‘work’ is contested and debated: politicians discuss skills-shortages, training, higher education, and workforce patterns, while young people’s lived experiences of work are shaped by gender, class, location, race, ethnicity as well as the impact of intersecting crises. Young people’s ‘leisure time’ is now also commodified in new ways, with the rise of the social media influencer, the streamer, and the normalisation of ‘always on’ work conditions mediated through casual contracts, on-call arrangements, and gig platforms. At the same time, counter trends are emerging: at the macro level, industrial relations changes are proposing greater gig economy governance, while at the micro level, discussions of work-life balance are popularising around ‘the great resignation’, ‘quiet quitting’, and ‘digital detox’ narratives.

What are the key issues and challenges facing young people around work today?

What opportunities are there for disrupting ways of working enabled by new technologies and social movements?

This symposium will bring together cutting edge research to answer these questions.

This symposium is a pre-conference event for International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress of Sociology, being held in Melbourne in 2023.

Event details:

The event will be held at Monash University (Caulfield Campus)

Key dates (Australian time)

Abstract deadline: February 13th, 2023.

Decisions on abstracts: early March, 2023.

Symposium: 22nd June, 2023

More information and abstract submission:

The organisers are inviting short abstracts of approximately 250 words for short papers.

Please see the link below for more.

Submit an abstract

Plenary speakers:


Professor Crystal Abidin

Professor Crystal Abidin is an anthropologist and ethnographer of internet cultures, focusing especially on influencer cultures, internet celebrity, online visibility, and social media pop cultures, mostly in the Asia Pacific region. She works as Professor and ARC DECRA Fellow in Internet Studies at Curtin University; Director of the Influencer Ethnography Research Lab (IERLab); Deputy Director of the Korea Research Centre (KRC); Associate Investigator at the Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child; Programme Lead of Social Media Pop Cultures at the Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT); and Affiliate Researcher with the Media Management and Transformation Centre at Jönköping University. She is also Founder of the TikTok Cultures Research Network (TCRN), and Editor-in-Chief of Media International Australia (MIA).


Dr Brendan Churchill

Dr Brendan Churchill is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts. He has been at The University of Melbourne since 2017, most recently as a Research Fellow and the Program Manager of Life Patterns Research Program in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) and before that as a Research Fellow in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences (2017-2021). Prior to joining Melbourne, he was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Change and Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Tasmania. Brendan currently holds an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA). His project Making a Life with Less: Youth Underemployment over the Life Course (DE220100027) will examine the impact of underemployment on young people's lives inside and outside of work using high quality longitudinal quantitative data and qualitative interviews (2022-2025).


Dr Joshua Kalemba

Dr Joshua Kalemba is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Faculty of Business & Law, School of Management. Joshua was awarded a PhD in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Newcastle (UoN), Australia in 2021. Joshua’s research focuses on how categories of difference are perceived, lived and the implications for people assigned difference in relation to work. Joshua’s research explores this in relation to processes associated with mobility, racialisation, coloniality, migration, education, belonging, and aspirations for the future. Joshua is currently researching the organisation of digital platform work from the perspective of both workers and the intermediaries they use to find work.

Saxon Phipps - Year13

Saxon Phipps is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Year13 and Career Tools. Year13 is an EduTech company that strives to democratise opportunity to empower all young people into intrinsically motivated education and employment by utilising data & technology to effectively prepare future generations for the ever-changing world of work. As Australia's largest Career Development System, the Career Tools platform vertically integrates the school to work journey by providing SaaS, AI and credential based career education tools that assist students, schools, parents, educators, industry and governments with the school to work transition.

Year13 are closing the gap on a 20th-century approach to career-related learning; our north star is to develop generations of young people into a productive, resilient and passion-driven workforce. The team at Year 13 have been able to apply this process to create several youth engagement strategies and programs for the likes of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Engineers Australia, and the Industry Skills Organisations (Digital, Mining and Human Services). Saxon regularly speaks at events about youth issues such as The Australian Financial Review - Higher Education Summit, Australian Davos Connection - Future of Education Summits and is on the advisory board to the National Careers Institute (an initiative of the Federal Government's Department of Employment and Workplace Relations).


This event is being proudly sponsored by:



XX ISA World Congress of Sociology

Melbourne, Australia | June 25 - July 1, 2023