Department Seminar Series

Monday 19 March 2018, 1 - 2 pm
Speakers: Seamus Barker (Sociology and Social Policy, the University of Sydney)
Topic: Subject to pain: Foucault, Ricoeur, and emplotting discourse in an illness narrative

Chronic pain sufferers – many with the common, dualistic understanding that pain is either “real” and caused by physical injury or else is “all in the mind” – routinely receive structured education in pain clinics on an alternative, non-dualistic, scientifically current model, which assumes that processes distributed throughout the brain and spinal cord, processes which are neurobiological but also intrapersonal, amplify and maintain pain. How might these incommensurable paradigms potentially be differently incorporated into what Bourdieu calls cultural capital, and further converted into economic, symbolic and social capital?

This paper will present theoretical interactions between employers, insurers, lawyers, colleagues, healthcare providers, and three “ideal types” of chronic pain sufferers, defined by whether their pain is understood through a) the new paradigm of pain, b) the physical half of the dualistic paradigm, or c) the mental half of the dualistic paradigm. The paper will discuss whether the common rejection of the new paradigm by chronic pain sufferers can be understood not as a failure of health literacy associated with low cultural capital, as Veenstra and Abel describe regarding other instances where health messages are not adopted, but rather as what Bourdieu calls strategic practice, in which pain sufferers, from their habitus and field position, intuitively calculate and optimize conversions between various capitals, including where these must be traded off against optimal treatment options and health outcomes.

About the Speakers: Baker
Seamus Barker completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Latrobe University in Australia in 2003, and a Bachelor of Arts - combined Honours: English and Social Theory, at the University of Melbourne in 2012. Seamus attained an MPhil - American Literature from the University of Cambridge in 2014, and in July 2015 commenced my PhD at the University of Sydney, where he was based in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy. His doctorate involves investigating the contestation between different paradigms of pain, as these operate in scientific, medical, political, economic, juridical and cultural fields. Social Theory and Narrative Theory approaches inform this work, which will also involve interviewing pain scientists, medical specialists, and people who experience chronic pain.
Venue: Room 148 RC Mills building, A26 [map]
Monday 16 April 2018, 1 - 2 pm
Speakers: Alan Scott
Topic: Populism and Neo-nationalism in Europe: a comparison of Austria and Brexit Britain
About the Speakers:  
Venue: Room 148 RC Mills building, A26 [map]
Monday 21 May 2018, 1 - 2pm
Speakers: Mathew Toll (Sociology and Social Policy, the University of Sydney)
Topic: Constellations of Scepticism: Contesting Climate Science and Scientists on the Blogosphere
About the Speakers: Toll
Mathew Toll, PhD student in Sociology. Current research is looking at climate change scepticism and the construction of legitimate knowledge and expertise on the internet.
Venue: Room 148 RC Mills building, A26 [map]
Monday 18 June 2018, 1 - 2 pm
Speakers: Catriona Elder (Sociology and Social Policy, the University of Sydney)
  Charlotte Lloyd (University of Harvard)
Topic: A conversation about Reconciliation after the Uluru Statement from the Heart
About the Speakers: Elder
Catriona Elder's areas of research expertise are in 20th- 21st century Australian cultural identity, especially relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Australia. In particular she has intensively explored some of the ways in which non-Indigenous peoples think about belonging and has analysed both the pleasure and anxiety that inform narratives of national belonging. Specific projects have focused on assimilation in popular fiction; whiteness and government immigration and Indigenous policy in the 1950s and 1960s. This work has drawn on and contributed to the development of Critical Whiteness Studies and Settler Colonial Studies in Australia. One current research project focuses on race, identity and the Australian historical television mini series (1970-2005). Dr Elder is exploring representations of belonging that are produced through television dramas about colonial history. Other areas of research include (post)reconciliation, nationalism and sexuality, and women and non-professional work in the 1950s-1960s.
Charlotte Lloyd is pursuing a doctoral degree in Sociology with a secondary field in Computational Science and Engineering. Her mixed methods research focuses on how symbolic and cultural boundaries are related to structural inequality within organizations and communities. Currently, Charlotte is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University where she is conducting fieldwork for her dissertation on Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan program.
Venue: Room 148 RC Mills building, A26 [map]
Monday 20 August 2018, 1 - 2 pm
Speakers: Michael Humphrey (Sociology and Social Policy, the University of Sydney)
Topic: Neoliberal Urbanisation, Corruption and the Corporate State in Latin America
About the Speakers: Weinfeld
Michael Humphrey's research interests have focused on large scale social change and the governability of social life. This has been strongly framed by the impact of globalization on the relationship and connections between societies in the North and South. The themes of his research have included international migration, refugees, multiculturalism, community, the city, war, terrorism, law, human rights and transnational governance. The major areas of my research have been in 2 areas: ‘Islam in the West’ and ‘Political Violence and Social Healing’.
Venue: Room 148 RC Mills building, A26 [map]
Monday 17 September 2018, 1 - 2 pm
Speakers: Gyu-Jin Hwang (Sociology and Social Policy, the University of Sydney)
Topic: Healthcare Conundrum in East Asia
About the Speakers: Hwang
By fusing theoretically informed debate with its practical application to the field of public sector and policy reform, Dr Hwang's research advocates a closer synthesis of perspectives centred around ideas, interests, and institutions in order to further our understanding of process of policy change. He is particularly interested in the areas of: comparative social policy; comparative development of welfare states; social policy in a development context; comparative analysis of welfare states in East Asia; policymaking processes and policy analysis; politics of social policy; institutional change and policy change; globalization and social policy.
Venue: Room 148 RC Mills building, A26 [map]
Monday 15 October 2018, 1 - 2 pm
Speakers: Leanne Stevenson (Sociology and Social Policy, the University of Sydney)
Topic: Mothers of Calibre
Speakers: Natalie Maystorovich (Sociology and Social Policy, the University of Sydney)
Topic: Limitations to Recuperating the Missing from Franco's Crypt: Exhuming the Fascist Dictators to Generate New Meaning
About the Speakers:
Venue: Room 148 RC Mills building, A26 [map]