Research Clusters

The department's research and scholarship can be grouped into the following thematic clusters:

Migration and Globalisation

Led by Stephen Castles and Nicola Piper, this cluster explores theoretical, methodological and empirical aspects of international migration. Key projects focus on understanding the relationship between social transformation and migration and analysing the effects of globalisation. The work intersects with our research around justice and human rights, and there are projects on refugee/migrant protection, issues of statelessness and border control. We also examine race/ethnicity and migration, including historical and contemporary immigration policy, migration and ethnic relations, experiences of transnationalism, and everyday lives of new immigrant groups.

Researchers:
Stephen Castles, Nicola Piper, Catriona Elder, Christine Inglis, Laura Beth Bugg, Susan Banki, Adrian Hearn

See also:

Health and the BioSciences

Led by Mike Michael and Catherine Waldby, we undertake work on health and medical sociology in Australia, especially the health workforce and health service provision and health policy, for example the impact of social policy on health and welfare provision. We also have a cluster of researchers working in the field of biotechnology - embryonic stem cells, blood donation and biobanking – as well as HIV/AIDS and issues of global health.

Researchers:
Catherine Waldby, Mike Michael, Fran Collyer, Melinda Cooper, Salvatore Babones, Beatriz Carrillo Garcia, Kirsten Harley , Deborah Lupton,

See also:

Social Theory

We also have a group of international scholars undertaking innovative work in social theory, clustering around theories of knowledge and culture. We have scholars of international standing researching in World Systems Analysis, Critical Race and Whiteness Theory, Globalisation and global transformation Theories. Researchers in our department are experts in Pierre Bourdieu, Norbert Elias, Hannah Arendt, Basil Bernstein, Bruno Latour, Anthony Giddens, Jurgen Habermas. We also host the Centre for the study of Legitimation Code Theory (‘LCT’), a sociological framework for the study of social fields of practice, the sociology of knowledge and conceptual and theoretical development in the social sciences.

Researchers:
Craig Browne, David Bray, Karl Maton, Jennifer Wilkinson, Robert van Krieken, Melinda Cooper, Fran Collyer, Danielle Celermajer, Michael Humphrey, Deirdre Howard-Wagner

Human Rights, Democratisation and Justice

Our Human Rights research covers a wide spectrum, however one focus is the intersection of human rights practice and theory. Some of the projects we undertake explore questions of sovereignty and the nature of rights, how states or communities rehabilitate themselves and recover state legitimacy after periods of violent conflict. Issues of human rights are explored in the areas of animals or humans and non-human animals, disability, refugees, Indigenous social and legal justice, gender and rights. Projects include exploring issues such as corporate social responsibility, consumer movements and fair trade market, the right to have rights and international human rights law and institutions, economic development and rights.

Researchers:
Susan Banki, Danielle Celermajer, Michael Humphrey, Deirdre Howard-Wagner, Dinesh Wadiwel, Adrian Hearn, Kiran Grewal, Karen O'Brien, Nicola Piper, Elisabeth Valiente-Riedl

See also

Socio-Legal Studies and Criminology

The law and society group focuses on reseach in criminology and human rights, but also engages with broader problems and issues concerning the changing role of law in society. Our projects examine law and legal reasoning, protest and public order policing, social movements, family law, coronial law and practice, inquests and death investigation, medico-legal and forensic criminology, cultural criminology, the legal regulation of post-conflict societies.

Researchers:
Robert van Krieken, Rebecca Scott Bray, Greg Martin, Deirder Howard-Wagner, Kiran Grewal, Michael Humphrey, Karen O'Brien

See also

Social Policy, Inclusion and Inequality

Projects in this area draw on a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodologies and takes a regional, national or global approach. We have a particular expertise in health policy, both in Australia, but also in China and East Asia. Other research focuses on inequality in relation to migrants, Indigenous peoples, disability and education. Much of the work we do is comparative, focusing on the global shifts in policy making and policy reform that have emerged within neo-liberal frameworks in many states. Here we undertake research on the politics of policy-making and the restructuring of contemporary welfare states.

Researchers:
Amanda Elliot, Gyu-Jin Hwang, Salvatore Babones, Laura Beth Bugg, David Bray, Beatriz Carrillo Garcia, Karen O'Brien, Dinesh Wadiwel

See also

Identity, Belonging and Culture

Our work on identity focuses on the broad field of cultural sociology and explores individuals and groups in relation to aspects of popular culture (eg social media, music, alcohol, gaming, television, photography, celebrity). We also analyse various forms of belonging – personal friendship, workplace collegiality, migrant groups and religious communities – exploring how these are being transformed. Some of these researchers deploy a variety of theories of race and ethnicity to consider the issue of belonging in the context of changing understandings of the national and the global, others draw on historical sociology to examine the current configuration of status and recognition in ‘celebrity society’.

Researchers:
Catriona Elder, Fiona Gill, Jennifer Wilkinson, Laura Beth Bugg, Amanda Elliot, Rebecca Scott Bray, Greg Martin, Karen O'Brien, Robert van Krieken