Applied Sociology Thematic Group
Aims and Objectives
Year Established: 2007
The Applied Sociology Thematic Group aims to create a supportive network for applied social researchers working in non-academic positions, and to increase visibility of their research projects, activities and achievements. Applied sociologists are employed in diverse contexts, including (but not limited to): consultancy and private industry, government and non-government organisations, and other contract work. Applied sociology has a focus on practical applications of sociological knowledge with a view to providing improved outcomes for different groups of people. This research is often conducted within a multidisciplinary environment and in collaboration with different organisations, including community services, activist groups and universities. Members are involved in dynamic research projects, including policy development, community advocacy, project management, and social welfare.
The Applied Sociology Thematic Group is committed to enhancing understanding of the challenges that their members face in their everyday working environments and in negotiating their career trajectories. The Group’s objectives are:
- To raise the public profile of applied sociological research within TASA, academia and the wider public
- To support sociology graduates and to develop an agenda for career opportunities outside of academia
- To provide a basis for streams on applied sociology at TASA conferences
- To organise workshops, seminars, conferences, lectures and other research activities on topics related to applied sociological research, with a sensitivity to the funding, geographic and time constraints of members’ working lives
- To encourage publications that address the issues encountered by sociologists working outside academia
- To nurture relationships with other interdisciplinary groups and organisations
Video: Public Sociology: Writing for Publics
Long term TASA member Yoland Wadsworth completed a PhD that was on the academic-pure-theory sociologists 'vs' applied-practice-based sociologists employed 'outside' split, and at that time (1976-1983) there were 25 full time sociologists in Monash sociology and 25 full time applieds outside, all of whom were employed as, or identified as sociologists. Yoland thinks that is such a good indicator of perhaps sociology's zenith (which she counts as starting in 1969 when first year sociology enrolments hit 1000 at Monash which represented almost one in 20 students enrolled at Monash that year).
The latter 25 'outside' sociologists were part of the membership of the Melbourne Social Research Group, a thriving non-academic group that met monthly for years that Lucinda Aberdeen (then Douglas-Smith) and Yoland convened. Access Yoland's paper on Professionalism rather than Professionalisation via the orange button below:
Professionalism rather then Professionalisation?