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2017 TASA Health Day

Mobilising health sociology for impact: How can complex understandings of injustice and inequality be used in policy and practice?

Friday 13th October 2017, UNSW Sydney

Register here Download the programme here

Concerning trends in health and social policy, such as cuts to foreign aid, mistreatment of asylum seekers, disinvestment in Aboriginal community controlled services, and the curtailing of public healthcare resources, suggest inequalities in health and healthcare are growing, despite decades of sociological analysis and activism. While the paradigm of ‘social determinants of health’ has provided an important framework for understanding these inequalities historically, there is a pressing need for sociology to engage with other disciplines to better understand the intersections between equity, complexity, and sociality in health and healthcare settings. Critically, sociological knowledge about injustice and inequality can be highly complex and thereby difficult for those working in policy and practice to translate and implement. We invite researchers and practitioners from sociology and affiliated disciplines to explore this gap and engage in a critical discussion on emerging intersections, innovations, and interventions in the theory and practice of health equity today, and to consider how a sociological approach can be mobilised in ways which are meaningful to health policy and practice.

Call for papers:We invite abstracts for oral presentation. Topics might include but are not limited to:

  • How should inequality be conceptualised, measured, and evaluated;
  • Sociological innovation to address the multiple marginalisations that compound health inequalities;
  • The role of knowledge in the perpetuation of inequality in healthcare;
  • Intersections between health and other institutions (e.g. justice, education, disability services, private institutions) in reinforcing inequality;
  • Social research as intervention i.e. in policy and practice to reduce social inequality;
  • Understanding impact in health sociology: what does sociological impact look like and what are the consequences for equity.

Abstracts due: Wednesday July 19th 2017. Please submit your abstract (with name, affiliation, and title of paper) of  150-200 words to Ally Gibson ( Speakers will be notified 16th August 2017.

Invited speakers: Speakers include Professor Katherine Boydell, Professor of Mental Health at the Black Dog Institute, and Associate Professor kylie valentine, Deputy Director of the Social Policy Research Centre, both of UNSW Sydney, and Honorary Associate Professor Toni Schofield, of the University of Sydney. Professor Boydell looks at how arts-based knowledge translation approaches can be used to engage diverse stakeholders on important healthcare issues. Associate Professor valentine draws on concepts and methods from the sociology of knowledge  to understand issues of social disadvantage and exclusion, while Associate Professor Schofield, author of A Sociological Approach to Health Determinants, explores how social dynamics shape health. The day will also include networking activities, and a workshop and discussion session on ‘justice through methodology’ facilitated by the Qualitative Research Network Hub (UNSW Sydney).

Travel Bursaries Award: The Health thematic group has obtained funding through TASA to award 5 travel bursaries of $150 to postgraduates or casual and unwaged staff (who must be TASA members and living outside of Sydney) to attend the symposium. The recipients of the bursaries will be eligible for reimbursements to the value of $150 for travel expenses related to attending the symposium. You do not have to be presenting a paper to receive an award. However, those who have submitted an abstract will be given priority. If you wish to apply for a travel bursary please email for more information, Sophie Lewis (

Register here Download the programme here