The TASA conference is a highlight of the year for many of us, and has a key role in building our identities and opportunities as Australian sociologists. However, as university budgets tighten, many postgraduate students are not funded to attend and cannot otherwise afford to do so. So, the broader community of sociologists misses out on learning about innovative research that will shape the field into the future.
— TASA (@AustSoc) October 1, 2015
Suraina Pasha writes:
I have just returned from six weeks with Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Through the assistance of Syrian humanitarian volunteers I met and interviewed close to 100 refugee families living in rural and urban communities in the north, close to the Syrian border. I saw for myself how these families live, drank chai (tea) and qahwa (coffee) with them in their very simple homes, and heard about their experiences, hopes, fears and aspirations for the future.
These refugee families were Sunni Muslims, a demographic majority in Syria. Most came from the cities of Homs, Dara’a and suburbs of Damascus — amongst the earliest hotbeds of Arab Spring student pro-democracy activism and political opposition. Later these cities became key sites of armed resistance to the Assad regime by the Free Syrian Army — the group the West was previously counting on to save the day in Syria.
Australia runs the risk of denying protection to some of the most persecuted and vulnerable victims of the Syrian civil war if we fail to look beyond Christians, Yazidis and other minorities when determining who to resettle, as political debate suggests.
The #DWGP40 Conference now on at UTS is sparking some fascinating discussions on Twitter. Prompted by this and in response to some issues raised, Cristy Clark retweeted a post she wrote at Larvatus Prodeo in 2013. Its dissemination around Twitter shows her piece remains highly timely.
Cristy Clark writes:
For Australian women of my generation, many issues of structural gender inequality can seem far removed from their daily experiences and, thus, difficult to relate to. Many civil rights, which were only recently (and only partially) achieved, are easily taken for granted when you have grown up assuming access to them. For this reason, it is not uncommon for women to be shocked when confronted the ongoing reality of structural inequality when they become mothers and they suddenly find themselves falling into gendered roles and suffering from gendered disadvantage as a result. Given this fact, it is a shame that the dominant form of feminism in Australia – liberal feminism – does not deal particularly well with the structural inequalities faced by mothers.
…just some of the major issues of our times which are covered in the Routledge books series ‘Shortcuts’. The series is an A to Z coverage of emergent or new social, cultural and political phenomena focusing on the relevance of current issues, topics and debates to the social sciences and humanities.
Mark Bahnisch writes:
It’s interesting to consider the phrase ‘politics junkies’. While there is a view that we somehow live in a post-political age and a related claim that at the end of history all we see is the routine administration of people and things, it would be hard to sustain these in light of the return of Tragedy and Drama to the political arena. For some of us who cannot just not turn away from events such as the Tony Abbott trainwreck that rattled on to its shocking end on Monday night but have also been participants in it on Twitter, we’re now staggering back to ‘real life’, coffee in hand.
Ben Spies-Butcher writes:
Retiring to Hermann’s Bar, across City Rd from where Erik Olin-Wright had just delivered the 2015 Wheelwright Lecture, the place was buzzing. The theatre for the talk had been standing room only; now so was the bar. But not everyone was celebrating the talk. In fact, it was generally more critical.
Mark Bahnisch writes:
Wright was generous with his time, and as a sometime student of utopias, I was happy to be able to attend two of the events at which he spoke. Courtesy of our friends at the USyd Department of Political Economy, it’s now possible to watch his E. L. Wheelwright Lecture which was delivered on the 5th of August to a lecture theatre packed with over 500 folk from many walks of life. Read more…
Fabian Cannizzo writes:
Career building is a fundamentally imaginative activity. In envisioning how our lives and working circumstances might be projected into the future, career-seeking individuals engage in conceptual mapping. Our career imaginations are influenced by personal values, perceptions of ourselves and environments, our relationships both in the workplace and beyond, and any number of discourses and practices of institutionalized career development.
Career building activities in academia have been critically discussed in relation to the instrumental place of universities within our global knowledge economies. Simon Marginson, among others, has been prolific in describing the impact which globalization is having on universities around the world. Universities are broadly described as being corporatized, privatized, metricized, managerialized, economized, audited – amidst any other number of verbs implying the disempowerment of collegiate governance. Far less attention has been paid to the impact which these broad processes are having on the cultural imagination of academic career planning itself. In an industry characterized by precarious labour arrangements, tribe-like professional groups, status games and portfolio development, career planning becomes weaponized in the struggle for professional survival. Read more…
Routledge is pleased to present a range of books on Identity Studies.
Can governments plan Australia’s future just by improving selected economic indicators? Will a focus on creating more jobs, cutting taxes and growing GDP be enough to ensure well-being? These are the core agenda items being pushed by the Abbott government. Yet they may prove to be much too limited to be the main items for policy decisions about Australia’s future.
Routledge is pleased to present a range of books on Gender Studies.