Current Postgraduate Research

Sharon Aris
Sharon Aris
Biography Sharon Aris has a BA (Hons) and a MA in Policy and Applied Social Research from Macquarie University. The subject of her Masters thesis was how youth rights were presented in NSW parliamentary legislation.

In a career that has included community work and advocacy, policy development and an extended period working as a journalist and television producer she has returned continually to the themes of social issues, shared values and the ideas and practice of community development.

As well as continuing to write, she currently teaches in Sociology at the University of Sydney and Community Services at the Sydney Institute of Technology.

Her research interests include education, intimate and family relations, class and governance structures.

Degree PhD
Supervisors Dr Karl Maton; Dr Craig Campbell
Commenced 2009
Full or part time Part-time
Thesis topic 'Exploring School choice: how high schools and students come together'
Abstract Broadly situated in the sociology of education, the purpose of this study is to examine how parents in Sydney choose a high school for their children. Thus this thesis engages with how families, particularly middle-class families, plan for the next generation and what they consider necessary for their success in the world. Therefore most broadly this study examines how families characterise the individual in the world, the necessary attributes for success and the systems they favour for transmitting such attributes.

The research design and theorising will utilise the tools developed by Pierre Bourdieu, particularly field, capital and habitus; the coding orientations developed by Basil Bernstein; and Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) to provide a language of description and a series of structuring principles to theorise school choice and the key relations contained within this field: those between families and schools and schools and families; relations within families; and the relationship between each of the former to a family’s SES, ethnicity and gender. The field work follows a broadly ethnographic design, with data being collected using a range of qualitative instruments.

Publications As a journalist for many years specialising in social issues Sharon has contributed articles to Good Weekend, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Sunday Life, The Bulletin, Marie Claire, Men’s Health, Australian Good Taste, The Australian Educator and The Independent Monthly. She has written three books: Being Married (2005: Allen and Unwin), It’s My Party and I’ll Knit If I Want To (2002, Allen and Unwin) and Top Jobs (1999, Duffy and Snellgrove).

Journal Articles

Aris, Sharon (forthcoming) Indian Tigers: What high school selection by parents pursing academic performance reveals about class, culture and migration, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Conference Presentations

Aris, Sharon (2016) Seeking success: what school choice reveals about the differing capacities in families to recognise and realise educational capital, The Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference, Melbourne

Aris, Sharon (2016) Legitimate Skills and Knowledge: developing a curriculum when the Training Package doesn't match your industry consultation, National Vocational Education and Training Conference, Rockhampton, Qld

Aris, Sharon (2015) Choosing Schools: Using Specialisation and Temporality to reveal family strategies in school selection’ at the Legitimation Code Theory Colloquium, Cape Town, South Africa

Aris, Sharon (2015) ‘That’s Capital!’ Using Specialisation to decode what different parent groups see from a high school education for their children’, Legitimation Code Theory Roundtable, Sydney

Mom Bishwakarma
Mom Bishwakarma
Biography Mom is a PhD candidate in University of Sydney, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Australia research focusing on federalism, Identity Politics and Representation of Dalits in Nepal. He has more than 10 years of working experiences in development sectors-UN agencies (UNDP, UNMIN and UNICEF) and NGOs in Nepal specializing project on peace and constitution building, research & study, project management and organizational development. He tend to more focus on research and study on social policy, exclusion and inclusion, minority rights, federal governance, discrimination and would preview to contribute on the development projects around the globe. He has significantly contributed to ameliorate the socio-economic conditions of marginalized community through leadership development, awareness building and advocacy. He is interested in academic research and study as well as development project.
Degree PhD
Supervisors A/Prof. Danielle Celermajer
Commenced March 2013
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic State Restructuring and Federalism in Nepal: Identity Politics and Dalit Representation
Abstract This research aims to understand the underlying causes and nature of injustices, institutional barriers in consideration of state restructuring and federalism process to draw the specific institutional reforms measures that would bring greater social justice for Dalit in Nepal. This study employs the essential framework of social justice theory posed by social and political theories reifying interrelationship between two dimensions of justice, recognition and redistribution as well as Identity and minority group rights perspectives. The existing literatures relevant to Dalit mostly contextualize the problems and possible solution. However, there is not yet major focus on how the institutional barriers and biases have impacted in the formulation of new reform majors and implementation of existing provisions. This research, thus, will draw its conclusion based on nature and causes of problems and socio-political discourse on state reformation in Nepal. The in-depth interview with current/ex-members of parliament, social and political leaders including community leaders will contribute to explore the phenomenological experiences of Dalits in relation to policy formulation and its effective implementation. Beside that the discourse analysis will further help to build up substantive analysis of the research.


Referred Articles

  • Bishwakarma, M. (upcoming 2014). Contentious Identity Politics in Federalism Discourse: Challenges for Constitution Building in Nepal. Federal Governance, 10:(pages to be determined).
  • Bishwakarma, M. (2012). Dalit Rights Perspectives in course in Nepal. Participation, 13:80-87.
  • Bishwakarma, M. (2011). Comparative Study of Dalit Education in Nepal. Social Science Research Network online.
  • Bishwakarma, M. (2006). Dalit Development Assistance: Opportunities and Challenges. Jana Utthan National. Kathmandu: JUP Nepal.

Joint Research Book

  • T.Sunar, B. Lamgade, M. Bishwakarma (2007). Situation Analysis of Caste Based Discrimination Cases in Nepal, Kathmandu: LANCAW Nepal.

Non-referred Articles in National Daily Newspaper

  • Bishwakarma, M. (2014). Rational of Harmony Day in Nepal. Nepalipatra, p. 10.Sydney.
  • Bishwakarma, M. (2014). Proportional Representation System and Dalit. Annapurna Post Daily, p. 05.Kathmandu.
  • Bishwakarma, M. (2013). Ethnic Federalism: Illusion and facts. Annapurna Post Daily, p. 05.Kathmandu.
  • Bishwakarma, M.(2013). Caste Discrimination in Diaspora. Kantipur Daily, p. 07.Kathmandu.
  • Bishwakarma, M. (2013). Conflict and Consensus. The Kathmandu Post, p. 07. Kathmandu.
  • Bishwakarma, M. (2011).Dalit in Federalism Discourse. Telegraph Weekly, p.20.Kathmandu.
  • Bishwakarma, M. (2003).Nepali Society and Practices of Discrimination. National Daily Rajdhani, p.10. Kathmandu

Sophia Brock
Sophia Brock
Biography Sophie holds a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in Sociology from The University of Sydney. Her research interests are in the area of motherhood studies, recognising that ‘motherhood’ is an institution and social construction rather than a biological imperative. Her thesis links motherhood studies with research located within the sociology of Personal Life to examine how mothers’ lives are influenced and shaped by normative constructs and changing notions of the family. Sophie is Secretary of the Australian Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (AMIRCI), interested in promoting research into mothering, motherwork, maternal subjectivities and identities, and cultural representations of motherhood. Sophie’s teaching areas include sociology and international and global studies.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Jennifer Wilkinson (primary)
Susan Goodwin (associate)
Commenced January 2013
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic The experiences of mothers of children with disabilities
Abstract This research project is situated within, and contributes to, two lines of inquiry within the social sciences. The first involves the sociology of family and ‘personal life’. This research recognises that in a 21st century context – with an increase in individual freedoms – families and family relationships are not simply biologically determined or given, but are also constructed through various family practices and expressions of individual choice. However, there still exist circumstances where an individual cannot walk away from difficult, unsatisfactory, or draining relationships to exercise their agency and individualism. The second area of study is ‘motherhood studies’, which recognizes ‘motherhood’ as a social construction, rather than a biological imperative. As such, research on motherhood notes the constraining effects this has on women’s identity and contests the normative expectations and narratives about what it means to be a ‘good mother’. Until now, these two research areas have remained separate. However, my thesis straddles these two areas of study in order to ask important new questions about the changing meaning of ‘family’ ‘personal life’ and the redefinition of specific familial roles, such as the meaning of “mother”. Using insights gained from the sociology of personal life, the thesis extends my previous research on conceptions of the ‘good mother’ to shed light on what family means for mothers of children with disabilities. This empirical example provides a new and important context for exploring the comparative significance of individual choice and commitment in defining families today and the meaning of the mother role. These issues are explored using a personal communities approach combined with narrative analysis.
  • ‘The Individualisation Thesis and Mothering Children with Disabilities’ (forthcoming), Journal of Family Studies.
  • Brock, S (2015) ‘The Experiences of Mothers with Children with Disabilities’, in D. Marre., N. Monnet., & B.S. Roman (eds) AFIN Newsletter, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, The University of Barcelona, Spain.
  • Brock, S (2014) “How to Expect What You’re Not Expecting: Stories of Pregnancy, Parenthood and Loss”, by J. Hiemstra and L. Martin-Demoor (Eds). Journal of the Motherhood Initiative, 5(1): 324-326.

Estella Carpi
Estella Carpi
Biography Estella received her MA Degree from the University of Milan (2008) with a thesis on the Everyday Speech in Contemporary Lebanon. Estella studied Arabic at the University of Milan (2002-2007) and the University of Damascus (2005 and 2007).

She worked at the Cairo-based United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Office (2008) for the Trade and Human Development Monitor Project meant to enhance small and medium enterprises in the Arab world. She also worked as a Research Consultant for the Cairo-based International Development Research Center (IDRC) (2009-2010) in a project aimed at strengthening social protection systems in Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Morocco and Algeria.

Degree Final PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology
Supervisors Primary: Professor Michael Norman Humphrey
Auxiliary: Dr Laura Beth Bugg
Commenced July 2010
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Humanitarianism and ageing emergencies in Lebanon
Abstract This thesis explores the ways in which humanitarian practice changes social space through case studies of Beirut’s southern suburbs (Dahiye) in response to 2006 July war and the Syrian refugee influx in North Lebanon (Akkar) from war in Syria during 2011-2014.

Through the investigation of humanitarian practices, it identifies a Lebanese refugee regime in which short-term displacement of the Lebanese population exists alongside long-term refugehood of Iraq, Palestinian and Sudanese refugees.

It also explores how humanitarian practice becomes articulated with forms of welfare and development. Official states of emergency in Lebanon cyclically stimulate the flow of greater amounts of resources to local citizens through the increasing internationalisation of local welfare.

The thesis investigates the impact of humanitarianism through its construction of apolitical humanitarian victims, and the adhocratic emergency management of lives on the war-stricken subjects at an individual and a community level. It argues that transnational humanitarian interventions have produced different social and political outcomes in Lebanon.

As a result, the chronic emergencisation of Lebanese society becomes leverage for preserving international security.

Publications Journal Articles
  • (forthcoming) “De-homogenising Poverty in the Southern Suburbs of Beirut: when Citizenship disempowers”, in Journal of Social Welfare and Human Rights, Vol.3, No.1, June 2015, ISSN: 2333-5920; ISBN: 2333-5939.
  • “L’Ignorata Diversità Sociale nei Sobborghi Meridionali di Beirut: dalla Guerra di Luglio 2006 a Oggi”, in Storia Urbana, pp. 91-117, December 2014, ISSN 0391-2248, ISSNe 1972-5523, ed. Franco Angeli. Milan, Italy. DOI: 10.3280/SU2015-145004.
  • “The Political and the Humanitarian in Lebanon. Social Responsiveness to Emergency Crisis from the 2006 War to the Syrian Refugee Influx”, in Oriente Moderno, Vo. 94, Issue 2, November 2014, ISSN: 0030- 5472, E-ISSN: 2213-8617, Brill Publishers, Leiden, the Netherlands.
  • “Lebanon and it Linguistic Wandering: on the road to De-Essentialization”, peer-reviewed academic journal Komumikacija i Kultura, Special Issue No.1 2013, e-ISSN 2217-4257, pp. 96-115 (Available online at:
  • “Libano. Attivismo Sociale e Ostacoli al Cambiamento”, in La Storia, ed. Paravia Bruno Mondadori, Novembre-Dicembre 2013. (Available online at:
  • “Syria: the Emerging Divide between External Plans and Internal Perspectives”, Journal of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia 1(1), August 2013: 74-90. Sean Kingston Publishing, in association with, and the financial support of Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités, CNRS, ISSN: 2211-5722.
  • “Letteratura nascente: quale migrazione?” (Available at: in Afriche e Orienti, Aiep Editore s.r.l. in October 2007 – num. 2.
  • “Hi kifek ça va?”. Un’avventura etnopragmatica nel Libano contemporaneo”, in Orientalia Parthenopea New Issue num. VIII in February 2009 (Available at:

Book Reviews

Research Reports

  • Carpi, E. “The Everyday Experience of Humanitarianism in the Akkar Villages”, Civil Society Knowledge Review, ed. Lebanon Support – Daleel Madani, March 24, 2014, Beirut, Lebanon. . .

Other Contributions

I regularly contribute with analytical commentaries on the Middle East on “OpenDemocracy”, “Tabsir”, “SiriaLibano”, “Osservatorio Iraq” and “Focus on Syria”. I also run a personal blog on the Middle East issues:

Magdalena Arias Cubas
Magdalena Arias Cubas
Biography Originally from Mexico, Magdalena holds a Bachelor degree in Economics & Social Sciences with first class Honours in Political Economy. In addition to her studies, she has worked as a tutor for the Department of Political Economy and as a research assistant for the project ‘Social Transformation and International Migration in the 21st Century’. Recently, she was awarded a 2013 Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Teaching Fellowship with the Department of Political Economy. Her research interests include political economy, migration, labour, indigenous and development studies.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Stephen Castles; Tim Anderson
Commenced 2011
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Transforming Rural Mexico – Indigenous Migration to the United States
Abstract This project explores the link between social transformation and international migration in rural Mexico since the 1980s to develop a human-centred understanding of the relationship between migration and development. It focuses on analysing the impact of these interconnected processes on the well-being of Mexico’s Indigenous population, in particular that of Indigenous migrants and their relatives, in communities of both origin and destination. The central case study concerns Mixteco migrants from the state of Oaxaca (Mexico) to the state of California (USA).
  • Arias Cubas, M. (2012) ‘Recent Developments in Mexico’s Diaspora Policy’ in Oh, J. (Ed.) Special Issue II: Diaspora as Focus Area of National Migration Policy, IOM Migration Research and Training Centre: Goyang-si, p. 239-262.
  • Castles, S., Arias Cubas, M. Kim C. & Ozkul, D. (2012) ‘Irregular Migration: Causes, Patterns and Strategies’ in Omelaniuk, I. (Ed.) Reflections on Migration and Development, Springer: New York, p. 117-151
  • Arias Cubas, M. (2012) ‘Migration and “Well-Being” - the Experience of Mixteco Migrants in the United States’, Presented at The Second International Sociological Association Forum of Sociology: Social Justice and Democratization, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1-4 August.
  • Williamson, R., Ozkul, D., Koleth, E., Kim, C., Castles, S., & Arias Cubas, M. (2012) ‘Operationalising the Study of Social Transformation and International Migration in the 21st Century’, Presented at The Second International Sociological Association Forum of Sociology: Social Justice and Democratization, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1-4 August.
  • Arias Cubas, M. (2011) 'Thinking Beyond Remittances: Exploring and Contesting the Relationship between Migration and Development', in Proceedings for the 10th Australian Society of Heterodox Economists Conference, Australian Society of Heterodox Economist: Sydney.
  • Arias Cubas, M., Castles, S., Kim, C., Koleth, E., Ozkul, D. & Williamson, R. (2011) ‘Understanding Contemporary Social Transformation: Scaling up Polanyi’s Great Transformation’, in Proceedings for the Annual Conference of The Australian Sociological Association 2011: Local Lives / Global Networks, The Australian Sociological Association: Newcastle.
  • Arias Cubas, M., Castles, S., Kim, C., Koleth, E., Ozkul, D. & Williamson, R. (2011) ‘Migration and Social Transformation: Methodological Dilemmas’, Presented at Knowledge/Culture/Social Change International Conference, University of Western Sydney, 7-9 November.
  • Castles, S., Arias Cubas, M., Kim, C., Koleth, E., Ozkul, D. & Williamson, R. (2011) ‘Karl Polanyi’s Great Transformation as a Framework for Understanding Neo-Liberal Globalisation’, Working Paper 1, Social Transformation and International Migration Project, University of Sydney.

Laura Davy
Laura Davy
Biography Laura completed a Masters in Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2012, and she also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with First Class Honours in Social, Political and Historical Studies from the University of Technology, Sydney. She has conducted disability research for some years: within the disability advocacy sector; the City Futures Research Centre, UNSW; and within her Masters and Honours dissertations, which focused on the marginalisation of people with disability in mainstream political philosophy. She teaches undergraduate communications, social theory, and disability studies.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Danielle Celermajer; Dinesh Wadiwel
Commenced February, 2013
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic The Independent Citizen? Representation of intellectual disability in political philosophy and political discourse
Abstract This research examines how people with disability, particularly intellectual disability, are positioned within philosophy, the disability movement, and government. It confronts some key tensions between disability activism, government rhetoric and the lived experience of people with intellectual disability and their families and carers around independent autonomy as a political goal for the individual. The project aims to advance political philosophy that places the social inclusion of people with intellectual disability at its centre, and explore the implications of this for traditional conceptions of political representation and participation.
  • Davy, Laura. (2015), Philosophical Inclusive Design: Intellectual Disability and the Limits of Individual Autonomy in Moral and Political Theory. Hypatia, 30: 132–148.
  • Mitleton-Kelly, Eve, & Davy, Laura. (2013). The Concept of 'Co-evolution' and its Application in the Social Sciences. In E. Mitleton-Kelly (Ed.), Co-evolution of Intelligent Socio-technical Systems: Modelling and Applications in Large Scale Emergency and Transport Domains. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Davy, Laura, Bridge, Catherine, Judd, Bruce, Flatau, Paul, Morris, Alan, & Phibbs, Peter. (2010). Age specific housing for low to moderate income older people. AHURI Positioning Paper No. 134. Melbourne: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.
  • Davy, Laura, Adams, Toni, & Bridge, Catherine. (2014). Caring for the carer: Home design and modification for carers of young people with disability. Occasional Paper. Sydney: Home Modification Information Clearinghouse, University of New South Wales.
  • Judd, Bruce, Liu, Edgar, Easthope, Hazel, Davy, Laura, & Bridge, Catherine. (2014). Downsizing amongst older Australians. AHURI Final Report No. 214. Melbourne: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.
  • Walls, Rachel, Millikan, Lyndal, Bridge, Catherine, & Davy, Laura. (2013). Home Modifications in Aboriginal Housing. Occasional Paper. Sydney: Home Modification Information Clearinghouse, University of New South Wales.

Curtis Dickson
Biography Curtis completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences with First Class Honours in Sociology at the University of Sydney in 2012. His research interests lie at the intersection of religion and the LGBTIQ rights movement. His Honours thesis explored LGBTIQ people’s experiences of belonging to Christian communities in Sydney, and was awarded the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives Thesis Prize in 2012. Curtis has teaching experience in the sociology of religion and the sociology of deviance and difference.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Primary: Associate Professor Bronwyn Winter
Auxiliary: Associate Professor Catriona Elder
Commenced January 2013
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic LGBTIQ Christians and Pride Parades
Abstract This project explores how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) Christians construct and publicly express their queer Christian identity at a secular event – specifically by participating in LGBTIQ pride parades. The project focuses on pride parades in Sydney, San Francisco and Los Angeles, allowing for an international comparison between these sites. The researcher acts as a participant/observer at each parade and later interview participants about their experiences of marching in the parade with a Christian group. The research examines parade entries in terms of ritual, symbol, and performance, and asks whether marching in a pride parade can be understood as a spiritual experience.

Nao Kasai
Nao Kasai
Biography Nao Kasai completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and was awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Sydney. Before coming to Sydney, she was engaged in a sponsored research project concerning homeless support systems in advanced countries including Australia, UK and US. Her research interests include civic/nonprofit activities, community development, social inequalities and urbanism.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Gyu-Jin Hwang; Greg Martin
Commenced July 2011
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic The Promotion Policy of Civil Society and Its Local Effects and Consequences: Citizen Activities in Addressing Homelessness in Japan
Abstract The study takes a close look at civil society activities to tackle homelessness in Japan and examines roles of civil society in addressing social exclusion. Japan has a distinctive pattern of civil society comprising many small organisations and the case may highlight communitarian functions of civil society. The study draws on in-depth interviews with government agencies and voluntary organisations working with homeless people. Answers to the following questions will be sought: What is the implication of emerging presence of civil society in solving social exclusion? And how can we understand the Japan’s case considering its distinct nature of civil society?
  • Kasai, N., & Dohi, M. (2011). A Study on Rough Sleeping Policies and the Actual Support Systems for Rough Sleepers in London [in Japanese]. Journal of the City Planning Institute of Japan, 46(3), 1021-1026.
  • Kasai, N., Sugita, S., & Dohi, M. (2010). A Study on the Actual Conditions of Support for Homeless Persons in Australia [in Japanese]. Journal of the City Planning Institute of Japan, 45(3), 757-762.

Chulhyo Kim
Biography Prior to coming to Sydney, Chulhyo worked with International Organization for Migration for developing research and training projects on labour and marriage migrations. He also worked for MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society as refugee legal service coordinator; and Amnesty International as campaign coordinator. Chulhyo received an MA in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Essex and a BA in Sociology from Seoul National University. He currently works as a research assistant for the Social Transformation and International Migration research project. He has worked as a sessional teacher in sociology at the University of Sydney and in NGO studies at Sungkonghoe University, South Korea.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Stephen Castles; Kiran Grewal
Commenced July 2010
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Social Transformation and International Migration in South Korea: A Human Rights Movement Perspective
Abstract This project first seeks to analyse the links between neo-liberal structural changes in South Korean society and the increased incoming temporary migration. South Korean government introduced the temporary labour migration schemes in the context of the redundancy, the precarisation and casualisation of work, the bankruptcy of small and medium sized industries after 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. The social consequence of the commodification of labour was the destruction of human rights standards at work, public or private spaces. The governments’ responses were highly motivated by ethno-centric, patriarchical and paternalistic approaches. The project also reviews on the countermovement aspect. While the overwhelming trend of civil society groups is the shift to service-provision with benevolent and paternalistic approaches in line with government direction, there are also increasing groups of xenophobic responses. In the mean time, the project’s particular focus is a small group of activists who seek the organisation and empowerment of the temporary migrant workers using the language of rights. Though this process, South Korean social movement rediscovers a possibility to extend its definition of human rights beyond the national boundary.

Sohoon Lee
Sohoon Lee
Biography Sohoon’s areas of interest are migrant women in Asia and the dynamics between labour and women’s rights, migration laws and illegality, social movement and atypical forms of resistance. She has undertaken consultancy with the UN Women, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), and other NGOs to write on topics of migrant domestic workers, intersectionality and discrimination and labour rights protections in South Korea.

Prior to her PhD studies, she worked at Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) in areas of ASEAN human rights mechanisms, indigenous peoples in Southeast Asia, and documentation of human rights violation. She completed her Hon. B.A. with high distinction in Asia-Pacific Studies at the University of Toronto and Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia-Pacific) at the University of Sydney. During her previous studies, she has undertaken research on multicultural (damunhwa) policies and ‘new’ nationalism in South Korea, return migrants and bottom-up development in Indonesia, and NGO-Trade Union relationship in migrant movement in South Korea.

Degree PhD
Supervisors A/Prof. Nicola Piper; Dr. Deirdre Howard-Wagner
Commenced July 2012
Full or part time Full-time
Thesis topic Against Discourse of Legitimacy: Resistance of “Illegal” Migrant Women in South Korea (working title)
Abstract This research examines the interactive process between (il)legality, rights consciousness and collective subjectivity over the course of migrant women’s resistance against the state-led legal discourse on membership in South Korea. By conceptualising membership as a relational process with multiple dimensions such as gender, ethnicity and class, I examine the process in which legality and membership are negotiated and migrant women come to establish their subjectivity. This research seeks to encapsulate dynamics of resistance, which forms as a response to contradictory migration laws that on one hand limit migrants’ stay to temporary/circular but on the other encourage women to carry on subsumed reproductive role of South Korean society. This research postulates that intersecting identity of migrant women as migrants and women, along with further “axes of subordination”, creates a unique form of resistance inside and/or outside of the archetypes not only of migrant movement but of general social movement. My ethnography specifically focuses on enclaves of migrant communities in sectors that are ‘traditionally’ regarded as women’s work, such as textile industry, care work, entertainment work and farm work in three sites in Seoul and surrounding Gyeonggi Province.
Publications Commissioned Report/ Policy Paper

Referred Journal

  • Lee, Sohoon (2012) “Those Who Can Become “Foreign Koreans”: Globalisation, Transnational Marriages, and Shifting Nationalist Discourses in South Korea. Theory in Action 5:3

Book Chapters

  • Lee, Sohoon (forthcoming) “Asian Democracy and the Problem of Membership: Rules of Exception and “Legitimate” Discrimination against Migrants in South Korea” in Arvanitakis, James; Boydell, Spike; Mathews, Ingrid (eds) Citizen in the 21st Century.
    Ebook. [draft title: accepted for publication]

Joint Report

  • Azhar, Haris; Ginbar, Yuval; Lee, Sohoon; Sigiro, Atnike; Yap, Swee Seng (2010) Hiding Behind Its Limits:Performance Report on ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development: Bangkok

Non-referred Articles

  • Lee, Sohoon (2010) “A Reality of Becoming Citizens: An Experience of Birth Registration ofthe Indigenous Peoples” Asian Human Rights Defenders V.6(2) Dec. 2010. FORUMASIA. Bangkok, Thailand

Brydan Sarah Lenne
Brydan Sarah Lenne
Biography As an undergraduate student at USYD I became interested in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through my studies in psychology. I trained as an applied behaviour analysis (ABA) therapist and worked with children diagnosed with ASD for over five years. Through this work I gained clinical insight into the difficulties encountered by families in the diagnostic and treatment process, as well as the general “messiness” of, and confusion surrounding, the diagnostic process.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Prof Catherine Waldby
Dr Katherine Carroll (Mayo Clinic)
Commenced March 2010
Full or part time Part-time
Thesis topic Observing the observer: Unravelling the construction of order in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Abstract The autism spectrum is truly diverse. It encompasses genius qualities (the savant), eccentricities and quirkiness, communication difficulties, learning difficulties, social awkwardness, and profound disability. Thus, clinical decisions regarding the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are commonly based upon heterogeneous evidence and expert opinion. This thesis presents a complex and socially nuanced picture of ASD within the medical context by focusing on understanding how the medical profession negotiates with and attempts to manage the complexities, uncertainties and difficulties associated with diagnosing this disorder. Of particular interest is the role played by diagnostic manuals, standardised tools and statistical approaches in the diagnostic session, and how these documents influence clinical decisions. To explore these issues a video-reflexive approach was employed to document ASD diagnostic sessions during a hospital drug trial for Australian autistic children with repetitive behaviours. Diagnostic sessions involving the children and parents were videoed and later played back to the clinicians for their analysis and comment in one-on-one interviews. This thesis explores the potential of video to allow clinicians to explain tacit knowledge and practices and for it to reinvent assumptions clinicians may have had about the way that they diagnose; and draws attention to the necessity of tinkering with and adapting diagnostic tools to particular patients and circumstances.
  • Lenne, B. S., & Waldby, C. (2011). Sorting out autism spectrum disorders: Evidence-based medicine and the complexities of the clinical encounter. Health Sociology Review, 20(1), 70-83.
  • Carroll, Katherine E., Brydan S. Lenne, Kerri McEgan, Gillian Opie, Lisa H. Amir, Sandra Bredemeyer, Ben Hartmann et al. (2014) Breast milk donation after neonatal death in Australia: a report. International breastfeeding journal, 9(1), 23.
  • Lenne, B (2013), ‘The Minus Children’: A History of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the Australian Institution, Annual Conference Proceedings of the Australian Sociological Association 2013 (TASA 2013), Monash University, Victoria: The Australian Sociological Association (TASA).

Li Mo
Li Mo
Biography I’m the PhD candidate of Sociology at the Department of Sociology and Social Policy. I’m researching on the trends of marital dissolution in China from a quantitative approach.

After obtaining my first PhD at South Korea on International Management, I realized my real interest in research on family; therefore, I’m determined to continuing my research on family at the University of Sydney. Hopefully, I can become a real researcher on family related issues in the future.

Degree PhD
Supervisors Dr. Salvatore Babones; Dr. David Bray
Commenced March 2014
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Divorce and Remarriage Patterns in China: Trends in Different Regions
Abstract Since its opening up and reform policy was carried out in 1978, China has experienced great economic development and fundamental changes in traditional value system. As the most populous country in the world, China has the most families in the world; however, China’s divorce rate has been in the steady rise following the extremely low divorce rate in the 1950s and 1960s. Therefore, this thesis is intended to examine how time effect, socio-economic changes, educational level, number of kids, and regional effect are associated with CDR (Crude Divorce Rate), RDR (Refined Divorce Rate), and Remarriage Rate in China. An elaborate analysis will be conducted on the divorce trends of 32 provinces and municipal cities (Hongkong and Macao not included) based on the recent available datasets from China Statistical Yearbook, which were newly published by China Statistical Bureau. The datasets were modified and recombined in order to conduct a quantitative analysis, and SPSS 16.0 was used to do the analysis on the data from 1997 to 2013. To the author’s knowledge, so far, there have been very few research on the divorce trends and remarriage rate in China, especially in recent years, despite of the rich literature from western countries. Hopefully, this study can give some policy implications to China’s government to deal with the problems connected with the increasing divorce rate.

Key words: Time Effect, Socio-economic Changes, Educational Level, Number of Kids, Regional Effect, CDR (Crude Divorce Rate), RDR (Refined Divorce Rate), Remarriage Rate

  • Sep., 2013 Published “The Effects of Country-of-Origin, Brand Image, and Corporate Image Dimensions on Brand Evaluations and Purchase Intentions of Smart Phones of Five Brands: A Comparative Study of China and Korea” on Journal of Distribution Science
  • Aug. 2011Published “A Study on the Effects of Product Country Image, Corporate Image on Brand Equity and Purchase Intention of Chinese Youth—Focused on the Cell Phones of Three Countries’ Brands” on Korea Research Academy of Distribution and Management Review
  • Aug., 2010 Published “The Efficiency Enhancing Strategies of the Logistic Companies in China—A Case Study on Hair Logistics” on Korea Research Academy of Distribution and Management Review
  • Jun., 2008 Involved in the Editing of “Business English Extensive Reading
  • Oct., 2004 Published “Translation Purpose and Strategies—A Study on Yan Fu’s Translation” in “Foreign Language Teaching
  • Oct., 2003 Published “An Approach to Synonyms and Its Application” in Foreign Language Teaching

Nu Nguyet Anh Nguyen
Nu Nguyet Anh Nguyen
Biography Anh holds Bachelor and Master degrees in Sociology from School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City (USSH). She worked as a lecturer in the department of Sociology, USSH since 2008. She is interested in international migration, labour, gender, poverty reduction, and social development.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Primary: Professor Nicola Piper
Auxillary: Professor Mike Michael
Commenced March 2012
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Social networks: Opportunities or obstacles? A case study of Vietnam-South Korea temporary labour migration
Abstract This study aims to explore positive and negative aspects of migration networks of Vietnamese temporary migrant workers during all phases of migration to South Korea, including pre-departure (Vietnam), staying abroad (South Korea), and returning home (Vietnam). The study examines what kinds of social networks provide (or do not provide) what kinds of assistance for Vietnamese migrant workers and why in the context of temporary labour migration. In addition, the study explores how social networks of and for Vietnamese migrant workers are formed and changed over different stages of the migration cycle. The study also purposely interprets the differences among Vietnamese migrant workers in accessing and benefiting from social capital and social networks in terms of gender.
  • Nu Nguyet Anh Nguyen. 2010. Life of Vietnamese Brides in Korea in the book “The Update on ASEAN and Korean Studies: 2010”. Pp. 242-284. ASEAN University Network.
  • Nu Nguyet Anh Nguyen & Nicola Piper. 2013. Migrant Support Networks from a Gender perspective: A Case Study of Low-wage Vietnamese Workers in Korea in a Series Perspectives on Asian Migration: Transformations of Gender and Labour Relations, edited by Sara Poma Poma & Katharine Puhl. Pp. 64-69. Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.

Olga Oleinikova
Olga Oleinikova
Biography Olga holds Bachelor and Master degrees with first class Honours in Sociology from KNU (Kiev National Taras Shevchenko University, Ukraine). In 2012 Olga joined the Department of Sociology and Social Policy with the University of Sydney International Research Scholarship. She specializes in social research with a particular interest in international migration, post-socialist social transformations, social change, post-Soviet migration to Australia, life-course and gender. She has experience in quantitative and qualitative research on labour migration in EU (Italy and Poland) and marginalization processes in contemporary Ukrainian society. Her professional experience includes work in social and market research companies. Before coming to Sydney, she worked as a research manager assistant in quantitative and qualitative Ad Hoc research divisions at Taylor Nelson Sofres Ukraine (TNS).
Degree PhD
Supervisors Catriona Elder; Deirdre Howard-Wagner
Commenced March 2012
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic “Life-Course Strategies and International Migration: Post-Independence Ukrainian Migrants in Australia”
Abstract This research project focuses on post-independence Ukrainian migration to Australia and is centred on Ukrainian migrants’ life-course strategies in Australia with respect to their employment, education or marriage. The focus is on the rationale behind the ‘waves’ of migrants who came to Australia in three periods (since 1990s, since 2000 and 2010). Particularly, research analyses the link between social transformations in post-Soviet Ukraine and international migration of Ukrainians to Australia since the 1990s, by focusing on the impact of socio-economic and political restructuring on the migrants’ life strategies.

This research investigates how individual pathways are changed and adapt under social transformations and which strategies individuals chose to follow to accommodate to changing social conditions, focusing on peculiarities of forming life strategies with the help of international migration. In order to trace the institutional impact and influence on the process of individual’s life-course strategy formation on micro-level of analysis, social transformations in Ukraine will be analysed within 3 dimensions – economic, political and social milieus in combination with the analysis of Australia’s immigration policy according migrants from post-Soviet countries since 1990s.

This project aims to provide insights into the following areas: (1) daily life and the socio-cultural problems Ukrainian migrants face in recipient societies, particularly barriers in realizing migrants’ pathways in terms of social inclusion, cultural differentiation, and shifts of national and cultural identities; (2) official migration policies of Ukraine and Australia; and (3) the socio-economic contradictions within Ukrainian society as a migration push factor. This research takes an original approach in that it brings the life-course strategy within migration methodology and deploys it in sociological context rather than its original psychological focus.

  • (September 10, 2014) “Post-referendum Crimea and its Russian Future: Voices from the Inside”, The Sydney Globalist
  • (March 7, 2014) “Comment: My hope for Ukraine”, SBS World News
  • (March 3, 2014) Interview for Perth Radio Station around Euromaidan and global effects of Ukrainian social movement.
  • (In progress) Writing Chapters for “Extraordinary Australia” (expected in 2016): “Australia – Land of Immigrants”, “Aged Ukrainian Migrants and Community: Issues of Inclusion”, “New Communities/New Racism”, “Ukrainian post-Independence Migrants in Australia: Achievement vs. Survival”.
  • Final editing of “Western Ukrainian and Standard Ukrainian: A Guide to Lexical Differences” (2012) by H. Koscharsky and G.Hull
  • Oleinikova O. (Under review) “Immigrants’ Life Strategies and Opportunity Structures: Focus on Post-Independence Ukrainian Migrants”, European Societies
  • Oleinikova O. (2013) “Beyond Two Decades of Social Transition in Ukraine: The Underestimated Power of Agency in Transition Research”, Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies 5 (2), pp. 45-60.
  • Oleinikova O. (2013) “Life-Course Strategies and Labor Migration: Ukrainians in Italy and Poland”, Journal of National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv: Sociology 1(4), pp.34-41.
  • Oleinikova ,O., Kyzmenko, T. (2011) “Crime as a Display of Marginalization in Contemporary Ukrainian Society”, Collection of scientific papers “Gileya: scientific herald”. – K.: VIR UAS, 46 edition, pp. 626-632.
  • Oleinikova, O. (2015) “Deconstructing the Communist and Post-Communist Past in Emigration: The Image of Post-Independence Ukraine (Case-Study of Post-Independence Ukrainian Migrants in Australia)”, presented at international conference “A Quarter Century of Post-Communism: Interdisciplinary Perspectives”, University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand), 2nd-3rd February 2015.
  • Oleinikova, O. (2014) “Coping with Post-Soviet change: Achievement Vs. Survival Life strategies of post-independence Ukrainian migrants in Australia (1991-2013)”, presented at WZB (Berlin Social Science Research Center) at the workshop for “Migration, Integration, Transnationalization” (Berlin, Germany), 12 November 2014.
  • Oleinikova, O. (2014) “Moving out of “Their Places” – Structural Factors for Post-Independence Ukrainian Migration to Australia", presented at XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology (Yokohama, Japan), 13-19th July 2014.
  • Oleinikova O. (2013) “Post-Independence Ukrainian Migration to Australia”, TASA 2013 Conference Proceedings, 25-28th November 2013.
  • Oleinikova, O. (2013) “Ukrainian Migration to Australia: Preliminary Fieldwork Results”, presented at the workshop Young Ukrainian Scholars in Sydney, Ukrainian Studies Foundation, 8 December 2013.
  • Oleinikova, O. (2013) “Immigrants’ life strategies and opportunity structures: focus on post- independence Ukrainian migrants”, presented at ASA 2013: Annual American Sociological Association Conference (New York, USA), 10-13th August 2013.
  • Oleinikova, O. (2013). “Life strategies of Ukrainians in a transitional society: two decades of political, economic and social transformation”, presented at the conference “Power and Justice in the Contemporary World-Economy” (PEWS) (New York, USA), 8-9th Aug. 2013.
  • Oleinikova, O. (2013) “Life Strategies of Ukrainians in a Transitional Society: Two Decades of Political, Economic and Social Transformation”, presented at the conference “Ukraine: Language, Culture, Identity”, Mykola Zerov Center for Ukrainian Studies, Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), 15-16th February 2013.
  • Oleinikova, O. (2012) “Ukrainian Labour Migration: Trends and Challenges”, invited lecture at the Ukrainian Studies Foundation (Sydney, Australia), 2 December 2012.
  • Oleinikova O. (2012) “Social Responsibility of the Ukrainian Nation State and Labour Migration: Contemporary Challenges”, TASA 2012 Conference Proceedings.
  • Oleinikova, O. (2011) “Ukrainian Labor Migration: Role of Social Capital” Sociology-Social Work – Regulating Social Problems, Conference Proceedings, pp.189-193.
  • Oleinikova, O. (2011) “Main Patterns of Current Ukrainian Emigration Wave” Sociology-Social Work – Regulating Social Problems, Conference for students and young researchers, Conference Proceedings, pp.93-95.
  • Oleinikova, O. (2011) “How to create growth? The real benefit of government contributions to European citizens – now and then?”, presented at the European Economic Congress on “The Future of Europe”, (Kyiv, Ukraine), 18-22nd May 2011.

Derya Ozkul
Derya Ozkul
Biography Derya studied her BA degree in Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey and her MSc degree in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics. Since then she has been involved in various projects on migration-related issues. She contributed to the research conducted at OHCHR, Committee on Migrant Workers and at ILO, MIGRANT Department in Geneva. She also worked as a researcher at the Migration Research Centre at Koc University (MiReKoc) in various EU-funded projects. Currently her doctoral thesis is part of the project called ‘Social Transformation and international Migration in the 21st Century, directed by Prof Stephen Castles. During her candidature she held guest researcher fellowships from the Social Science Research Centre in Berlin (WZB) and the University of Bielefeld in Germany.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Primary: Prof. Stephen Castles
Auxiliary: Hon. Assoc. Christine Inglis
Commenced July 2010
Full or part time Full-time
Thesis topic Transforming Diaspora Movements: Alevis in Germany and Australia from Social Equality to a Transnational Religious Movement
Abstract The aim of my thesis is to explore two case studies (Alevis in Germany and Australia) to understand how different national contexts have provided opportunities (and constraints) for Alevis to struggle for recognition, and how they have re-shaped their practices and belief systems. By looking at the relationship between the institutionalisation of the diaspora and the social, political and legal orders of the countries they live, I argue that the Alevi diaspora activists who initially mobilized around cultural rights have gradually moved to construct a foundation of religious institutionalisation in both contexts due to changing structural conditions in Turkey and in their new countries.
Publications EDITED BOOKS
  • Castles, Stephen; Ozkul, Derya; Arias Cubas, Magdalena. (2015) Social Transformation and Migration: National and Local Experiences in South Korea, Turkey, Mexico and Australia. Basingstoke: Palgrave.


  • Eder, Mine and Ozkul, Derya. (Forthcoming in Fall 2016) Special issue on ‘Social Transformation and International Migration in Turkey’ [tentative title], New Perspectives on Turkey. (in preparation)
  • Ozkul, Derya and Obeng-Odoom, Franklin. (2013) Special issue on ‘Temporary Migration in Africa’, African Journal of Economics and Finance 5 (1).


  • Ozkul, Derya. (Forthcoming in 2016) ‘From Social Equality to a Transnational Religious Movement: The Alevi Diaspora in Germany and Australia’ in Hege Markussen and Besim Can Zırh (eds). Alevi Identity Revisited. Leiden: Brill. (in preparation)
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2015) ‘Alevi “Openings” and Politicization of the “Alevi Issue” during the AKP rule’, Turkish Studies, 16 (1): 1-17.
  • Castles, Stephen; Ozkul, Derya; Arias Cubas, Magdalena. (2015) ‘International migration in an era of neoliberal social transformation’ in Stephen Castles, Derya Ozkul and Magdalena Arias Cubas (eds) Social Transformation and Migration: National and Local Experiences in South Korea, Turkey, Mexico and Australia, Basingstoke: Palgrave., pp. 301-312.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (Forthcoming in 2015). ‘Australia’ in Gildas Simon (ed) Geo-historical Dictionary of International Migrations, Paris: Armand Colin. (in press)
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2015) ‘Australie’ in Gildas Simon (ed) Dictionnaire des Migrations Internationales: Approche Géohistorique. Paris: Armand Colin. [published in French]
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2015) ‘Migration flows in Turkey’s neoliberal era: the case of Kumkapı, Istanbul’ in Stephen Castles, Derya Ozkul and Magdalena Arias Cubas (eds) Social Transformation and Migration: National and Local Experiences in South Korea, Turkey, Mexico and Australia, Basingstoke: Palgrave., pp. 151-166.
  • Castles, Stephen and Ozkul, Derya. (2014) ‘Circular migration: triple win, or a new label for temporary migration?’ in Graziano Battistella (ed) Theoretical Perspectives on Asian Migration, New York: Springer Publishing., pp. 27-49.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2014) ‘Emotive connections: insider research with Turkish/Kurdish Alevi migrants in Germany’ in Lejla Voloder and Liudmila Kirpitchenko (eds) Insider Research on Migration and Mobility, London: Ashgate., pp. 117-132.
  • Castles, Stephen; Vasta, Ellie and Ozkul, Derya. (2014) ‘Australia: a Classical Immigration Country in Transition’ in J. Hollifield, P. Martin and P. Orrenius (eds) Controlling Immigration: A Global Perspective, 3rd Edition, Stanford CA: Stanford University Press., pp. 128-150.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2013) ‘International Migration and Local Policies’ in Marcela Balbo, Ahmet Icduygu and Julio Peres Serrano (eds) Countries of Migrants, Cities of Migrants: Italy, Spain, Turkey, Istanbul: The Isis Press.
  • Ozkul, Derya and Obeng-Odoom, Franklin (2013) ‘Temporary Migration: Views from the Global South’, African Journal of Economics and Finance 5 (1).
  • Castles, Stephen; Arias, Magdalena; Kim, Chulhyo and Ozkul, Derya. (2012) ‘Irregular migration: causes, patterns and strategies’ in Irena Omelaniuk (ed) Reflections on Migration and Development, GFMD Puerto Vallarta and Beyond Series: Global Migration Issues, Vol. 1, New York: Springer Publishing., pp. 117-151.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2012) ‘Managing the Diaspora: the Turkish Case’ in Jung-Eun OH (ed.), Diaspora as Focus Area of National Migration Policy, Seoul: IOM MRTC Special Issues in Migration Series No. 2., pp. 115-140.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2012) ‘Transnational Migration Research’, Sociopedia.isa. [The International Sociological Association’s dictionary].
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2012) ‘Ulus-ötesi Göç: Kuramsal Bir Değerlendirme [Transnational Migration: A Theoretical Evaluation]’ in Asli Sirin and Gulfer Ihlamur-Oner (eds) ‘Uluslararası Göçü Yeniden Düşünmek: Yeni Yaklaşım ve Yönelimler’ [Rethinking International Migration: New Approaches], Istanbul: Iletişim Yayınları., pp. 483-501. [published in Turkish]


  • Castles, Stephen; Vasta, Ellie and Ozkul, Derya. (2012) ‘The internal dynamics of migration processes and their consequences for Australian government migration policies’, Sydney: University of Sydney.
  • Castles, Stephen; Arias Cubas, Malena; Kim, Chulhyo; Koleth, Elsa; Ozkul, Derya; Williamson, Rebecca. (2012) ‘Social Transformation and Migration: Methodological Dilemmas’, Social Transformation and International Migration in the 21st Century Working Paper No 2, Sydney: University of Sydney.
  • Castles, Stephen; Arias Cubas, Malena; Kim, Chulhyo; Koleth, Elsa; Ozkul, Derya; Williamson, Rebecca. (2011) ‘Karl Polanyi and Understanding Social Transformation’, Social Transformation and International Migration in the 21st Century Working Paper No 1, Sydney: University of Sydney.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2011) ‘Circular Migration Schemes: Renewed Interests in Destination Countries’, CARIM Best Participant Essays Series AS 2011/61, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, San Domenico di Fiesole (FI): European University Institute.


  • Ozkul, Derya. (2012) The Politics of European Citizenship: Deepening Contradictions in Social Rights & Migration Policy, Peo Hansen and Sandy Brian Hager (Berghahn Books, 2010), Journal of European Social Policy, 22 (3), 332-333.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2011) Beyond a Border: The Causes and Consequences of Contemporary Immigration, Thomas Faist and Peter Kivisto (SAGE/Pine Forge Press, 2010), Journal of Sociology, 47 (2), 222-223.


  • Ozkul, Derya. (2015) ‘Racism and Precarious Work in Kumkapı, Istanbul’, presented at the International Workshop titled Social Transformation and International Migration in Turkey, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, 8-9 January 2015.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2014) ‘The Alevi Diaspora: A Comparative study of Germany and Australia’, presented at the International Conference titled Alevi Identity Revisited: Cultural, Religious, Social and Political Perspectives, Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, 21-22 February 2014.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2013) ‘Migration flows in Turkey’s neoliberal era: the case of Kumkapı, Istanbul’, presented at the International Workshop on Social Transformation and International Migration, University of Sydney, 22-23 August 2013.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2011) ‘The Changing Nation-State Policies for Diaspora: The Turkish Case’, presented at The Australian Sociological Association 2011 Conference, ‘Local Lives/Global Networks’, University of Newcastle, 28 November-1 December 2011.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2011) ‘Circular Migration in the European Union: The Recent Legislative Debates’, presented at the 60th British Sociological Association Conference, London School of Economics, 6-8 April 2011.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2011) ‘Circular Migration Schemes: Renewed Interests of the Destination Countries’, presented at NORFACE Migration Conference ‘Migration: Economic Change, Social Challenge’, University College of London, 6-8 April 2011.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2010) ‘Circular Migration: The new discourse of securitization’, presented at The Australian Sociological Association 2010 Conference, ‘Social Causes Private Lives’, Macquarie University, 6–9 December 2010.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2010) ‘Transnational Citizens in Borderlands’, presented at 6th CEU Conference in Social Sciences, ‘Social Science Perspectives on Global Transformations and Social Change’, Central European University, Hungary, 16-18 April 2010.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2009) ‘MIUM-TIE Process and the Findings’, presented at Conference on Managing International Urban Migration, Turkey-Italy-Spain, Koc University, Istanbul, 16 November 2009.
  • Ozkul, Derya. (2009) ‘Debating the Linkage between International Migration and Economic Crisis: Some Evidence from Turkey’, presented Conférence Internationale Impact des Crises sur la Migration, Ministere Chargée de la Communauté Marocaine Résidant A L’Etranger, Rabat, Morocco, 12-13 October 2009

Alexander Page
Alexander Page
Biography Alexander Page completed a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours, First Class) with a thesis titled Indigenous Peoples and the Settler-State in Twenty First Century Australia in 2012. His research focused on the dynamic between the Australian Settler-State and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activists/advocates in the regional city of Townsville, North Queensland. In 2014, Alex began his PhD in Sociology at the University of Sydney, with a focus on Aboriginal community organisations and their relationships with Australian government structures. Since 2013, he has undertaken academic teaching as both tutor and guest lecturer in sociology and socio-legal studies, receiving a Dean’s Citation for Excellence in Tutorials with Distinction from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in 2015. Alex is also the current Higher Degree by Research Representative for the School of Social and Political Sciences.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Primary: Dr. Deirdre Howard-Wagner (University of Sydney)
Auxiliary: Dr. Theresa Petray (James Cook University)
Auxiliary: Prof. Robert van Krieken (University of Sydney)
Commenced March, 2014
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Indigenous Agency, Service Delivery, and the Australian Settler-State
Abstract Alex’s current PhD research explores urban Aboriginal approaches to service delivery as resistance and reflexivity to structures and systems of Australian governmentality. This project seeks to understand the role of Indigenous institutions and organisations as mediators between state expectation and control on the one hand, and the needs of community on the other. Understanding such inter-relationships reveals the dynamics of power existing vertically and horizontally between the state, community organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
  • Page, A., & Petray, T. (2015). ‘Agency and Structural Constraints: Indigenous Peoples and the Australian Settler-State in North Queensland’. Settler Colonial Studies, doi: 10.1080/2201473X.2014.993057


  • Page, A. (2015). The Indigenous Sector: Social Capital on the Margins of Power. Proceedings of the Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference, James Cook University: Cairns, November 2015.
  • Page, A. (2015). The Australian Settler State, Indigenous Agency, and the Indigenous Sector. Proceedings of the Australian Political Science Association (APSA) Conference, University of Canberra: Canberra, September 2015.
  • Page, A. (2014). Taking on the Australian Settler-State: Sociology for Social Justice and a Critical Indigenous Research Paradigm. Proceedings of the Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference, University of South Australia: Adelaide, November 2014.
  • Page, A. (2013). Indigenous Peoples and the Settler-State in Twenty-First Century Australia: Exploring the Duality of Agency and the State in Townsville, North Queensland. Proceedings of the Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference, Monash University: Melbourne, November 2013.
  • Page, A., & Petray, T. (2012). The Dualism of Agency and the Australian Settler-State in the Twenty First Century. Proceedings of the Australian Sociological Association Conference (TASA), University of Queensland: Brisbane, November 2012.

Suraina Pasha
Suraina Pasha
Biography Prior degrees: LLB Laws (Honours) and LLM in International Human Rights Law (Distinction), both from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. I have been working full-time in the human rights field since 2002.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Professor Danielle Celermajer and Professor Michael Humphrey (co-supervision)
Commenced April 2013
Full or part time Part-time
Thesis topic (Working Title): The Response to Refugees in Jordan
Abstract This socio-legal study explores key concepts under international refugee law through historical analysis and insights gained from ethnographic fieldwork with providers of support to Syrian refugees in Jordan.
  • S.Pasha, The Role of National Human Rights Institutions in the Prevention of Torture, Essex Human Rights Review: Special Issue on Preventing Torture in the 21st Century, Vol 6 No 2, 2010.
  • S.Pasha, The Evolution of the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions Regional Training Programme, Human Rights Education in the Asia Pacific, Vol 2, 2011, HURIGHTS OSAKA.

Elsa Koleth
Biography Elsa is a member of the Social Transformation and International Migration (STIM) Project team at The University of Sydney. She has previously worked in the Australian Public Service and as a researcher in the Australian Parliament and NSW State Parliament. Elsa holds a BA Communications in Social Inquiry (Honours, First Class) and B Laws (Honours, First Class) from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Her broad research interests include: evolving forms of international migration, critical border studies, race, multiculturalism, citizenship, belonging, transnationalism and comparative approaches to belonging in settler colonial societies.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy
Supervisors Primary: Professor Stephen Castles
Auxiliary: Dr Sonja van Wichelen
Commenced January, 2011
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Temporary migration and the new politics of belonging in the multicultural settler state
Abstract Permanent migrant settlement was central to Australian nation-building in the twentieth century. However, in the twenty-first century temporary migration has rapidly become a defining feature of Australia’s immigration system. My thesis examines the way in which temporary migration is unsettling conceptions of belonging based on multicultural citizenship in the settler colonial state and serving as a technology of racial biopolitics in the management of new stranger subjects in the multicultural polity. It utilises a comparative case study of temporary migration in Canada to conceptualise the role of temporary migration and multiculturalism in making and re-making the borders of the nation. Through an empirical case study of Indian migrants in Australia the thesis examines how temporary migration is shaping the experiences of migrants, and how migrants are navigating through the global and national structures they encounter to construct hopeful futures.
  • Koleth, E. (2015) ‘Multiculturalism at the margins of global Sydney: cacophonous diversity in Fairfield, Australia’ in Castles, S., Ozkul, D. and Arias Cubas, M. (Eds.) (2015) Social Transformation and Migration: National and Local Experiences in South Korea, Turkey, Mexico and Australia (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Koleth, E. ‘A decade of state multiculturalism: NSW and Victoria’, in A Jakubowicz and C Ho (eds.) (2013) ‘For those who’ve come across the seas...’: Australian Multicultural Theory, Policy and Practice, (North Melbourne, Victoria: Australian Scholarly Publishing)
  • Koleth, E. ‘Stranger Politics for a Transient Time’, in Strangers, Aliens, Foreigners, 4th Global Conference, Oxford: Interdisciplinary Press (forthcoming).
  • Koleth, E. (2013) ‘Workshop with Professor Michael Burawoy: Global Sociology’, Nexus, March, 21.
  • Shin, J. J., Yuk, J., Kim, C., Shin, Y., Park, D., Williamson, R. and Koleth, E. (2012) An International Comparative Study of Migration Policy: With Focus on Current Debates on Multiculturalism Policy. IOM MRTC Research Report Series, No. 2011-08. Goyang-si, Republic of Korea: IOM Migration Research and Training Centre (in Korean).
  • Koleth, E. and Williamson, R. (2014) Temporary Migration and Social Transformation in Global Sydney. Working Paper (forthcoming).
  • Castles, S., Arias Cubas, M., Kim, C., Koleth, E., Ozkul, D. & Williamson, R. (2011) ‘Karl Polanyi’s Great Transformation as a Framework for Understanding Neo-Liberal Globalisation’, Working Paper 1, Social Transformation and International Migration Project, University of Sydney.
  • Castles, S., Arias Cubas, M., Kim, C., Koleth, E., Ozkul, D. and Williamson, R. Forthcoming. ‘Methodological Dilemmas in Migration and Social Transformation Research: Overcoming ‘Northern’ Epistemology and Exploring A Multi-Scalar Approach’, Social Transformation and International Migration in the 21st Century Working Paper No 3., Sydney: The University of Sydney.
  • Koleth, E. (2010) Multiculturalism: a review of Australian policy statements and recent debates in Australia and overseas, Research paper no. 6, 2010-2011, Australian Parliamentary Library, Canberra.
  • Koleth, E (2010) Overseas Students: immigration policy changes 1997-May 2010, Background Note, Australian Parliamentary Library, Canberra.
  • Koleth, E. (2011) Population Issues for Sydney and NSW: policy frameworks and responses, Briefing Paper 5/2011, NSW Parliamentary Library, Sydney.

Michelle Peterie
Michelle Peterie
Biography Michelle is a social researcher and aspiring radio-documentary maker. She holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts and a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies with first-class honours. In 2014 Michelle was awarded an APA scholarship to complete her PhD in Sociology.

Michelle’s doctoral research concerns the experiences of volunteers who provide friendship and social support to refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. She is particularly interested in the relationship between personal care and political action, and in the emotional experience of visiting detained asylum seekers.

In addition to her doctoral studies, Michelle works as a Research Assistant in the University of Sydney’s Department of Government and International Relations; in the University of Wollongong’s School of Humanities and Social Inquiry; and in the University of New England's School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences. She also guest lectures in the University of Sydney's Human Rights program.

Michelle is an active member of the Australian Political Studies Association (APSA), the Contemporary Emotions Research Network (CERN), and the Australian Sociological Association (TASA). From 2017 she will be a co-convener of TASA's Emotions and Affect Thematic Group.

Degree PhD
Supervisors Dr Susan Banki and Prof Stephen Castles
Commenced March 2014
Full or part time Full-time
Thesis topic Institutionalised Trauma in Australia’s Onshore Immigration Detention Network
Abstract Michelle’s thesis is based on interviews with volunteers who visit asylum seekers in Australia’s onshore immigration detention network. A recurring theme in these testimonies concerns the opaque and arbitrary exercise of power within the facilities.

Interviewees describe immigration detention as a Kafkaesque scheme of constantly shifting permissions and prohibitions; a world in which unpredictable rules dictate the minute details of asylum seekers’ lives. Volunteers also suggest that larger disruptions – including the forced relocation of asylum seekers within the detention network – are common and have a significant impact on the asylum seekers and volunteers alike.

The thesis demonstrates that these controls and disruptions function to undermine networks of resistance and support, to breed anxiety and fear, and (even when overt force or threats are not involved) to communicate the Department’s power over the lives and bodies of the asylum seekers in question.

Drawing upon research from the sociology (and social-psychology) of emotion, the thesis ultimately argues that Australia’s onshore immigration detention network utilises technologies of disempowerment and disruption, and should thus be seen as a system of institutionalised trauma.

Publications Conference Papers

  • PETERIE. Michelle. ‘“They Were Broken”: Creating Helplessness and Docility in Australian Immigration Detention’. First International Conference on Contemporary and Historical Approaches to Emotions. The University of Wollongong, Sydney CBD Campus. 5-7 December 2016.

  • PETERIE, Michelle. ‘The Agonising Position of Witness: Volunteers, Trauma and Australia’s Onshore Immigration Detention Network’. The Australian Sociological Association Conference 2016. Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy Campus. 28 November-1 December 2016.

  • PATULNY, Roger, SEAMAN, Claire, RAMIA, Gaby, MARSTON, Greg, and PETERIE, Michelle. ‘Many, Weak, Instrumental, Work-ties? What Sort of Personal Networks Help Us Find Jobs?’ The Australian Sociological Association Conference 2016. Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy Campus. 28 November-1 December 2016.
  • PETERIE. Michelle. ‘Technologies of Disempowerment: Institutionalised Trauma in Australia’s Detention Network’. The Australian Political Studies Association Conference 2016. University of NSW, Kensington Campus. 26-28 September 2016.

  • PETERIE, Michelle. ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Discourses of Compassion in Australia’s Asylum Seeker Debate’. The Australian Sociological Association Conference 2015. James Cook University, Cairns. 23-26 November 2015.

  • PETERIE, Michelle. ‘“These Few Small Boats”: Asylum Seeker Discourses of Australia's 1977 and 2001 Liberal Governments’. Boat People: The Long History of Immigration in Australia Conference. Western Sydney University, Parramatta Campus. 12-13 June 2014

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • PETERIE, Michelle (2016) ‘“These Few Small Boats”: Representations of Asylum Seekers during Australia’s 1977 & 2001 Elections’. Journal of Australian Studies. Volume 40, Issue 4. Pp. 431-445.

Ly Phan
Ly Phan
Biography Ly Phan is currently a PhD Candidate at the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney. She holds a Bachelor degree in Vietnam and a Master degree from the University of Washington, United States, both in Sociology. Before continuing her PhD education, she had been working as a researcher at the Institute of Sociology in Vietnam. She is also an Endeavour Postgraduate Award holder and a Harvard-Yenching alumna.

Ly’s research interests include demography, gender equality, population, migration and urbanization in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. She is working on her thesis, “Women’s Empowerment and Fertility Preference in Southeast Asia”, which focuses on how women’s empowerment indicators affect their fertility preference, and consequently to the amazing fertility decline in Southeast Asia.

Degree PhD
Supervisors Assoc. Prof. Salvatore Babones
Dr. Gyu-Jin Hwang
Commenced 2012
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Women’s Empowerment and Fertility Preferences in Southeast Asia
Abstract The empowerment of women has been viewed as one of the key indicators in social development. Despite decades of standing in the literature, the concept and measurement of women’s empowerment has not reached a consensus. This study examines how women’s empowerment affects the fertility preference of women in four countries in Southeast Asia including Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines and East Timor using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys.

First, micro data from these four countries are utilized to create measurement models for women’s empowerment concept. Other studies have suggested different ways to measure women’s empowerment, this study proposes an index to measure women’s empowerment using principal axis factoring with micro data from the Demographic and Health Surveys of four Southeast Asian countries. Indicators in women’s education, labor force participation, contraceptives use and household decision-making are operationalized to measure empowerment score of individual woman.

Second, women’s empowerment factors are theorized to have effects on their fertility preference, measured by the ideal number of children and the ideal number of sons. Regression results from OLS, Poisson and ordered logit models show that fertility preference is influenced by different women’s empowerment factors in each of the four countries of study. After controlling for background characteristics of the woman and her husband, it is expected that education factor and household decision-making factor has consistent negative impacts on fertility preference, while factor of labor force participation has a balancing effect on fertility preference to keep it at not too high or not too low levels.

  • Phan, Ly (2015). Measuring Women's Empowerment at Household Level Using DHS Data of Four Southeast Asian Countries, Social Indicators Research 120 (3): 1-20.
  • Phan, Ly. (2014). Internal Migration and the Renovation-era Fertility Decline in Vietnam, Population Review 53(1): 1-18.
  • Phan, Ly (2014). Gender Systems and the Very-Low Fertility: A Review of Japan and two Mediterranean countries and Implications for Vietnam, Sociology 1(2): 39-53 (Institute of Sociology – Vietnam).
  • Phan, Ly (2013). Women’s Empowerment and Fertility Change, International Journal of Sociology of the Family 39(1-2): 49-75.
  • Phan, Ly (2008). Gender and Opinions about Sexuality, pp. 347-370 (book chapter). In Trinh Duy Luan, Helle Rydstrom, Wil Burghhoorn (eds.), Rural Families in Transitional Vietnam. Hanoi. Hanoi Social Sciences Publishing House.
  • Phan, Ly & Trinh Thai Quang (2006). Some Remarks on Internal Migrants in a Mountainous Commune in Vietnam. Vietnamese Sociological Review 3: 73-78

Bobby Quinn
Bobby Quinn
Biography Bobby Quinn completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at the University of Western Australia in 2006.
Degree PhD
Supervisors A/P Catriona Elder; D Greg Martin
Commenced Semester 2 2010
Full or part time Part-time
Thesis topic The Post-Divorce Child: The Role of the Child as Figural Body
Abstract The objective of this research is to examine the figuration of the post-divorce child and identify its significance in making wider cultural claims. I propose that the dominant way the child appears in representations of divorce is as ‘victim’ and that this figuration is used to construct divorce as a threat to society. By looking at several sites through which the post-divorce child is figured, such as Australian Family Law, I ask how this figuration is utilised in the social construction of divorce.

Wuna Reilly
Wuna Reilly
Biography Wuna Reilly received her undergraduate education in Beijing and Washington DC, in the fields of education, finance and accounting. She received her MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Her career has included education, rural development, international cooperation and an extended period working as a development officer for NGOs in different countries. She is pursuing her interests in academic research in the areas of rural development and state-society relations.

Her research interests include rural land system, public policy, public finance and comparative state welfare.

Degree DocSocSci
Supervisors Supervisor: Dr. Gyu-Jin Hwang
Associate supervisor: Dr. David Bray
Commenced 2013
Full or part time Full-time
Thesis topic Chinese Rural Land System and State Welfare Regime
Abstract In China, most farmland cannot be bought or sold. Farms are held collectively, and allocated to individual families. My dissertation explores how this system shapes relations between the Chinese state and its 900 million rural residents. I first examine the Chinese state’s role in forming the rural land system, including the system’s history, and national level public policy, public finance, and taxation. I then compare three regions of China via case studies, examining how rural residents respond to and utilize the system.
Publications and Presentations
  • “Educating for Peace on the Korean Peninsula.” Presented at: “The Tasks of Peace Education in Asia and the Role of Religions,” November, 2009, Seoul, Korea.
  • “Agricultural Technology Dissemination Handbook for the Initial Stages of Rice-Planting in DPRK” in 2009 International Conference on Humanitarian and Development Assistance to DPRK (conference publication), Seoul, Korea.
  • “China’s Corporate Engagement in Africa,” in Africa in China’s Global Strategy, ed. Kittssou (London: Adonis and Abbey, 2007)
  • “Three Generations of North Korean and Chinese Leaders,” The Lowy Institute for International Policy, 28 September 2011.

Jessica Richards
Jessica Richards
Biography Jessica’s research interests broadly focus on the sociology of sport, with a particular emphasis on sport fandom and spatial geography. After graduating from the University of Sydney with a B.A (Hons), she was awarded an Australian Post-Graduate Award to pursue further study in the field of sport sociology. Following work experience at a research agency, Jessica is now working full-time on her PhD, and is currently living between England and Australia. In Australia, she tutors in the Sociology and Social Policy department at the University of Sydney. In England, Jessica works as a Honorary PhD Student in the Management School at the University of Liverpool.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Fiona Gill; David Bray
Commenced March 2012
Full or part time Full-time
Thesis topic Oh The Places You’ll Go: A Cross Comparative Study of Sport Fandom in Australia and England.
Abstract This project examines the motivations and behaviour of sport fans of four sporting teams in England and Australia. It explores how fan identification takes its form; and the role of the sport stadium and local community in the creation of a sport teams narrative. It seeks to understand how sport fans identify with themselves and others inside sporting locations; and how sporting spaces can both encourage and restrict certain types of spectator behaviour. Data for this study is currently being generated in Australia and England, through the ethnographic methods of participant observation, in-depth interviews and visual mapping.
  • Which Player Do You Fancy Then?’ Locating the Female Ethnographer in the Field of The Sociology of Sport (forthcoming), Soccer and Society.
  • ‘Geographies of Gender’ (2014), Guest lecture for Sport, Crime and Society, February, Liverpool John Moores University, England
  • ‘Finessing Fandom’: How Female Fans Map Their Match Day Experience (2014), The British Society of Sports History Gender, Sport and Leisure Symposium, January, DeMontfort University, England.
  • ‘Ethnographic Methods in Sport Fan Research’: Critical insights into Covert and Overt Research Methodology [with Dr. Geoff Pearson, University of Liverpool] (2013), Research Seminar Series, November, University of Edge Hill, England.
  • ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go:’ A Comparative Study of Sports Spectatorship in England and Australia’ (2013), in Football and Communities Across Codes (pp. 71-83) Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press
  • ‘Which Player Do You Fancy Then?’ The Female Ethnographer in Football (2013), paper presented at the Football 150 Conference, 2-4 September, National Football Museum Manchester, England
  • ‘It’s The Journey Not The Destination That Counts’: Meaning and the Match Day Routine of Sport Fans in Australia and England (2013), paper presented at the 8th Annual Liverpool Symposium on Current Developments in Ethnographic Research in the Social and Management Sciences, 28th – 30th August 2013, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’: A Comparative Study of Sport Spectatorship in England and Australia (2013) paper presented at 1st Football and Communities Across Codes Conference, Monday 4th February -Wednesday 6th February, Sydney, Australia
  • ‘Value in Variety’: Conceptualising Football Fans (2012) paper presented at the Research Seminar Series, 28 November, University of Bedfordshire, England.
  • ‘Sporting Places, Sporting Spaces’ (2012) paper presented at the Ethnography Knowledge Platform, 15 November, University of Liverpool, England.
  • Hamilton, R. & Richards, J. (2010) Odds and Evens: Two Studies in Historiography for Extension History, Teaching History, 44, 1, 11-15.

Richard Schweizer
Richard Schweizer
Biography I am a student and tutor at Sydney University. My past-times include presenting a radio show, playing music and Australian politics.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Dr Melinda Cooper and Dr Catherine Waldby
Commenced July 2009
Full or part time Part-time
Thesis topic Identity re-formation and maintenance in people diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Abstract Twelve people diagnosed with schizophrenia were interviewed on the topics of identity disruption, re-formation and maintenance. Results were analysed through a number of theoretical lenses, including Goffman’s treatment of the stigma, Mead’ and Blumer’s theory of Symbolic Interaction, Bury’s concept of biographical disruption, as well as the work of Foucault and Rose. Emergent themes include the importance of medication; symbolic interactions with family, friends and community; life management; the impact of isolation; and changing power relations in a context characterised by deinstitutionalisation and the power of psycho-pharmaceutical companies.

Jeremy Simpson
Jeremy Simpson
Biography Born in New Zealand; dual New Zealand/Australian citizen. Resident in Australia. Holder of a Bachelor of Social Science with High Distinction in Sociology and Philosophy and First Class Honours in Sociology. Member of The Australian Sociological Association. Instructor in sociology as lecturer and unit coordinator. Educational researcher in addition to research for PhD. Ex-advisor to the Ministry of Education, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Primary: Assoc. Prof. Fran Collyer
Auxiliary: Assoc. Prof. Salvatore Babones
Commenced March 2010
Full or part time Part-time
Thesis topic Sociology of risk as relating to risk-management in stabilisation operations (case study Afghanistan).
Abstract The thesis proceeds from a critique of the ‘risk society’ position of Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens, applying the critical sociology of knowledge position of Pierre Bourdieu. This critique focuses on the lack of empirical support for ‘risk society’, difficulties of operationalization or testing through empirical research, lack of utility for differentiation between social locations, and specificity of the position to a particular global class location. From this theoretical ‘break’ the study proceeds to an account of empirical conditions of risk in a ‘high-risk’ setting, based on field research in Afghanistan, utilising Bourdieu’s methodology and method of analysis, and focusing on strategies of risk-management on the part of intervening institutions. This provides a means of testing the ‘risk society’ thesis against actual conditions of risk and actual social action addressed to risk. The intention is to arrive at some preliminary findings regarding the principles structuring risk management strategies, and their relation to social location, as a basis for ongoing research on responses to risk in the Afghan case and in parallel cases.
  • Simpson, J. (2015) ‘Risk Management Responses to Armed Non-State Actor Risk in Afghanistan’ in Non-state armed groups in national and international politics, special issue of International Review of Social Research, (5) 2.
  • Simpson J. (2012) 'The Externalisation of Risk and The Enclavisation of Intervention in Afghanistan' in A. Broom and L. Cheshire (eds) Emerging and Enduring Inequalities: 2012 Refereed Conference Proceedings of The Australian Sociological Association. The University of Queensland/TASA: Brisbane. Winner of a TASA postgraduate scholarship for 2012. Qualifies as HERDC conference publication – full paper refereed (E1).
  • Simpson, J. (2012) 'Stabilisation Operations and Structural Instability in the Contemporary World-System' in Chase-Dunn, C. and Babones, S. (eds) Routledge Handbook of World-Systems Analysis. Routledge: New York.
  • Simpson, J. (2010) 'Beyond 'Peacekeeping': Re-theorising the Legitimacy of Present Practice in Transnational Paramilitary Intervention' in Velayutham S., Ebert N. and Watkins S. (eds) Social Causes, Private Lives: 2010 Refereed Conference Proceedings of The Australian Sociological Association. TASA: Sydney. Qualifies as HERDC conference publication – full paper refereed (E1).

Polina Smiragina
Polina Smiragina
Biography MA Degree from the University of Gothenburg (2012) with a thesis on Male Victims of Human Trafficking: attitudes and approaches of anti-trafficking actors and a Specialist Degree (MA equivalent) from Moscow State University (2009).

Worked as a migrant counsellor and reintegration assistant at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) mission in Moscow (2012-2014).

Areas of interest: human trafficking, male trafficking, labour migration, forced labour and victimization.

Degree PhD Candidate
Supervisors Nicola Piper
Commenced March 2014
Full or part time Full-time
Thesis topic The Invisibility of Male Victims of Human Trafficking: Causes and Consequences
Abstract The Invisibility of Male Victims of Human Trafficking: Causes and Consequences focuses on obtaining detailed qualitative data on the reasons for and outcomes of the invisibility of male victims of human trafficking by means of conducting semi-structured interviews followed by a thorough data analysis using the grounded theory method integrated with Pierre Bourdieu’s “cultural capital”, concepts of men, masculinities, victimization and victimhood. This research addresses the types of exploitation men are subjected to, programs and policies designed specifically at assisting men and boys who have become victims of human trafficking, the assistance provided to male victims of human trafficking and how the international criminal justice system and the criminal justice system of the Russian Federation respond to male trafficking. In the long run this research should serve to highlight the instance of male trafficking as a genuine challenge to contemporary society.
  • Smiragina, Polina (2015). The Invisibility of Male Victims of Human Trafficking, NEXUS Newsletter of the Australian Sociological Association, V. 27(1) Mar 2015, pp. 39-40
  • Smiragina P.A. (2013). Human Trafficking, Forced Labor and Labor Exploitation, Migration Bridges in Eurasia. V International Conference: Labour Migration in the Russian Federation: The Prevention of Forced Labour, the Promotion of Social-Economical Development, Improvement Regulation, Moscow: RAS. pp. 229-232

Lyndel Spence
Lyndel Spence
Biography From 2008- 2010 Lyndel completed a Bachelor of International Global Studies at the University of Sydney, majoring in sociology.

She was instantly drawn to sociology as a discipline. She became particularly captivated by sociological theory, both classical and contemporary, and in 2009 she was honoured to receive the Raewyn Connell Prize in Social Theory. In 2010 she embarked upon an exchange to McGill University in Montreal, Canada, with the aid of two university exchange scholarships. In 2011 she completed her Honours dissertation entitled “A God of One’s Own?: Modernising Durkheim and the Sociology of Religion”. Her thesis interrogated Durkheim’s hyper-social view of religion and argued that his conception of religion as a communal conduit to social cohesion may need to be supplanted by a more individualized and personalized view of religion. She was subsequently the recipient of the 2011 TASA Honours Student Award.

In 2012 she commenced her PhD candidature at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Dr. Laura Beth Bugg and Dr. Catriona Elder. Her thesis is an critical interrogation of gender, social justice and detraditionalisation within religion, explored through the empirical lens of the female ordination movement within the Catholic Church.

Lyndel has worked collaboratively on the development of Henslin et al, Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach, 2e. Lyndel has presented at many conferences, including at the International Congress of Sociology in Yokohama, Japan. Lyndel has also taught extensively both in sociology and in international and global studies. She has recently coordinated and lectured a unit on globalization and culture. Her core research interests are religion, community, resistance, globalisation, social justice, human rights, identity and gender and she maintains a keen interest in both classical and contemporary social theory.

Degree PhD
Supervisors Bronwyn Winter (Primary) and Catriona Elder (Auxiliary)
Commenced March, 2012
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Breaking the Stained Glass Ceiling: Resistance, Renewal and Revitalisation in the Female Ordination Movement
Abstract The female ordination movement within the Catholic Church is a dynamic and forceful example of the paradoxical binary of institutional oppression and individual liberation operating within the contemporary religious sphere. Proponents of this movement are seeking justice and gender equality in the face of systematic patriarchal oppression within the Catholic Church. This radical and pioneering international movement is struggling for recognition as a legitimate religious formation as it campaigns for a more inclusive and accountable Catholic Church. The female ordination movement thereby provides a fertile conduit for examining how religion can both oppress individual freedoms and also be used to mobilise political, social and spiritual liberation from institutional disempowerment.

This study will explore the intersection of this movement’s commitment to gender equality with other social justice oriented concerns such as LGBTIQ rights, race and racism, and social welfare for the poor. The female ordination movement is thereby constructed as firmly rooted in social justice principles with an ideological devotion to inclusion, equality, emancipation and empowerment. In pursuit of these aims, proponents of this movement have initiated complex and vibrant modes of resistance to traditional teachings and practices of the Catholic Church. Their aim is to contest the Catholic hierarchy, by providing revitalised and revised practices in inclusive and progressive Catholic communities. Semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observations of three such communities in North America were analysed using narrative analysis and ritual analysis. This research revealed the depth and intricacy of this movement’s actions, as they seek to engender a renewed vision of religious participation in a community of equals.

  • “Between Oppression and Liberation: The Female Ordination Movement and its Use of Social Media” (2014) International Congress of Sociology, July, Japan.
  • “Digitizing Resistance in the Religious Landscape: Media and Mobilisation in the Female Ordination Movement” (2013) Higher Degree by Research Symposium, November, University of Sydney, Australia.
  • “Enchantment with the Disenchanted: Methodological Issues in Studying the Female Ordination Movement” (2014) Researching Gender in Religious Communities: Challenges and Solutions Symposium, November, University of Western Sydney Religion and Society Research Centre.
  • “Forging Webs of Connection on the Web: The Female Ordination Movement and its Use of Social Media” (2013) The Australian Association for the Study of Religion Annual Conference, August, University of South Australia, Australia.
  • “Out With The Old, In With the Women: The Female Ordination’s Movement Detraditionalisation of Patriarchal Governance Structures Within the Catholic Church” (2014) The Australian Association for the Study of Religion Annual Conference, November, Deakin University, Australia.

Kirstin Wilmot
Kirstin Wilmot
Biography Originally from South Africa, Kirstin holds a Master of Philosophy in Theoretical Linguistics from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and a Master of Arts in Sociolinguistics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Due to her keen interest in the dialogical relationship between language and knowledge, particularly in terms of access to powerful knowledge in higher education spaces, Kirstin’s current interest lies in the Sociology of (Higher) Education. This prompted the move to study under A/Prof Karl Maton in 2015, with the aid of a University of Sydney International Research Scholarship. Coming from a complex society such as South Africa, Kirstin sees her PhD research as a way in which to contribute to social redress in this context, particularly in terms of epistemological access in higher education, as well as contributing to understandings of powerful knowledge in doctoral education more generally.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Primary: Associate Professor Karl Maton
Auxiliary: Professor Chrissie Boughey (Rhodes University, South Africa)
Commenced July 2015
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Enacting knowledge in dissertations: a Legitimation Code Theory analysis of doctoral writing
Abstract This research addresses the increasingly prevalent, global higher education problem of high PhD attrition rates. The intellectual expectations at the PhD level – going beyond demonstrating knowledge of a discipline to working with discipline knowledge, challenging it, and extending it, in the building of new knowledge – often presents a difficult shift for many students to make. Ways of representing knowledge, with the written genre persisting as the primary means of assessment in higher education, epitomises this transition gap. This has been further fuelled by the massification of higher education internationally, and the linguistic and cultural diversity that has characterised such. Using Legitimation Code Theory, a multidimensional theoretical approach grounded in social justice and knowledge-building issues, the research seeks to understand how knowledge is enacted in academic writing at the doctoral level. In so doing, the research aims to make the writing component of doctoral education more explicit, revealing the basis of achievement in different subject areas in terms of desired knowledge practices, as well as uncovering what kind of student is privileged in this space. By making the knowledge practices, as enacted in writing, more explicit, this aspect of doctoral education can become a more ‘teachable’ component, opening up access to more students at this academically elite level.


  • Wilmot, K. (2016) Designing writing groups to support postgraduate students’ academic writing: a case study from a South African university. Innovations in Education and Teaching International.
  • Wilmot, K. (2015) Providing ‘auxiliary’ academic writing support to postgraduate students: a socio-cultural approach. Journal for Language Teaching, 49:2. pp. 129–147.
  • Wilmot, K. (2014). “Coconuts” and the middle-class: identity change and the emergence of a new prestigious English variety in South Africa. English World-Wide: A Journal of Varieties of English, 35:3. pp. 306–337.

Conference Papers

  • Wilmot, K. (2015). Knowledge practices in PhD research: using LCT to understand ‘high order transfers’. Legitimation Code Theory International Colloquium 1, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Wilmot, K. (2015). Postgraduate writing support: an initial review to inform the development of an approach for supporting postgraduate studies at Rhodes University. Postgraduate Supervision Conference, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
  • Wilmot, K. (2014). ‘Coconut’ South African English? The emergence of a deracialised, prestigious, urban English variety. English Language and Linguistics Joint Annual Conference, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Wilmot, K. (2012). South African “coconuts”: the emergence of a new black urban middle-class identity and speech variety. Sociolinguistics Symposium 19, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany.
  • Wilmot, K. (2011). “You know you go to Rome, you do as the Romans do”: Understanding socio-cultural and phonetic change in former white-only South African schools. English Language and Linguistics Joint Annual Conference, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.

Ariel Spigelman
Ariel Spigelman
Biography Ariel was born in Sydney and moved to the UK when he was 11, where he completed high school and his undergraduate degree at University College London. In 2008 he returned to Australia to study for a Masters in Cross-cultural Communication at the University of Sydney.

Ariel has over a decade of social and market research industry experience, in particular working with the public and non-profit sectors and using quantitative survey methodology. He is a Full Member of the Australian Market and Social Research Society, as well as a Full Member of the UK Market Research Society.

Ariel currently serves as Vice President of the Management Committee of the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS), a leader in non-profit representation and casework management of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia, and also served for three years as a Trustee on the board of Asylum Aid, a charity in the UK providing free legal advice, support and representation to asylum seekers.

Degree PhD
Supervisors Salvatore Babones; Stephen Castles
Commenced 2012
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Modelling international migration intentions in 21st-Century South America
Abstract The purpose of this study is to account for the structural and individual social, political, cultural and economic correlates of international migration intentions, and attempt to model them in a formal framework. It will do this through a statistical analysis of several waves of repeated cross-section questionnaire data taken from the ‘Latinobarómetro’, an annual household survey programme conducted across Latin America. Due to the pre-existence of a large volume of scholarship on migration in Central America (and in particular, on the Mexico-USA migration corridor, the busiest in the world), this study will focus on the countries of mainland continental South America (excluding the Guianas): Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. In addition, building on the statistical insights derived from the survey data, the study will attempt to operationalise a model of macro-level migration intentions through a computational agent-based simulation.
  • Spigelman, A. (2013). The depiction of Polish migrants in the United Kingdom by the British press after Poland’s accession to the European Union, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 33(1/2)

Mathew Toll
Mathew Toll
Biography Mathew Toll has a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and political economy with Honours from the University of Sydney. His honours research was awarded first class and concerned University students’ perceptions of knowledge and knowledge claims. Since 2014 Mathew has engaged in academic teaching and tutoring for the Department of Sociology and Social Policy.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Primary: Associate Professor Karl Maton
Commenced March 2014
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Legitimacy and the Internet: Climate Sceptics’ Construction of Knowledge on Social Media Networks.
Abstract This thesis is an exploration of climate change scepticism on social media networks. Advocates of science communication were initially optimistic that the internet would provide a platform to share scientific research and increase the public’s level of scientific literacy. Much of this optimism was predicated on a ‘deficit model’ of science communication, holding that the misunderstanding or rejection of science was due to a lack of information. The internet, the ‘information highway’, would overcome this ‘deficit’ contributing to a greater understanding and acceptance of science. Yet the internet has been implicated in the circulation of various forms of science denialism or characterised as a site of alternative knowledge production that challenges the legitimacy of the scientific establishment. Researchers on the acceptance of climate change have continually pointed to the internet as an important source of misinformation; but empirical investigation of how climate sceptics construe knowledge and maintained their position in an information rich environment remains minimal. Social network analysis of blogs and corpus-assisted discourse analysis of blog posts and reader comments is employed to explore the cosmologies (worldviews) of climate sceptics and how they construe ideal knowers and legitimate knowledge on the internet.


  • Toll, M. (2014), “Discerning Knowers: Exploring University Students’ Perceptions of Knowledge Claims”, The Australian Sociological Association Conference Proceedings, University of South Australia, Adelaide, November 24- 27.


  • Toll, M. (2015), “Climate Sceptic Bloggers and “Mike’s Nature Trick”: Using Legitimation Code Theory to Analyse the Knowledge Practices of the ‘Climategate’ Controversy”, SPSS Postgraduate Research Day, University of Sydney, Australia, November 4th.
  • Toll, M. (2015) Theorizing Digital Social Networks and The Problem of Knowledge-blindness: The case of The Climate Sceptic Blogosphere, Theorizing Digital Society, University of Canberra, Australia, September 14th.
  • Toll, M. (2015), “Different Types of Legitimacy’: University Students’ Recognition of the Organizing principles of Knowledge”, First Legitimation Code Theory Colloquium, Cape Town, South Africa, June 18-19.

Hugh Tuckfield
Hugh Tuckfield
Biography Hugh holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University; and a Master in Human Rights & Democratisation (Asia Pacific Region) from the University of Sydney. His Masters thesis topic examined the influence of the US anti-human trafficking legislation on Nepal, a country widely recognised as a major source country of trafficking.

In 2013 and 2014 Hugh lived in Nepal and was a visiting lecturer in Refugee Studies and Professional Legal English at the Kathmandu School of Law and acted as a Presiding ICC Judge in the Henry Dunant Moot Court Competition. During this time Hugh was a consultant to the UN and several international NGOs and an advisor to the Nepali NGO, the Subaltern Forum. He also worked on anti human trafficking projects targeting orphanages and children’s homes in Nepal; and engaged in advocacy for the rights of urban refugees in Nepal seeking resettlement in Australia. In 2014 Hugh travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh where for two months he and his partner documented the lives of Dhaka’s climate change refugees and the Stranded Pakistanis in Camp Geneva.

Hugh is a member of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights and a founding member of the Institute of Human Rights and Democratisation at the Kathmandu School of Law. He has been admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Degree PhD
Supervisors Dr Susan Banki
Professor Nicola Piper
Commenced January 2014
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Protracted Refugee Situations in Nepal and Bangladesh: A Comparative Analysis of the Tibetans, the Bhutanese, the Rhohingya and the Stranded Pakistanis.
Abstract The research is focused on four populations of refugee and stateless persons situated in Nepal and Bangladesh. In Nepal it includes the Tibetans and the Bhutanese; and in Bangladesh it includes the Rohingya from Myanmar and the Urdu speaking stranded Pakistanis.

All four groups have been living under their respective status as refugees and or stateless for protracted periods of time. The Urdu speaking stranded Pakistanis (the ‘Besieged’ or the ‘Bihari’) have been held captive in camps in Bangladesh since the end of the War of Liberation in 1971; the Rohingya from Myanmar have been languishing in refugee camps in Bangladesh for over 20 years; the Tibetans have been in settlements in Nepal since the early 1950s; and the Bhutanese spent over 20 years as refugees in Nepal until being offered resettlement in 2007 onwards.

In the context of these four populations, the research seeks to:

  1. Compare and explain Nepal and Bangladesh’s restrictive policies directed at migrants, refugees and stateless persons.
  2. Explain the actions of international and domestic actors as they relate to migrants, refugees and stateless persons.
  3. Explain why the Bhutanese refugees have been resettled while no durable solutions have been created for the remaining three populations.
Publications Articles Published
  • Tuckfield, H.S. (2014). ‘Australia’s Troubling Asylum Seeker Policy’, Diplomat Magazine, (February 18)
  • Tuckfield, H.S. (2013). ‘The Transfer of Asylum Seekers in Australia to Third Countries – A Critical and Emerging Human Rights Issue – The Application of Human Rights Standards, Norms and Mechanisms’, Kathmandu School of Law Review, Vol.2 2013
  • Tuckfield, H.S. (2013). ‘Reality or Perception’, Op-Ed, Kathmandu Post, (May 7)
  • Tuckfield, H.S. (2013). ‘Bhutan's Refugees Keep Their Heads Above Water’, New Matilda, (September 27)
Seminars/Conferences Presented
  • Tuckfield, H.S. (2014). ‘The Ethics and Utility of Photojournalism in Reporting Human Rights Violations’, ARTS//MATTER, Conference UNSW, School of the Arts and Media (SAM), Sydney (Invited)
  • Tuckfield, H.S. (2014). ‘The Transfer of Asylum Seekers to Third Countries: Human Rights Norms, Standards & Mechanisms - Critical & Emerging Issues in Australia’, Conference, Kathmandu School of Law, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Tuckfield, H.S. (2013). ‘The Process of Democratisation in Nepal’, Nepal’s Subaltern Forum Youth Leadership Program, Conference, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Tuckfield, H.S. (2013). ‘The 1951 Refugee Convention and Nepal - Should Nepal Accede to the 1951 Convention?’ Kathmandu School of Law Economic Social and Development Rights Conference, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Tuckfield, H.S. (2013). ‘Freedom of Expression’, Martin Chautari Research and Policy Institute/LASANA, Conference/Workshop, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Research Team Member of University of Sydney Institute of Human Rights & Democratisation: Two-Day Workshop in Damak, Nepal: ‘Resettlement Issues Facing Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal’ (July 2013)
  • LeBeau N.E. and Tuckfield H.S. (2015) ‘Change Luck City - Climate Change Refugees in Dhaka, Bangladesh’ Photographic Exhibition/Lecture, University of Sydney, 15th April 2015.
  • LeBeau N.E. and Tuckfield H.S. (2015) ‘Living in Camp Geneva - The Bihari (Stranded Pakistanis) of Bangladesh’, Photographic Exhibition/Lecture, University of Sydney, 15th April 2015.

Rebecca Williamson
Rebecca Williamson
Biography Rebecca received a Master of Arts in Social Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She works as a research assistant for the Social Transformation and International Migration research project at the University of Sydney, led by Professor Stephen Castles.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Stephen Castles; Robbie Peters; Laura Beth Bugg
Commenced March 2011
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Mundane Multiculture: Belonging as Spatial Practice in Suburban Sydney
Abstract Cities are places of increasing heterogeneity; stages for negotiations of strangerhood and intercultural encounter. They are epicentres for new registers of belonging, allegiance and citizenship arising in the context of broader transitions associated with global human mobility. Drawing on relational theories of the city and critical readings of urban diversity, my work interrogates how multi-ethnic neighbourhoods shape experiences of belonging for migrant inhabitants. It argues that pluralist policies attempt to coordinate and contain urban diversity, often leaving yawning fissures between politicised rhetoric and the lived socio-materialities of the city. These processes are particularly evident in the city of Sydney. The study applies a place-based approach and a Lefebvrian frame of analysis, to interrogate residents’ place making practices in a highly diverse, transitional suburb in Sydney. The research uses urban ethnographic methods, drawing on observation and interviews with migrant residents and local ‘space managers’, to analyse the interactional and socio-spatial orders of three suburban public spaces.
  • Williamson, R. (2015) Towards a multi-scalar methodology: The challenges of studying social transformation and international migration, in Castles, S., Arias Cubas, M., and Ozkul, D. (eds.), Social Transformation and Migration: National and Local Experiences in South Korea, Turkey, Mexico and Australia. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Williamson, R. (2015) Walking in the multicultural city: The production of suburban street life in Sydney. In Shortell, T. and Brown, E. (eds.), Walking in Cities: Quotidian Mobility as Urban Theory, Method and Practice. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
  • Koleth, E. and Williamson, R. (2014) Temporary Migration and Social Transformation in Global Sydney. Working Paper commissioned by the Strategic Policy, Evaluation and Research Branch, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Canberra, Australia. Canberra: DIBP.
  • Williamson, R. (2013) Producing Multicultural Belonging: The Possibilities and Discontents of Local Public Spaces in Suburban Sydney. State of Australian Cities Conference (peer reviewed proceedings), 26-29 November 2013, Sydney.
  • Williamson, R. and Kim, C. (2012) Multicultural Society in New Zealand and the Pluralist Policy of Government: Biculturalism, Social Cohesion and Settlement of New Migrant Policies (IOM MRTC Working Paper Series No. 2012-07). International Organisation for Migration, Migration Research and Training Centre. Goyang-si, Republic of Korea.
  • Williamson, R. (2005) Flat Food: Food, sociability and the individual in the New Zealand Flat. New Zealand Sociology, Vol. 20(2): 4-17.

Leah Williams Veazey
Leah Williams Veazey
Biography Originally from London, Leah moved to Sydney in 2013. She attained a first class BA (Hons) degree in French & German from Queens’ College, University of Cambridge and an MSc in Migration from Queen Mary, University of London. Both dissertations at undergraduate and postgraduate level received first class marks, and her MSc dissertation on diasporic women writers received the inaugural Martin Paisner prize.

She has over a decade’s experience of working in non-profit communications and information services, focusing on health organisations and the women’s sector. Holding a professional qualification in online community management, she has recently specialised in managing online communities and social media for charities.

Her research interests include migration, motherhood, citizenship and identity, online communities and social networking.

Degree Leah has a first class BA (Hons) degree in French & German from Queens’ College, University of Cambridge and an MSc in Migration from Queen Mary, University of London.

Leah is currently studying for a PhD in the school of Sociology & Political Sciences at the University of Sydney.

Supervisors Catriona Elder & Susan Goodwin
Commenced March 2015
Full or part time Full-time
Thesis topic Digitised diasporic motherhood: new migrant mothers and their online communities
Abstract Situated at the intersection of migration, motherhood and digital culture studies, this project explores the double dislocation/transformation involved in the experience of recent migration coupled with new motherhood, in the context of the development of instantaneous digital communication and the increasing ubiquity of social networks.

Looking at new migrant mothers' use of online communities and social networks, this project explores how mothering and migrant identities are formed and performed in these spaces, whether they can be a source of emotional support and meaningful connections, whether they significantly alter the experience of mothering away from home, and the implications that has for discourses of diaspora, integration and nationhood.


Book chapter: 'Mothering in the Digital Diaspora' in Taking the Village Online: Mothers, Motherhood and Social Media (Demeter Press, 2016)

Wen Long Yu
Wen Long Yu
Biography Wen Long Yu, also known as Chin Jin, Australian writer and China watcher, is a Chinese-born Australian living in NSW Australia since 1988. He is an MA graduate of the University of Western Sydney, and has written widely on Human Rights and the political structure of China. His book MY QUEST FOR DEMOCRACY IN CHINA was published in Taiwan in late 2012. He is the main driver to set up the China Democracy Forum in June 2012 to observe and analyse the current development and evolvement of the political situation in China.
Degree DocSocSci
Supervisors Salvatore Babones and John Keane
Commenced March 2015
Full or part time Full-time
Thesis topic Social Movements in Greater China – Five Poisons
Abstract The so-called “Five Poisons” is a derogatory description by the Chinese government of its political opponents. According to the Chinese government, the following social forces are threats to its stable and smooth governance: Chinese pro-democracy movement, renegade Taiwan as the continuance of civil war between Kuomintang and CCP, Free Tibet movement led by the exiling spiritual leader Dalai Lama since 1959, Eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang) Movement, and numerous Falungong practitioners who were outlawed by the Chinese government in June 1999.

Kai Zhang
Kai Zhang
Biography 2005-2009 Bachelor Degree, Sociology, Nanjing University, China,

2009-2013 Postgraduate study, Sociology, Tsinghua University, China

Degree PhD
Supervisors Primary: Dr Beatriz Carrillo Garcia
Auxiliary: Professor David Goodman
Commenced July 2013
Full or part time Full-time
Thesis topic The Relocation and Community Development of A Qiang Village in Northwestern Sichuan, China
Abstract The abolition of the agricultural tax and the introduction of the ‘Building a New Socialist Countryside’ program in China resulted in the change to local governance settings and renewed the question of peasants as “active subjects” in rural development. The changes brought about different local official-peasant relationships and provided Chinese peasants directly and indirectly with a greater degree of maneuvre over their economic and social life. This research project uses the example of a peasant-initiated remote village relocation process in Northwest China to investigate the ways in which peasants engaged and negotiated with local government and various other stakeholders (such as NGOs) in the relocation process. The research seeks to clarify the social basis on which this self-initiated relocation happened and to provide a close analysis of the engagement of different stakeholders and their influences on the ongoing relocation process. Moreover, it will unveil the influence of the relocation process on the village community by comparing the village self-organizing mode before and after the relocation. The research undertakes this analysis from the perspective of peasants rather than from the more common government-centred approach, in order to put forward a better understanding of everyday organizing practiced amongst peasants in remote Chinese rural communities in the post-tax era.

Natalie Maystorovich
Natalie Maystorovich
Biography Natalia’s research interests include humanitarian and human rights law; transitional justice; the archaeological recovery of mass graves; and the capacity of social movements to elicit social, political and legal change as they seek justice for victims. Her focus is on socio-legal research and qualitative methods in an attempt to merge her political and social interests with a scholarship which may enact social change. Since 2012 she has worked with the Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica (ARMH – Association for the Recovery of Historic Memory) in an attempt to draw attention to the difficulties experienced by victims and their relatives in the recuperation of their missing.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Professor Michael Humphrey and Dr Rebecca Scott Bray
Commenced July 2013
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic The judicialisation of the social movement to exhume mass graves in Spain. An ethnographic study into the instrumentality of law.
Abstract This project examines the judicialisation of the social movement to exhume mass graves in Spain. It explores the interactions between social, legal, political and institutional fields as activist try to raise awareness and the legal status of the victims of the Spanish Civil War and Franco dictatorship. It seeks to understand how different groups perceive the exhumation of mass graves as a project of inclusive collective memory, the application of international human rights law in a domestic setting through the expansion of victims centred approaches and rights talk in exhumations. This study aims to merge sociological, legal, archaeological, forensic and historical knowledge for an interdisciplinary approach to the study of exhumations. Data for this study is currently being generated in Spain through ethnographic methods of participant observation, semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis.
Publications Peer Reviewed Conference Papers/Proceedings
  • Conference Presentation ‘Engagement, Legitimacy, Contestation: Transitional Justice and its Public Spheres’ at Onati International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Spain 9 May 2014 paper title ‘The Challenges to the movement to exhume the missing victims of the Spanish Civil War and Francoist Dictatorship’.
  • Round Table Discussion at the Conference ‘Engagement, Legitimacy, Contestation: Transitional Justice and its Public Spheres’ at Onati International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Spain 9 May 2014 paper title ‘Peace, Transition and Justice: The Basque Country’.
  • Co-presentation at the University of Sydney Post-Graduate Workshop on 29 August 2014 on ‘The interplay between Data and Theory’ with fellow PhD Candidate Polina Smiragina.
  • Conference Presentation 28 November 2014, University of Adelaide TASA (The Australian Sociological Association) Conference, ‘Challenging the discourses of the past through the exhumation of mass graves’
  • Conference Presentation for the 1st International Interdisciplinary Conference on Exploring and Managing Silence, Oxford University St Mansfield College, United Kingdom on 7-9 July 2015 paper titled ‘Impact of silencing victims to the exhumation of mass graves’.
  • Conference Presentation for the Annual Ethnography Symposia’s ‘Reflection in Action’ held at the University of Liverpool on 26-28th August 2015, paper titled ‘‘Being There’ and the Frustrations of living on the other side of the Globe: Reflecting on observations of exhumation in Spain’.
Book Chapters/Edited Books
  • Book Chapter Submitted to Editors for Review, Chapter 14. The movement to exhume the missing victims of the Spanish Civil War and Francoist Dictatorship, in Book Titled Transitional Justice and its Public Spheres. Engagement, Legitimacy and Contestation, Editors Chrisje Brants and Susanne Karstedt
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
  • Maystorovich Chulio, N (2015) ‘Challenging the discourses of the past through the exhumation of mass graves’, Nexus Newsletter The Australian Sociological Association, Vol. 27 No. Mar 2015, pp.36-37.
  • Maystorovich Chulio, N (2015) ‘Impact of silencing victims to the exhumation of mass graves’. Proceedings from the 1st International Interdisciplinary Conference on Exploring and Managing Silence, (awaiting online publication with the Interdisciplinary Network Publishing).

Maksuda Sultana
Maksuda Sultana
Biography Maksuda Sultana has 3 years working experience in world’s one of the largest NGOs- BRAC Bangladesh. She completed Master of Arts in International Development from GSID, Nagoya University, Japan and Master of Social Science in International Relations from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her research interests and writings spread over various community and social issues like gender, child right, public health and general education. She is a regular contributor in Bangladesh newspapers and has published academic book and academic journal articles.
Degree PhD
Supervisors Dr. Nicola Piper
Commenced June 2015
Full or part time Full time
Thesis topic Improving Labour Rights for Economic and Social Sustainability- Case of Bangladesh Readymade Garment Industries
Abstract Garment manufacturing is a major export- earning source for Bangladesh. Improving factory standard and income through higher export of readymade garments is a high priority for Bangladesh Government and hence it always look for policy toward expansionary sustainable garment export income. In the recent years, garment sector export share stood as much as 76-80% of the country’s total export, which is contribution about 7% of the country’s GDP. However, the scenario to expand the export income is facing further challenges as improvement of garments workers working condition in order to maintain social compliance is becoming rigorous demand by the importers. As Bangladesh readymade garment factories are looking forward to capture world famous brand markets, importers and buyers are emphasizing standardization certification and definite labor standards to be followed by the factories. Contribution of readymade garments manufacturing industry in Bangladesh is one of the key elements of sustainable growth. GDP, export earning and employment generation largely depend on this crucial sector, sustainability of the sector cannot be overlooked. A sound labor-system can contribute sustainable, efficient and effective production system for the industry.

Peer Reviewed Journal Papers/Conference Proceedings

  • “Personnel Management in NGOs of Bangladesh” by Maksuda Sultana and Khandaker Mizanur Rahman. Contemporary Management Research; Pages 275-296, Vol. 8, No. 4, December 2012.
  • “Good Governance, Administration, and Management for Development in Bangladesh” (Peer reviewed article with Khondaker M. Rahman, David M. Potter, Taslima Rahman, Maksuda Sultana, and Shamsunnahar Khanam), Nanzan Management Review, Vol. 24, No. 1.2, October, 2009.

Andrew McLachlan
Andrew McLachlan
Biography Andrew holds a BA with Diploma of Education (Honours Class 1) from Macquarie University, and a MA in Cultural Studies from the University of Sydney. He has worked as a primary school teacher in places as diverse as Cape York and Bangladesh, and currently teaches Kindergarten at a school in Sydney. His PhD work explores the changing social and political dynamics within preventative mental health. He is particularly interested in how the concepts that underpin prevention and treatment, evolve and take shape across different settings—from research facilities, to clinics, to schools, to online spaces. He draws on political theory, science and technology studies, and affect theory as a way to attend to and engage with emergent themes in mental health.

Degree PhD
Supervisors Mike Michael
Kane Race
Commenced 2015
Full or part time Full-time
Thesis topic Between risk and resilience: an ontopolitics of preventative mental health
Abstract Over the last two decades, prevention has come to define Australia’s response to common disorders like anxiety and depression. Given the need to act before symptoms manifest, or a condition becomes chronic, the task in mental health has been to convert research findings into usual-care settings as quickly as possible. Translational research has been at the forefront of these efforts. This research draws on case studies of mental health organisations, focusing specifically on the translation of two core concepts in preventative mental health—risk and resilience. To date, the hope has been that by building resilience you can protect against certain forms of mental health risk. The project sets out to explore how risk and resilience have been translated in the psychological sciences, and are changing the way we practice preventative mental health today.