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HomeTASA 2022 Panels
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TASA 2022 - PANELS

 
Social Challenges, Social Changes
In-person conference at the University of Melbourne
28 November to 2 December 2022.

For our 2022 TASA Conference, we proud to be able to host 12 great panel sessions. Click on each of the panel titles below to view an overview and a list of panellists. 


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Religious Diversity in Australia
Religious Diversity in Australia
Panel Overview:
This panel presents the main findings of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project on Religious Diversity in Australia. Major studies on religious diversity have recently been conducted in the UK, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Our ARC funded research similarly examines Australian strategies for living well with religious diversity across six streams of demographics, legislation, education, migration, policing and interfaith. This panel will focus on insights derived from each project stream including on themes of belonging, religious freedom, violent and hateful extremism, worldview complexity, religious responses to COVID-19, and decolonising the sociology of religion in Australia.

Panel Organiser:
A/Prof. Anna Halafoff (Deakin)

Panel Chair:
Dr. Elenie Poulos (Macquarie)

Panellists:
• Prof. Douglas Ezzy (UTas)
• Prof. Greg Barton (Deakin)
• A/Prof. Anna Halafoff (Deakin)
• Dr Rebecca Banham (UTas)
• Geraldine Smith (UTas)

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The Australian digital welfare state: intersectional perspectives and contestations
The Australian digital welfare state: intersectional perspectives and contestations
Panel Overview:
As digital technologies, platforms and modes of engagement increasingly shape many aspects of social life in Australia, digitalisation is also transforming the Australian welfare state and the institutions people rely upon. The dominant policy narrative is one of techno-optimism. Emerging digital technologies, incorporating aspects of automated decision-making, big data analytics and artificial intelligence, promise to modernise the public sector, delivering fast, responsive and accessible services to the population. The pace of change is accelerating, and the breadth of initiatives expanding, many of which were compelled by necessity with the ongoing pandemic. With this, comes new opportunities and risks, particularly for citizens occupying multiple, intersecting positions of marginality and insecurity. This panel takes a critical, intersectional approach to analysing the digitalisation of the Australian welfare state. It will explore the classed, racialised, gendered, sexualised, and disabling aspects of digitalisation, and the ways in which these intersecting power relations come to shape people’s experiences of the welfare state – its institutions and provisioning – in the digital age. The panel aims to both understand digital welfare governance in Australia, while also reflecting on its contradictions and mapping potential alternative paradigms.

Panel Organiser:
Dr Georgia van Toorn (ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, UNSW)

Panel Chair:
Prof Paul Henman (UQ)

Panellists:
• Darren O’Donovan or Monique Mann
• Jay Coonna, Antipoverty Centre
• Dr Georgia van Toorn, UNSW 
• Dr Lyndal Sleep, UQ
• Shelley Bielefeld, Griffith University

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Intergenerational Connections and Challenges in the Asset Economy
Intergenerational Connections and Challenges in the Asset Economy
Panel Overview:
Australia is a wealthy country with an ethos of egalitarianism. Yet economic and social inequality is growing, and Australia has among the highest personal debt levels in the world. Debt has grown alongside an asset price boom, including housing, facilitated by political conditions and policy settings that increasingly favour asset holders. These challenges have distinctly generational implications. However, discourses pitting members of older and younger generations against each other over the intergenerational connections, challenges and inequalities come to the fore in this context. This session explores the challenges brought about by the asset economy through a generational lens, moving beyond simplistic stereotypes to better understand the nature of key contemporary forms of inequality.


Panel Organiser:

Julia Cook (University of Newcastle)

Panel Chair:
Steven Roberts (Monash University)

Panellists:
• Lisa Adkins, Gareth Bryant, Sarah Cameron and Martijn Konings (University of Sydney)
• Peta Cook (University of Tasmania) and Julia Cook (University of Newcastle)
• Dan Woodman and Quentin Maire (University of Melbourne)
• Andrew Gilbert, Stephanie M Garratt, Bianca Brijnath, Joan Ostaszkiewicz, Frances Batchelor, Christa Dang, Briony Dow, Anita MY Goh (National Ageing Research Institute). (Presenter: Andrew Gilbert).

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Globalization, Low-intensity Conflict, and Religious Militancy: The Taliban as a Phenomenon and a Movement
Globalization, Low-intensity Conflict, and Religious Militancy: The Taliban as a Phenomenon and a Movement
Panel Overview:
Religious extremism in all its manifestations is one of the key social challenges for our increasingly interconnected world. And the Taliban movement in Afghanistan and Pakistan is arguably one of the most resilient and consequential Islamist movements of the last three decades. Its long-term trajectory raises key analytical questions about the relationship between neoliberalism and non-state violence, the informal and criminal economy, ethnic conflict, globalization of Islamist groups and ideologies, and the interpretation and implementation of Islamic laws. Unfortunately, most existing accounts of the Taliban are either descriptive narratives or geopolitical analyses, and there have been few attempts by sociologists to investigate the socio-economic conditions that facilitated the rise, survival, and expansion of the Taliban’s ideology and strategies, as well as the long-term consequences thereof.

The aim of the panel is to bring together experts who have studied different dimensions of the Taliban from distinct perspectives. The interdisciplinary conversation would shed light on the underlying factors and broader implications of the Taliban movement for our understanding of militant religious movements more broadly. The hope is also that such a dialogue would encourage sociologists to take up some of the key theoretical challenges posed by the Taliban, as both a movement and a phenomenon.

Panel Organiser:
Laila Bushra, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Lahore University of Management Sciences

Panel Chair:
Laila Bushra

Panellists:
• Samina Yasmeen, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, University of Western Australia. Comparing Jihads: the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba
• Moeen H. Cheema, Associate Professor of Law, Australian National University. Shariah or Tribal Law? Debating the Taliban Insurgency in Pakistan.
• M. Amir Rana, Author and Director, Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (www.pakpips.com). How will Ideology fare in the Taliban’s Campaign against Arms and Drugs Trafficking?
• Ms. Lydia Khalil, Research Fellow Lowy Institute & Associate Research Fellow, Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University. The Taliban and al-Qaeda: An Enduring Relationship


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Sociology for real-life institutional change: challenges and transformation
Sociology for real-life institutional change: challenges and transformation
Panel Overview:
We challenge researchers to take up the proposition of using sociology for positive social change to tackle persistent institutional barriers and wicked problems. Institutionalised processes can overtly and covertly systematically disadvantage different groups. They can appear hard to change because of ingrained ways of working, persistent power imbalances or feelings of hopelessness. Yet – collectively - institutions can be changed for the better. In our everyday work, we use different methods, across different contexts, to address different challenges; resulting different outcomes and benefits. Join us to explore some alternate methodological approaches to getting at how systemic issues are reproduced and how might we provide new knowledge on how they can be altered for positive social change.

Panel Organiser/Chairs:
Sophie Hickey and Catherine Hastings


Panellists:
• Sophie Hickey
• Catherine Hastings
• Sienna Aguilar

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2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup: A Triumphant Moment or Business as Usual
2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup: A Triumphant Moment or Business as Usual
Panel Overview:
On July 20, 2023 Australia and New Zealand will host the FIFA Women’s World Cup. This is a first for both countries despite never having hosted the Men’s World Cup. This panel will bring together experts in sport sociology and gender to discuss the social and cultural dimensions of this event and what it might mean for the future of elite sport for women in our region.


Panel Organiser:
Dr Adele Pavlidis,

Panel Chairs:
Dr Adele Pavlidis, Professor Ramon Spaaij, and Graham Lee


Panellists:
• Dr Fiona McLachlan (Victoria University)
• Professor Simone Fullagar (Griffith University)
• Aish Ravi, PhD Candidate, Football Coach, Educator (Monash University)
• Gabriela Garton (Victoria University)
• Professor Emeritus David Rowe (University of Western Sydney)

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Loneliness and Social Isolation in a post-COVID world
Loneliness and Social Isolation in a post-COVID world
Panel Overview:
Whilst COVID may be receding, its social impacts may continue to reverberate into the near future.
The pandemic has affected our daily lives in many ways over the past two years, such as by disrupting the functioning of community groups and networks, and the provision of services to vulnerable groups, with effects on physical and mental health.At the same time, the advent of new forms of digital interaction underscores the potential for changes in daily life and social engagement as Australia shifts to ‘living with COVID’.

This panel will discuss how these changes in daily life and interactions may shape experiences and attitudes towards loneliness for Australians in general, and for those at greater risk of social isolation and loneliness. We will explore the access barriers and effectiveness of loneliness programs for Australians vulnerable to chronic isolation and loneliness in the wake of COVID.

Panel Organiser:
Roger Patulny

Panel Chair:
TBC

Panellists:
• Roger Patulny
• Barbara Barbosa Neves
• Nick Hookway
• Claire Fisher
• Jack Lam

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Young people and the transformation of selves and society in (post-)pandemic times: insights from Life Patterns
Young people and the transformation of selves and society in (post-)pandemic times: insights from Life Patterns
Panel Overview:
COVID-19 has been experienced as a major health and social crisis across the world. Disruptions to economic life, social relations, identities and aspirations have transformed the way individuals relate to their working, personal and social life. These upheavals have reconfigured existing inequalities and generated new social challenges. This is especially true for young people and young adults, who have been disproportionately affected by the risks and uncertainties produced by the pandemic, especially in the labour market.

This panel will explore how the pandemic has rewritten how Australians engage in their work, personal and social life. It showcases the research produced in the Life Patterns longitudinal study, which has been following two generations of Australians—Gen X and Gen Y—over the last 15 years. Using survey and interview data, the panel will discuss how the pandemic has impacted social identities and relations across multiple areas of individuals’ life, including work, family and relationships, social views, and support and resources.

Panel Organisers:
Quentin Maire and Johanna Wyn

Panel Chair:
Johanna Wyn

Panellists:
• Professor Johanna Wyn, University of Melbourne
• Associate Professor Jenny Chesters, University of Melbourne
• Dr Quentin Maire, University of Melbourne
• Dr Eric Fu, University of Melbourne

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Sociology at the Crossroads: Challenges for Sociology in the 21st Century.
Sociology at the Crossroads: Challenges for Sociology in the 21st Century.
Panel Overview:
Universities in Australia have met with ongoing challenges over recent decades, and the traditional disciplines have been particularly impacted. Significant, and sustained under-funding by governments, the influx of inappropriate, market-oriented ideologies and practices into institutions – which should be quite differently organised – in combination with even more recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic; have made it vitally important for sociologists to consider their discipline, how it has been impacted and how it might better rise to meet these and other challenges. The speakers on the panel will consider these issues from a range of perspectives, and encourage discussion about possible strategies and pathways for the present and future.

Panel Organiser:
Professor Fran Collyer, University of Karlstad, Sweden

Panel Chair:
Professor Fran Collyer

Panellists:
• Professor Dan Woodman, University of Melbourne
• Professor Karen Farquharson, University of Melbourne
• Professor James Arvanitakis, Fullbright Australia
• Dr Ben Manning, University of Sydney
• Dr Natalie Maystorovich, University of Sydney

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“Living with COVID”: Marginalised Perspectives
“Living with COVID”: Marginalised Perspectives
Panel Overview:
Summer 2021-2022 ushered in a new way Australia would learn to live with COVID-19. Governments forced a paradigm shift onto its citizenry: “hospital capacity over case numbers”, and “living with the virus, not shutdowns” were the new mantras. But with these changes we all witnessed hospitals over-burdened and people dying, with particular and devastating consequences for disabled and older populations. This panel seeks to grapple with what “living with COVID” means for these populations. As many people find a satisfactory “new normal”, for other people the reality is very different. Hearing these diverse perspectives confronts the social challenges we face but lurking beneath these stories—foregrounded in some places and backgrounded in others—is an exploration of the social changes, opportunities, and possibilities necessary to imagine a better and different future.

Panel Organiser & Chair:
Prof Karen Willis (Victoria University)

Panellists:
• Dr Raelene West (RMIT)
• Dr Lizzie Knight (Victoria University)
• Dr Ryan Thorneycroft (WSU)
• Dr Peta S. Cook (University of Tasmania)

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Queer Youth Studies
Queer Youth Studies
Panel Overview:
Queer youth studies attends to the multitude of ways that queer youth negotiate gender, sexuality and sex in times of political, social and cultural conjecture. Speakers will share contemporary queer youth studies research across education, work, citizenship, identity and belonging.


Panel Organiser & Chair:

Dr Megan Sharp

Panellists:
• Dr Barrie Shannon
• Dr Megan Sharp
• Dr Benjamin Hanckel
• Adriana Haro

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Healthy Societies after the pandemic: How do we ‘Build back better’?
Healthy Societies after the pandemic: How do we ‘Build back better’?
Panel Overview:
‘Build back better’ has become a rallying call for a better post-pandemic future across a number of domains and states. But what does ‘better’ mean here, what are we building back, precisely, for whom, and at what cost (to others)? This panel takes a Healthy Societies approach to the question of what it means to build back better after the pandemic and how we might accomplish, not just imagine, such a future. Moving from the microscopic scale of novel viral pathogens to the global flows of people and money around the planet, we consider these questions from a broad range of perspectives that encompass the foci of multiple thematic areas including health, emotions and affect, migration, work and economy.

Panel Organisers:
Dr Katherine Kenny, Prof Alex Broom, Dr Leah Williams Veazey

Panel Chair:
Dr Katherine Kenny, Deputy Director, Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, ARC Senior Research Fellow in Sociology, The University of Sydney.

Panellists:
• Barbara Prainsack, Professor of Comparative Policy Studies, University of Vienna
• Alex Broom, Professor of Sociology and Director of The Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, The University of Sydney
• Leah Ruppanner, Professor of Sociology and Director of The Future of Work Lab, University of Melbourne.
• Aksel Tjora, Professor of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
• Michelle Peterie, Research Fellow, Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, The University of Sydney.

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Automating welfare-to-work: Workforce Australia and the digitalisation of employment services
Automating welfare-to-work: Workforce Australia and the digitalisation of employment services
Panel Overview:
For 30 years, Australia has been at the vanguard of governance reforms in the delivery of welfare-to-work. Until now, this reform agenda has been driven by an aggressive marketisation and privatisation of public employment services commencing with Working Nation (1994); rapidly accelerating under Job Network (1998-2009) and deepening under the Job Services Australia (2009-15) and Jobactive (2015-22) employment services system. In July 2022, Australia is transitioning to yet another employment services model—Workforce Australia. But this time, marketisation is being curtailed by digitalisation and the automation of employment services.

Approximately half of all Australian jobseekers will be migrated over to an automated employment service delivered by apps and algorithms rather than street-level organisatons and frontline staff. The hope is that this will liberate case managers in contracted employment services to provide more personalised and intensive one-on-one support to those furthest from employment. Yet the record of Australian employment services to date in supporting such cohorts to find and sustain employment is extremely poor. It is also highly uncertain whether contracted out services will remain viable if providers no longer have access to the ‘job ready’ clients that they have previously relied on to generate revenue.
With Workforce Australia, employment services delivery in Australia is being automated to an unprecedented extent internationally. This move, from the street-level to the machine-level delivery of welfare-to-work, raises a series of concerns that will be discussed by this panel:
  • What are the risks and opportunities presented by digitalisation for unemployed people and service providers?
  • What are the trade-offs involved in automating discretion for the balance between efficiency/inclusion and consistency/personalisation in service delivery?
  • How is digitalisation intersecting with mutual obligations and the automation of conditionality?
  • What new forms of exclusion are arising, and how does these intersect with existing inequalities in service access and delivery?
These and other questions will be discussed by prominent advocates, experts by lived experience, and researchers who have been tracking the evolution of employment services for many years.

Chair:
Dr Lyndal Sleep, Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society, University of Queensland.

Discussants:
• Dr Simone Casey, Senior Policy Advisor (employment), Australian Council of Social Services and Associate, Centre for People, Organisations and Work, RMIT
• Raquel Araya, Advocacy Coordinator, Australian Unemployed Workers Union
•Assoc Prof Jo Ingold (Deakin Business School): Investigator with the Digital Futures at Work Research Group and ESRC-funded Welfare at a (Social) Distance project
• Assoc Prof Siobhan O’Sullivan (University of New South Wales) and Dr Michael McGann (University of Melbourne): Authors of Buying and Selling the Poor: Inside Australia’s Privatised Welfare-to-Work Market and chief investigators on the ARC Linkage The New Digital Governance of Welfare-to-Work.







TASA 2022 is being supported by the Melbourne Convention Bureau. 


TASA 2022