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Indigenous Sociology


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Call for Expressions of Interest

The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) seeks an interested and motivated Indigenous Research Assistant (RA) to support enhancing the visibility and inclusion of Indigenous sociology/ists and research. This role is integral to advancing TASA’s commitment to Indigenous perspectives being included in and influencing sociology.

We respectfully ask and encourage you to share this call with your networks and on social media. Details about the RA position are below:

The role
The RA position supports the Indigenous Portfolio Leader (IPL) with related matters. TASA’s executive intends that this RA function, in its establishment phase, be determined with the IPL, with the assistance of TASA Admin (where needed). Pending this, matters could include:

1. Research:
• Review university websites and other academic platforms to compile a comprehensive list of Indigenous sociologists.
• Map the Indigenisation of sociology curricula within Higher Education institutions across Australia.

2. Resource Development:
• Research and compile Indigenous-related resources for TASA’s website.
• Assist in handling requests related to Indigenous interests from thematic groups within TASA.

3. Engagement:
• Promote complimentary TASA memberships to Indigenous students, academics, and professionals in the sector, and support this network.
• Engage with various academic networks.
• Support the development of TASA's Critical Indigenous Studies thematic group.

4. Event Support:
• Support logistical coordination for Indigenous representation at TASA events, including conferences and TASA Thursdays.
• Develop a policy for Indigenous involvement in TASA-hosted events, ensuring culturally appropriate engagement with First Nations speakers and attendees.

5. Support TASA’s Indigenous Portfolio Leader
• Assist in developing and implementing measures and strategies to support the above aims.
• Contribute to Executive Committee meetings as required.

Membership: Must be, or be willing to become, a member of TASA (complimentary membership provided).
Identity: Must identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.
Skills: Strong research, organisational, and communication skills.
Availability: Ability to work flexibly, attend meetings and complete tasks as required.

Hours and Remuneration
Contract type: Part-time (7.5 hours per week), 200 hours until December 31, 2024, with an option to extend to an additional 100 hours for the first half of 2025, with the possibility of the role being further extended.
Rate: $45.04 - $50.07 per hour (inclusive), submitted by invoicing. The Research Assistant will be responsible for their own superannuation, insurance, and tax arrangements.

Application Process

Interested candidates are invited to submit their CV and a cover letter detailing their suitability for the role, including relevant experience and skills. Applications should be submitted to Sally Daly, in TASA Admin, by Monday July 22nd, 2024.

For further information about this role, please contact Joann Schmider, TASA's Indigenous Portfolio Leader,

In general terms, sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behaviour. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organisations and societies and how people interact within these contexts. Indigenous sociology is about understanding Indigenous concepts and how they relate to the discipline of sociology in contemporary society.

In 2021, The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Sociology was published by Oxford University Press.

Walter, Maggie, and others, 'Introduction: Holding the Discipline of Sociology to Account', in Maggie Walter, and others (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Sociology (2023; online edn, Oxford Academic, 8 Dec. 2021),

"Indigenous sociology makes visible what is meaningful in the Indigenous social world. This core premise is demonstrated here via the use of the concept of the Indigenous lifeworld in reference to the dispossessed Indigenous Peoples from Anglo-colonized First World nations. Indigenous lifeworld is built around dual intersubjectivities: within peoplehood, inclusive of traditional and ongoing culture, belief systems, practices, identity, and ways of understanding the world; and within colonized realities as marginalized peoples whose everyday life is framed through their historical and ongoing relationship with the colonizer nation state. The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Sociology is, in part, a response to the limited space allowed for Indigenous Peoples within the discipline of sociology. The very small existing sociological literature locates the Indigenous within the non-Indigenous gaze, and the Eurocentric structures of the discipline reflect a continuing reluctance to actively recognize Indigenous realities within the key social forces literature of class, gender, and race at the discipline’s center. But the ambition of this volume, its editors, and its contributors is larger than a challenge to this status quo. They do not speak back to sociology, but rather claim their own sociological space. The starting point is to situate Indigenous sociology as sociology by Indigenous sociologists. The authors in The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Sociology, all leading and emerging Indigenous scholars, provide an authoritative, state-of-the-art survey of Indigenous sociological thinking. The contributions in the Handbook demonstrate that the Indigenous sociological voice is not a version of the existing subfields but a new sociological paradigm that uses a distinctively Indigenous methodological approach."

Social science researchers looking to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities are encouraged to read:

The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Sociology

and familiarise themselves with:

The Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research; and 
The CARE Principles  for Indigenous Data Governance

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What can you do with a sociology degree?
What you can do with a sociology degree?

If you’re interested in working with people and communities, then sociology is for you. Sociology focuses on the study of human behaviour and social interaction to understand how societies are organised, develop and change. Graduates in sociology develop skills and knowledge applicable to a wide variety of jobs. These skills and knowledge include:

  • an understanding of social and cultural issues
  • high-quality written and oral communication skills
  • research skills and a capacity for detailed observation
  • the ability to work independently and in groups.

Graduates also develop more specialised skills and knowledge that are needed for the following types of employment:

  • Work involving social groups and social processes: such as minority and ethnic groups, crime and substance abuse, youth issues, family matters, industrial relations, poverty, globalisation…
  • Social research: devising surveys, collecting data, and conducting interviews and fieldwork; including the analysis, interpretation and presentation of the information collected
  • Social policy and planning: community development, cultural resource management, social justice issues, social aspects of health care, migration…

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Where do graduates in sociology work?
Where do graduates in sociology work?

Many areas of the public and private sectors employ graduates with social science skills. For example:

  • Federal, State and Local Governments: social services, teaching, industrial relations, criminal justice work, policy development and implementation, case management, group work with youth or the elderly, urban planning, general administration, migrant and multicultural affairs…
  • Community and Non-profit Organisations: administration, overseas aid & development agencies, social research, policy development, lobbying…
  • Business: consumer/social research, public relations, publishing, personnel work, training.
  • Further Study and Academic Work: Honours, Masters and PhD study, university and TAFE teaching, research assistant work.

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Some of the jobs recent sociology graduates have taken
Some of the jobs recent sociology graduates have taken
  • Youth officer | Multicultural affairs liaison | Welfare officer | Journalist
  • Community project officer | Development officer | Age & disability officer
  • Administrative officer | Electorate officer | Personnel administrator | Research assistant
  • Market analyst | Sales office manager | Service adviser | Client service manage

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Sociology careers web sites
Sociology careers web sites

Kate Huppatz (L) and Steve Matthewman (R) congratulating Michelle Peterie on being the 2018 JoS Best Paper Award winner for Docility and Desert: government discourses of compassion in Australia’s asylum seeker debate

Sociology Links