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TASA Blog


  • Smash it up, burn it down: should Joe Corré set fire to punk history this weekend?

    Posted on December 2, 2016

    Catherine Strong, RMIT University

    In March this year, Joe Corré announced that on November 26 he would burn his collection of punk memorabilia. As the son of Malcolm McLaren (manager of the Sex Pistols) and renowned fashion designer Vivienne Westwood (whose clothes helped define the punk aesthetic), Corré’s collection is somewhat more impressive than that of an average punk fan.

    The items he is threatening to destroy include a pair of Johnny Rotten’s trousers, a Sid Vicious doll, and test pressings of Sex Pistols records. The collection has been estimated (by Corré himself) to be worth more than 5 million pounds.

    The burning is a protest against what Corré describes as the co-optation of punk by the establishment and the mainstream, and the way that “rather than a movement for change, punk has become like a fucking museum piece or a tribute act”. Read more…


  • ARIA there yet? Causes galore and some poop talk at the music industry awards

    Posted on November 28, 2016

    Catherine Strong, RMIT University

    It was the 30th ARIA awards last night in Sydney, an anniversary that saw some reminiscing on past glories included throughout the show. The event was top and tailed by some dead-set Aussie legends (mate), with Barnsie (alongside Jessica Mauboy) starting the show, and none other than Farnsie himself finishing the show with a stirring (as always) rendition of You’re the Voice. In between these two, we saw Crowded House inducted into the Hall of Fame, and clip packages highlighting a variety of other classic acts (Midnight Oil! Kylie! Silverchair! Powderfinger!).

    So how did the current crop of Aussie musos hold up in the midst of all the canon-creation going on around them?

    While The Veronicas were perfectly adequate as hosts of an Australian awards ceremony, their glitter-encrusted performance of In My Blood was a definite show-stopper, and made up for some of their general awkwardness otherwise. Flume came out on top award-wise, grabbing five ARIAs, with Troye Sivan also doing well. The real winner, though, was causes.


  • #TASA2016 program now available!

    Posted on November 27, 2016

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    The program for the 2016 Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association is now available here. Please note, the Concurrent Program was update November 15. For more information on the conference, please visit the conference sub-site.


  • The Pronoun Dilemma

    Posted on November 26, 2016

    This post was originally published on the Genders and Sexualities Thematic Group website. It has been republished here with permission from the G&S Conveners.

    Dr Yarrow AndrewFlinders University

    One of my dilemmas as an academic, and one who researches gender issues, is how to enact my beliefs and values as a researcher in my relationships with colleagues, students, and the wider public. I identify as non-binary, which to many people I encounter is a mysterious concept. That means pronouns are always an issue for me. I have been delighted to see this become a more prominent issue in recent years, with activists devoting efforts to promoting pronoun alternatives, or scholars giving their backing to stigmatised grammatical forms.

    When people ask me what my preferred pronoun is, I will happily tell them it/its, but I usually add that I am fine with they/them, because I know that ‘it’ can be confronting for some people to use. Honestly, I am pretty comfortable with any non-gendered pronouns – I am pleased to see people remembering and trying to respect my gender identity. However I also know how long it took me to work through my own transphobia, and language habits, so that I didn’t misgender myself – a subject that is not often talked about. I still occasionally make mistakes, because I have spent so much more of my life conforming to a binary gender system than moving beyond it, which is why I tend to be pretty forgiving of others making similar mistakes.


  • Tenure-track Assistant Professor in Sociology of Ageing/Social Gerontology

    Posted on November 24, 2016

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    Employment Opportunity

    Sociology Programme
    School of Humanities and Social Sciences
    Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

    Young and research-intensive, Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is ranked 13th globally and 1st amongst the world’s best young universities.

    The School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) at NTU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programmes in a full range of disciplines. Interdisciplinary learning and research is especially encouraged in HSS. Please visit www.hss.ntu.edu.sg for more information.

    Sociology at HSS is committed to excellence in teaching and research, with special focus on social change in Asian societies. For further information about the Programme, please refer to this website:  http://sociology.hss.ntu.edu.sg

    Tenure-track Assistant Professor in Sociology of Ageing/Social Gerontology Read more…


  • The Oxford Dictionary Word of the year post-truth: Adjective

    Posted on November 24, 2016

    Alan Scott, Continuing Education Officer for the Applied Sociology thematic group, writes:

    DEFINITION: Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief: ‘in this era of post-truth politics, it’s easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire’ ‘some commentators have observed that we are living in a post-truth age’

    I was certainly not up with politics, as I had never before heard the word and nor had people around me. However, when I saw the definition I knew what it was all about, even if I still don’t think it’s a good word to use.

    Now that our attention has been drawn to it, what does it mean for sociology?  Sociology sets out to gather the real facts of particular social issues but if we are not going to be believed, what is the point?  But then emotions are short lived and personal beliefs can change at any moment.  Francis Bacon in the 16th century pointed out that human understanding, once it adopts a theory, tends to interpret everything else as supporting it.  Even though there is far more evidence against it, which is ignored, or rejected, so their ideology remains inviolate.  We can see this in the way some of our politicians behave.   However, my research experience tells me that most people don’t have a dominant theory and they are open to changing their position after they have been asked a question in a questionnaire that they have never thought about previously.  Their initial response is to answer with what they think the questionnaire writer wants but if given the chance they will tell you that having thought about it their first answer is not what they think. (See the Group Attitudinal Threshold Exchange Research Method that allows this response to be made.)  I will mention this in my presentation on questionnaires at the Conference (Next Week). Read more…


  • Reaffirming our core values post-election

    Posted on November 22, 2016

    Michèle Lamont –  American Sociological Association (ASA) President & an invited keynote speaker for our annual conferenceEduardo Bonilla-Silva – ASA President-elect, Ruth Milkman – ASA Past President & Nancy Kidd – ASA Executive Officer wrote to the ASA members recently:

    In light of the rash of racist and xenophobic activities on campuses across the nation, it seems important to us as leaders of the ASA to reaffirm to our members our core organizational and disciplinary values. As an association devoted to advancing the discipline of sociology and the professional lives of sociologists, ASA has a long and ongoing history of activity supporting diversity, inclusion, free inquiry, and academic freedom.

    Post-election activity

    The day after the election, we began to harness the power of sociology to understand the election and its implications. We asked our members to post pieces to our blog on some aspect of the campaign, the electorate, the polling processes, or the policy issues raised by this election and then consider the insights and understandings that arise from the application of the data and methods within our sociology toolkit. Read the interesting contributions of Arne Kalleberg and Richard Arum and Joan Malczewski and submit your own thoughts.

    President Michele Lamont also penned an op-ed addressing the importance of social science in the Trump era, Trump’s Triumph and Social Science Adrift…What is to be Done? and will be developing several sessions for the 2017 Annual Meeting program on this subject. Read more…


  • TASA 2016 Conference Proceedings

    Posted on November 22, 2016

    From 2015 onward conference papers have been accepted by graduate and honours students only.  The papers are reviewed and, if accepted, published in the Conference Proceedings.  Thanks to fellow member Roger Wilkinson, the 2016 Conference Proceedings are now available.

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  • European leaders taking cues from Australia on asylum seeker policies

    Posted on November 20, 2016

    Andrew Jakubowicz, University of Technology Sydney

    Across Europe anti immigration political leaders are turning to Australia for inspiration on how to reduce the number of people seeking asylum in their countries.

    Australia’s asylum seeker policies have attracted condemnation from human rights organisations and many countries around the world. But in speeches given at US President Barack Obama’s Leaders’ Summit on Refugees and the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in September, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urged his fellow leaders to adopt Australia’s strict border protection policies.

    In some quarters, the Australian perspective is taking hold.

    In September, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson echoed the “stop the boats” mantra adopted over the years by Australian Prime Ministers John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott, and now Turnbull. Days later, in her speech to the UN General Assembly, British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke of the need for countries to exercise control over their borders.

    The European Union’s (EU) deal with Turkey to send asylum seekers back in exchange for aid parallels Australia’s “Pacific Solution”, in which Australian governments outsource their processing of asylum seekers to third party countries. Read more…


  • President Trump will change the United States and the world, but just how remains to be seen

    Posted on November 18, 2016

    Mark Chou, Australian Catholic University; Gorana Grgic, University of Sydney; Kumuda Simpson, La Trobe University; Peter Christoff, University of Melbourne, and Rodney Maddock, Monash University

    Leading Australian academics respond to Donald Trump’s victory, and look ahead to what kind of president he might be.


    Much unknown about Trump’s foreign policy, but expect instability

    Gorana Grgic, lecturer in US politics and foreign policy, University of Sydney

    This result confirms that 2016 is a year of tectonic shifts in politics of the Western democracies. The surge of populism, Brexit and Trump’s victory are all testament that it is no longer “business as usual”. This is perhaps the most critical departure from the way US politics has been operating in the post-Cold War era. It has shown that the population rejects some of the main tenets of globalisation, such as free trade and open borders, and sees little value in internationalist foreign policy.

    In terms of how the world sees the result, I think there’s going to be a lot of trepidation over the “unknowns” of Trump’s foreign policy. His foreign security policy sees little place for values and international norms, emphasising interest instead. This will undoubtedly have major repercussions for US standing in the world, particularly if we take into account the global public opinion polls have been assessing Trump.

    Finally, in denouncing major alliances and partnerships, Australia has been conspicuously missing from Trump’s campaigns. There are reasons to believe that not much will change in terms of the commitment to ANZUS treaty. However, given Trump’s disinclination to maintain some of the key alliances in East Asia, it is possible that the Asia-Pacific region will grow unstable.

    Moreover, trade protectionism, especially in terms of China, could contribute trade disruptions and market instabilities that could well impact Australia. Read more…


  • Employment Opportunity: Senior Lecturer in Sociology (Level C) UNE

    Posted on November 16, 2016

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    Senior Lecturer in Sociology (Level C)

    Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences

    • Continuing, full-time
    • $ 110,751 to $ 127,534 per annum (Level C)
    • Plus 17% employer superannuation. Salary packaging options are available.
    • Relocation assistance provided

    Read more…


  • Employment Opportunity: Lecturer in Sociology (Level B) UNE

    Posted on November 16, 2016

    une

     

     

     

     

    Lecturer in Sociology (Level B)

    Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences

    • Continuing, full-time
    • $ 90,618 to $ 107,397 per annum (Level B)
    • Plus 17% employer superannuation. Salary packaging options are available.
    • Relocation assistance provided

    Read more…


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