Current Postgraduate Research Projects

Kate Alexander

Annita Becirevic

Joseph Brennan

Toby Creswell

Kerrie Davies

Laura Demasi

 

Nicholas Goodwin

Wayne Hawkins

I-Ping Ho

Julie Lim

Julia Limb

Catherine Maggs

Kristen McGregor

Kim Powell

 

Titik Puji Rahayu

Chris Rodley

Dominic Santangelo

Lukasz Swiatek

Nonee Walsh


Kate Alexander

Investigation of the Roles of Internal Communications in the Implementation of Successful Change Management Programs
Supervisor: Dr Olaf Werder

Change is prevalent in many organisations today. Change can be either strategic or operational, and can arise from a number of influences and impacts including mergers and acquisitions, following a period without effective competition or change in senior management. This research will examine the roles of internal communications in change management and how internal communications can support and contribute to the speed and efficiency of organisational change programs. This includes examining the effectiveness of corporate communication strategies and tools in practice during rapid organisational change.

Annita Becirevic

News and Radio: Producing Content Using Socially Networked Media
Supervisor: Dr Tim Dwyer

Joseph Brennan

'I am your worst fear, I am your best fantasy': new approaches to slash fiction
Supervisors: Dr Fiona Giles and Dr Marc Brennan

Slash is a form of fan media centred on the erotic bonds between men, not present or not spelt out in the parent text (or canon). It typically includes written, sexually explicit works concerning the bonds of heterosexual television characters, however may also be non-written, suggestive and feature non-heterosexual or ambiguously heterosexual, non-television characters. This thesis proposes an inclusive typology for both written and non-written forms of slash media through qualitative textual analysis of slash texts from a range of fandoms.

Toby Creswell

Darlinghurst Nights: The party that never ended
Supervisor: Dr Megan Le Masurier

Kerrie Davies

Blame the (single) mother
Supervisor: Dr Megan Le Masurier

The sociological theory by Raymond Pahl and Liz Spencer, Personal Communities: Not Simply Families of Fate or Choice argues that in contemporary life given relationships – those dictated by family or work – are no longer necessarily the priority in people’s lives. Instead, our chosen relationships – those we form freely with friends, for example - may have equal or more priority due to the high rate of divorce.
My research hypothesis is that single mothers particularly prioritise chosen relationships more so than given relationships in contemporary society.
Popular TV series that have a single mother as a main character, such as Murphy Brown; Absolutely Fabulous, The Gilmore Girls, Desperate Housewives and most recently Cougar Town, have been produced over the past three decades, and appear to reflect this social shift in contemporary life. The exegesis part of the Doctorate will explore the representations of the single mother and her chosen relationships in these television programs. One question to be explored here is whether the programs offer a positive reinforcement of this change in priorities, especially for that part of the audience who are single mothers.
In addressing this research hypothesis and to fulfill the literary journalism aspect of the Doctorate (25,000 words) I am interviewing four single mothers, using the qualitative methodology of purposive sampling. Each woman has been chosen because her life situation resembled that of the main character of each of the aforementioned shows, and was watching the show during the era in which it premiered. The aim here is not to make any grand claims about the effect of these programs on all single mothers, but to examine how these women interpreted the representation of life situations similar to their own, and especially their response to seeing positive portrayals of chosen relationships on screen. What role did these shows play in their lives? And were there resonances with the importance of chosen relationships in their own lives?
For the literary journalism component of the DArts, I am greatly influenced by Michael Cunningham’s The Hours. I intend to weave the single mothers’ stories in a multi-linear structure over a set time period, and if possible, reference the shows above so there is ultimately a cohesiveness to the overall doctorate. The actual stories I am yet to finalise but I am working towards relationship focused narratives that reflect the above research.

Laura Demasi

Mobile Media, Neuroscience and the New Wave of Technological Determinism
Supervisor: Professor Gerard Goggin

Nicholas Goodwin

Ncholas Goodwin

Doctor of Philosophy
Finding Effective Change Agents: how a sense of community affects the success of social marketing programs

Supervisor: Dr Fiona Giles

Social marketing programs often require 'change agents' to effectively disseminate messages that lead to behaviour change on issues ranging from sanitation promotion to alcohol harm reduction. How these programs select change agents – e.g. peer educators, community health workers and counsellors – helps determine how effectively a behaviour or social issue is addressed. This PhD produces preliminary evidence for a new method to help find effective change agents for social marketing programs.
The setting for this experiment is the 'High 5' Kelurahan project, designed to address five key sanitation behaviours, and managed by the Cipta Cara Padu (CCP) Foundation, an Indonesian community based organisation.
This research will help governments, non-profits and businesses to better understand how a community influences the dissemination of information within it and improve their interventions aimed at achieving behaviour change.

Publications
Goodwin, N. (2013), ‘Sustainable Change Marketing: an approach to development and communications programs in Indonesia and beyond’, in Linda Brennan, John Fien, Lukas Parker, Hue Duong, Mai Anh Doan and Torgeir Watne (eds), Growing Sustainable Communities: A Development Guide for Southeast Asia, Tilde University Press.
Goodwin, N. (2013), ‘Branding as a strategy to build community engagement in health programs’, in W. D. Evans (Ed.), Psychology of Branding, New York, USA: Nova Science Publishers.

Conference papers
Goodwin, N. (2013), 'Sustainable Health Needs the Social and the Scientific: a case study on finding effective change agents to prevent disease', Sustainable Health Futures Conference, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.
Goodwin, N. (2013), 'How to Find Effective Change Agents for Social Marketing Programs: preliminary evidence for a new method', World Social Marketing Conference, Toronto, Canada.
Goodwin, N. (2012), 'Communications for Development: the role of change agents in public programs, International Indonesia Conference on Communication, Jakarta, 2012.
Goodwin, N. (2012), 'Reclaim 'social': how technology and participation can improve social and behaviour change communications', International Social Marketing Conference, Brisbane, Australia.
Goodwin, N. (2011), 'Social Marketing and Infectious Disease: the role of community in successful communications programs', Sydney Institute for Emerging Infections and Biosecurity, University of Sydney, Australia.
Goodwin, N. (2011), 'Effective Change Agents: how a sense of community mediates the success of social marketing programs', International Social Marketing Research Network Symposium, University of Sydney, Australia.
Goodwin, N. (2011), 'Is Viral Marketing Good for You? The role of new media in public health', Sydney Ideas Forum, University of Sydney, Australia.
Goodwin, N. (2011), 'Community; the missing ingredient in the social marketing mix', World Social Marketing Conference, Dublin, Ireland.
Goodwin, N. (2010), 'The Role of Social Marketing in International Development: Lessons from the ‘Fantastic Mom’ project in Indonesia', International Social Marketing Conference, Brisbane, Australia.
Goodwin, N. (2005), 'Brands, Brains and Social Issues', Business in Society Speaker Series, INSEAD Singapore.
Goodwin, N. (2005), 'Managing Impediments to Linking CSR to Business Strategies', Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Wayne Hawkins

Australian Telecommunications and Disability Policies
Supervisor: Professor Gerard Goggin

I-Ping Ho

Doctor of Philosophy
The Value of Play: The Culture of Game Items
Supervisor: Dr Chris Chesher

Adam’s PhD thesis examines the multiple ways that game items come to have commercial value in the culturally situated contexts of gameplay. Drawing on theories from various disciplines including game design, economics, sociology, media and performance studies, this thesis demonstrates a significant interdisciplinary research approach in the game studies field. This thesis is awarded with the 'Studying Abroad Scholarship' supported by the Taiwanese government in the cultural industries discipline.

Teaching
2011-2013. ARIN 3640 Computer Games and Simulation
2011-2013. ARIN 2610 Web Transformations

Conference Papers
2013. 'It is not just a game, but still a game: The force of game design in generating the value of virtual items'. Transmedia: Storytelling and Beyond Conference.

2005. 'The evaluation of design for role-playing web games: A case study of 'SKY BOOM''. Digital Design Conference: The Academia and Industry Collaboration for Digital Content. Taichung: National Taichung Institute of Technology, 2005. 302-311.

Publications
2014. 'The value of being powerful or beautiful in games: How game design affects the value of virtual items', 4th edition of The Computer Games Journal (forthcoming)
2013. 'The impact of game design in generating the value of virtual items', book chapter, eBook Transmediality and Interdisciplinarity.
2010. 'The possibility of cyberdemocracy in the digital age', E-Soc Journal (ISSN: 1609-2503), Institute of Sociology Dept of Applied Sociology, Nanhua University, 90.
2009. 'A new era of online games: The age without charge is coming soon', E-Soc Journal (ISSN: 1609-2503), Institute of Sociology Dept of Applied Sociology, Nanhua University, 77.
2007. Virtual item trade in massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG): A case study of 'Diablo II'. Master thesis, Chiayi: National Chung Cheng University.
2005. 'The culture of video games: A case study of SONY Playstation II', E-Soc Journal (ISSN: 1609-2503), Institute of Sociology Dept. of Applied Sociology, Nanhua University, 49.
2004. Li, Shi-qing., & Ho, Ping-I. 'The analysis of webmasters' personalities on the Internet', E-Soc Journal (ISSN: 1609-2503), Institute of Sociology Dept of Applied Sociology, Nanhua University, 42.

Julie Lim

Race and Belonging in an International City: Overseas Chinese in 'New' Shanghai
Supervisor: Honorary Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald

An aspiring international city, Shanghai has a history of being one of the most culturally diverse and attractive cities for tourism, business and employment in China. A magnet for foreign investment, launching international brands, business headquarters, provincial migrants in search of work and opportunity, and for national and international tourists a glimpse of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ Paris of the Orient, the city strongly presents a cosmopolitan and international image, with a variety of cultures represented in the forms of architecture, art, cuisine, entertainment and language. With a widening representation of foreign businesses and organisations, and a vision to be an international competitor, the city is fast becoming a provider of an increasing range of services, aimed at both local and foreign customers.
One unique body of foreign visitors comprises the overseas-born Chinese. These are ethnic Chinese born and raised outside of the mainland, often in China in search of roots, Chinese language study, travel or work. Culturally, they may be as ‘foreign’ as their foreign counterparts. Linguistically, for many, speaking and reading Chinese is a challenging handicap, and negotiating their way through the city as guests, they are frequently looked upon as local citizens, and treated as such in comparison to other foreign guests. In the service industry, a common observation is that members of this group are often treated with hostility and indifference.
In their own countries of birth, overseas Chinese have often grown up in environments stigmatised by racial discrimination and stereotyping, which have led to the formation of identities devoid of national or ethnic belonging, and feelings of fear, confusion, and obsession about such identities. In their home countries and in mainland China, they are commonly categorised by race. While there is substantial scholarly work on Chineseness and the Chinese diaspora, a focus on the socio-cultural challenges faced by overseas Chinese in a China context warrants further investigation and indeed, such interest is emerging in local media discussion in China.
Through analyses of the theories of cosmopolitanism and hospitality, and investigation into the experiences of overseas Chinese in locally situated service encounters, this thesis aims to explore the degrees to which this particular group of guests have a sense of Chinese identity and belonging in this modern Chinese city. It will look at the city of Shanghai as a dynamic space of hospitality, and the relationships that interact within this, and address the policies determining citizenship that serve these trans- and other intra-national groups of people.
Furthermore, it questions in particular the existence of the concepts of ‘actually existing cosmopolitanism’ and Immanuel Kant’s Law of Cosmopolitanism in the city, and seeks to determine the extent to which these concepts or lack thereof contribute to a marginality of self-identity, and the construction, reconstruction, or deconstruction of Chinese identity for overseas Chinese.

Julia Limb

Julia Limb

Doctor of Social Sciences
At home and Online: An exploration of domestic craft blogs
Supervisor: Dr Kathy Cleland

This research project investigates whether women who blog about their handmade projects and domestic lives are at the center of a new style of digital communication where the lines between public and private merge along with other boundaries such as home/work, career/family. Through the investigation of six domestic craft blogs, this thesis will explore the reasons for this renewed interest in the domestic world and situate it in the context of the history of domesticity as well as the place that it holds in the online world.

Catherine Maggs

WikiLeaks and the Control of Communication: Switching Power in a Networked Society
Supervisor: Dr Fiona Giles

Kristen McGregor

Public service broadcasting in a networked society: the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the National Broadband Network
Supervisor: Dr Fiona Giles

Kim Powell

Online and Laughing: How Young Australians Experience Political News
Supervisor: Dr Penny O'Donnell

This project asks how young Australians consume and use political news – what they choose to read, watch and listen to, and how they make decisions about news quality and importance. It examines new forms of news that combine entertainment values with political content – such as The Project or late night comedy shows – and considers what these programs mean for the future of political news. As many young people now get their news from online and social media sources, this timely study contributes to research about the future of news in the digital media environment.

Titik Puji Rahayu

Industrial Convergence and Communication Policy in Indonesia: When Converging Industry Meets Divergent Policies
Supervisor: Dr Tim Dwyer

Chris Rodley

Chris Rodley

Doctor of Philosophy

Data stories: towards a poetics of digital information
Supervisor: Dr Kathy Cleland

Unprecedented access to networked data is changing the way humans tell stories. A growing number of works of traditional and electronic literature, media art, journalism and screen media are exploiting real-time digital information in their production. With the help of automated software processes, big data is being appropriated, remixed, visualized, animated and narrativized to produce exciting new forms of creative writing. This research project seeks to trace the diverse impacts of these so-called “data-driven” writing practices and understand how they are reshaping the relationships between texts, writers and readers. For more information, visit Chris’s website or follow him on Twitter at @chrisrodley.

Conference Papers
2014. Swimming against the data stream. Paper presented at 2014 Electronic Literature Organization conference, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

2013. The poetics of search: literature in the age of big data. Paper presented at The Future of Writing Symposium, Macquarie University.

Publications
2014. Rodley, C., & Burrell A. “On the art of writing with data”. Book chapter in J. Potts (Ed.), The future of writing. Palgrave Pivot.

Dominic Santangelo

Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaboration in community broadcasting
Supervisor: Dr Fiona Martin

Over the past 30 years in Australia there has been considerable growth in the Indigenous community media sector, particularly broadcasting. In its role as educator, representative and documentarian of cultural diversity, network for social and political activism and producer of locally appropriate media alternatives, Indigenous produced media plays a vital role in extending the voices of Aboriginal people in a history of mediated expression dominated by colonial perspectives. Underlying the development of Indigenous media in Australia are strong relationships of collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous media workers and other stakeholders. The growth of Australia's Indigenous community broadcasting sector relies ever more on successful collaboration between individuals from different cultural and language groups, working together to manage flows of knowledge and information in culturally appropriate ways. This research aims to investigate the nature of Indigenous/non-Indigenous collaboration in areas of the community broadcasting sector, in order to better understand how cross-cultural collaboration can be most effective in maintaining and proliferating Indigenous voices in what is Australia's largest independent media sector. Past research has focused on evaluating the effectiveness of the sector in representing Aboriginal Australia accurately and adequately to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences, while also demonstrating that grassroots, locally oriented Indigenous media plays an important role in cultural and language maintenance. Additionally, research suggests that Indigenous citizens who have enlisted community media for their own purposes are able to participate more fully in democratic processes.

Lukasz Swiatek

Doctor of Philosophy
Society's Rewards Rewarding Society? Accolade-Related Communications and Normative Influence

Supervisors: Dr Olaf Werder and Dr Alana Mann

Many accolades - particularly major, international awards and prizes - are developing sophisticated communications using rich multimedia resources. While those communications can potentially benefit societies around the world, they have also been known to have negative impacts. This research examines these communications, aiming to explain why they produce those negative impacts. The project’s case study is the Nobel Prizes and, by extension, the Nobel organisations, which are leaders among awarding organisations in the use of media, having developed a variety of communication tools that are international in scope and reach. The project argues that these organisations are wielding normative influence through their communications.

Nonee Walsh

Mediating justice: investigating the media framing of the 2006 AWB inquiry
Supervisor: Dr Tim Dwyer

During the reporting of the Cole inquiry into Iraqi Oil for Food contracts (2006) it became apparent that journalists were doing more than reporting the proceedings in a fair and accurate manner. This research will examine whether pursuing news values, questioning the constraints of the inquiry’s terms of reference and focusing on evidence of government involvement in misconduct, shifted public attention away from the purported purpose of the inquiry which was to inquire into AWB and other companies. Media coverage of such inquiries may also give an impression of guilt/criminality/immorality being uncovered that is not satisfied by the findings. It is also arguable that extensive media coverage may influence the way legal practitioners performed during the inquiry. These dynamics which mostly go unreported in the media then spark debate about the legitimacy of such proceedings and the credibility of the media coverage surrounding it. The question then is whether media framing influences the conduct and perceptions of legal inquiries to their detriment.

Past Student Research Projects

A PDF of past student research projects can be found here.