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Most Influential Books

In 2003, as part of the 40th Anniversary celebrations, the TASA Executive undertook to do a survey of the Most Influential Books in Australian Sociology (MIBAS). The MIBAS survey, modelled on similar exercises by the International and American Sociological Associations, was divided into two stages: nomination and ranking.

MIBAS Recipients


In early 2003 all TASA members were asked to nominate up to five books published since 1963, which they considered to have most profoundly shaped the sociological scholarship in this country. They could be of sociological interest, on Australian sociology, books about Australian society or by Australian sociologists (broadly defined). Over 60 books were nominated via our members only section of the TASA website.


Following the nominations, members were asked to select and rank their top 10 from the list of nominated books. The voting closed in October 2003. The final Top Ten will be announced at this year’s TASA Conference in Armidale.

MIBAS paper

A paper discussing the MIBAS results was published in the Journal of Sociology:

Top Ten Books

To download a copy of the listing for the Top 10 books, please click here (Adobe Acrobat – pdf format).

  • Ruling class ruling culture: studies of conflict, power and hegemony in Australian life
    Connell, R.W. (1977)
  • Economic rationalism in Canberra: a nation-building state changes its mind
    Pusey, M. (1991)
  • Damned whores and God’s police: the colonization of women in Australia
    Summers, A. (1975 & 2002)
  • Gender and power: society, the person, and sexual politics
    Connell, R.W. (1987)
  • Masculinities
    Connell, R.W. (1995)
  • Making the difference: schools, families and social division
    Connell, R.W., Ashenden, D.W., Kessler, S. & Dowsett, G.W. (1982)
  • The body and society: explorations in social theory
    Turner, B. (1984 & 1996)
  • Gender at work
    Game, A. & Pringle, R. (1984)
  • Medical dominance: the division of labour in Australian health care
    Willis, E. (1983 & 1989)
  • Crime, shame and reintegration
    Braithwaite, J. (1989)