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Tuesday, December 3



POSTGRADS: Getting the most out of conferences

avatar for Professor Raewyn Connell

Professor Raewyn Connell

University of Sydney
Raewyn is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, a recipient of the American Sociological Association's award for distinguished contribution to the study of sex and gender, and of the Australian Sociological Association's award for distinguished service to sociology... Read More →





KEYNOTE: Linda Tuhiwai Smith
Decolonising the sociology of tangihanga: Don't look at our people's grief and despair, look at what they grieve for and feel ashamed

Known as the Mother of Indigenous Studies, Prof Smith’s book “Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples” is considered one of the most influential texts on Indigenous research. Her books, articles and YouTube lectures are prescribed texts in Universities around the world.

avatar for Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith

Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith

University of Waikato
Professor Smith is one of the first Māori women to become a Fellow of the Royal Society, she has received an Honorary Doctorate in Canada and her Prime Minister’s Award is the highest national award for lifetime achievement in education. Appointments to organisations such as the... Read More →

Tuesday December 3, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Waipapa Marae 16 Wynyard St, Auckland



Chair: Alice Mills

Tess Barlett: Constructions of the family for imprisoned primary carer fathers

This paper draws on an Australian Research Council funded study conducted in Victoria and New South Wales between 2011 and 2015 that examined care planning processes for children when their primary carer parent was arrested, sentenced, imprisoned, and released. In particular it examines data relating to 39 primary carer fathers incarcerated in prison in Victoria, Australia. The term ‘primary carer’ has mixed definitions and, although this study had a strict criteria, discussions about primary care with participants were not straightforward and instead revealed complex lives. This raises definitional issues relating to ‘primary care’ and the nature of the family and family networks for this population. By examining the interview process as well as the views of incarcerated primary carer fathers, this paper aims to explore differing constructions of the family for incarcerated fathers within the context of imprisonment. Drawing on research and theory related to families and imprisonment it explores a number of key themes relating to incarcerated primary carer fathers including the complexity and meaning of family for fathers in prison. Ultimately it seeks to explore the following question, what is the nature of family for imprisoned primary carer fathers?

Cinnamon Lindsay Latimer and Alice Mills: Going Straight Home?

Going Straight Home? is a Marsden-funded project which aims to explore the role of stable housing in reducing reoffending for people leaving prison in New Zealand. It involves pre and post-release interviews with a cohort of prisoners. The researchers have spent the last six months going into prisons around New Zealand for the initial interviews and have now begun the challenging task of trying to contact the sample six months later to conduct the first wave of follow-up interviews. This methodology paper will speak to some of the initial findings of the study, and share some reflections on the research process, including the challenges of practising whanaungatanga in the highly restrictive environment of the prison and the difficulties of maintaining contact with an incredibly transient and hard-to-reach population. It will also explore how concepts, such as whānau and ‘home’, can have differing meanings to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated populations, and the nuances of applying these within criminological research.

Luke Oldfield: Pākehā in uniform: Autoethnography of a Spring Hill Corrections Officer

One of many factors contributing to a punitive-thinking public is the physical, psychological and financial remoteness of prisons in contemporary society. These facilities, often closed off in view from the general public, shelter and reinforce misconceptions about prisoners, projecting the most egregious individuals and their behaviors while obscuring a majority of those on the muster. This autoethnography provides my observations as an officer at Spring Hill Corrections Facility, a prison in the North Waikato. It traverses a number of anecdotes from both inside and outside the prison walls, intertwining social realities with the political environment from which the Department of Corrections has been operating. It hopes to illuminate not just the hopelessness of performance measurements such as Reducing Reoffending by 25% but also how much further the (Pākehā) public must come before it sets aside the desire for an ever expanding carceral state.

Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream 



BREAKOUT SESSION ONE: Gender & Sexuality
Chair: Vivienne Elizabeth

Ciara Cremin: Femininity and the end of Masculine Domination

A power play in which strength means domination and, if not through the dividends of class and race, domination is achieved through aggression, traits associated with the term masculinity are inextricable to patriarchy and capitalism. A stylisation as opposed to a state of being, masculinity is born of crisis but only named as such when the veneer of invulnerability is tarnished. A feminine woman, on the other hand, wears her vulnerability. Goddess, slut, scab to the sisterhood and never queer enough, her femininity is synonymous with decadence, frivolity, weakness and fragility. Her adornments, Freud thought, compensated for the absence of a penis, whereas for others are markers of an enslavement to and complicity with the nefarious practices of the beauty and fashion industries. Being turned into a woman, wrote Bourdieu, is the worst kind of humiliation to be inflicted on a man. The barrier that exists in an overwhelming majority of men that prevents them from making even the slightest sartorial incursion onto woman’s turf is more than a question of style or social pressure. It is an index of the degree to which the subject, irrespective of how they are sexed, is invested in masculine forms of domination. The paper considers how this bond can be severed.

Paul Ware: Does the punishment fit the crime? Examining self-problematising pornography consumers’ negotiation of a stigmatised condition

It is suggested that alongside the explosion in internet access, the viewing of pornographic material has increased significantly. Discussions on whether behaviours of a sexual nature should be added to the addictions section of the most recent version of the DSM prompted a flurry of literature to accompany public conversations on the topic. Efforts were made - and resisted - to establish pornography as a potentially addictive agent. Efforts have also been directed at examining why some consumers of pornographic material come to consider their behaviours problematic. Largely absent from the literature have been the voices of those under scrutiny. Also lacking has been critical and theoretical engagement with the topic. Through research conducted as part of the BHSc Honours programme, I hoped to play a part in addressing both of these issues. I conducted 24 in-depth interviews with participants seeking help to change their pornography consumption. A range of Foucauldean concepts informed the research. Participants were seen to draw on a range of experiences and discourses in their self-problematisation and transformative efforts. For most, the relationship with pornography represented a small part of wider processes of self-discipline, but a part they believed instrumental in accessing particular subjective and institutional transformative technologies.

Suraya Dewing: Enforcing Gendered Policies: The Impact on Transgender Inmates in New Zealand Prisons

In New Zealand, transgender prisoners continue to be exposed to unsafe conditions because initial housing placements are determined by their birth sex and not gender identity. Consequently, they are more likely to be assaulted, neglected, raped and subjected to degradation than their cis-gendered counterparts (Schweikart, 2018). In 2013 the Department of Corrections (DOC) delivered a policy that promised to be more in line with retributive, restorative and reintegration initiatives (Cassaidy, 2016). The revised M.03.05 Transgender and intersex prisoner policy allowed prisoners to be transferred to a women’s facility (DOC, 2019), but enforced arbitrary guidelines which meant most remained in these conditions for several months before being transferred (Schweikart, 2018). In 2018, as an attempt to create visibility, DOC added I.10 Management of Transgender Prisoner guidelines to work in conjunction with the policy (DOC, 2019), but again, failed to address the systematic discrimination sex-segregated institutions impose on gender non-conforming people. This paper argues that to reduce harm and to address these deficiencies, legislators need to revise and authorise placement modifications that are not currently permitted by law (Lea Johnson, 2015). This needs to happen so that imprisonment is a guaranteed just and proportionate sanction for these prisoners. By introducing trans-friendly guidelines to work in conjunction with an already problematic policy will continue to fall short of providing safety because the key determinants for placement decisions are still grounded on binary logic that privileges heteronormative assumptions of gender.

Rogena Stirling: Sex Equality: Will the mainstreaming of gender lead to sex equality?

Sex inequality and discrimination has been based upon the embodied socio-cultural roles and functions in the forms (sex, gender and orientation – as we refer to them today) of sex. This history of sex – its nature, roles of sex and what they should mean – has been reflected through the history of intersex. It was the control over intersex that gender began its rise in power from John Money as the “outcome of a cognition-based behavioural system where gender role was merely one variable of sex among many.” John Stoller picked up on this work of gender and designated it as “the cultural order of sex separate from biological sex variables” becoming the common usage today as two different orders of data. Such a notion of gender is being mainstreamed into social and public life. The process of mainstreaming gender though has further entrenched a biological determinism and though recognises de jure sex diversity, on a de facto basis merely sees diversity as ‘other’. Recognition of sex diversity must include the multiplicity in all its forms to overcome inequality and discrimination must fight against the embodiment placed upon these forms.

Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.

avatar for Rogena Stirling

Rogena Stirling

Teaching Fellow/Researcher
Have completed a PhD in human rights and taught in areas including Urban governance and social policy. I have written on sex/gender equality, affordable housing, and identity and Well-being/human flourishing, and data issues.


Chair: Manuel Vallee

Michael Nuth: Socio-technical networks and housing failure: a sociological explanation of technical flaws within medium-density housing

Orin Lockyer: Consuming Houses: Production and Consumption through the lens of first-time clients building a house in New Zealand

Casimir MacGregor: Beyond behaviour change? The epistemic and social practice foundations for ‘behaviour change’ in the context of the transition to a net- zero carbon economy

Zohreh Karami Nejad: The foundations of collaborative governance: Building the soft infrastructure of 'housing' renewal

During the last decades, collaborative governance, has been advocated as an approach with many benefits for planning, policy and decision making. While collaborative governance is seen as an improvement on technocractic ‘top-down’ approaches, critics note significant concerns around inclusion, power-imbalance and other inequalities. Also, the main focus of the theory seems to be on a single formal collaboration stage, and it lacks enough attention to pre-history and context of collaborations. We found that an informal, pre-collaboration ‘stage’ was critical in mitigating contextual and historical factors that often lead to marginalisation during more formal negotiations. Before undertaking consensus-oriented deliberations in settings that privilege certain interests, our data emphasised building trust and credibility, collective community capability and a mandate as foundational to the process. We conclude with the idea that we need to extend and expand our conceptualisation of collaborative governance to include a composite of formal and informal elements that provide varied opportunities for inclusion and alternative means of representation.

Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.


Chair: Louise Humpage

Rebecca Grimwood: The challenges of financing social services through Social Impact Bonds: Lessons from New Zealand

Around the world, governments have become increasingly intrigued by the possibility of harnessing the private ‘impact investment’ market to finance the delivery of social services. Social Impact Bonds have received particular attention and have been implemented in over 20 countries. Enabling government to repay investors upon the achievement of agreed social and fiscal outcomes rather than service outputs, Social Impact Bonds are seen as a way to catalyse ‘innovation’ in the social services sector. But there are significant operational challenges that attend these efforts. This paper focuses on the fraught implementation of New Zealand’s Social Impact Bond pilot program to identify general lessons for practitioners.

Tom Baker: Investable poverty

The management of poverty is undergoing significant changes with the rise of social investment states. In this context, we examine how governmental concern about the long-term public cost of poverty is increasingly modulating the selection, sequencing and targeting of interventions that seek to manage poverty. Using examples drawn from the management of homelessness in Anglo-America, we outline a research agenda related to the objectification, economisation, and subjectification of ‘investable poverty’. These emergent developments at the intersection of social investment and poverty management invite social scientists and others to rethink where, when and how poverty management occurs.

Louise Humpage: Will payment-by-performance improve Māori outcomes? Whānau Ora commissioning agencies and social impact bonds

The National-led government experimented with payment-by-outcomes models in social services, assuming stronger financial incentives and private investment were necessary to improve social outcomes. This paper examines two such models: 1) the commissioning agencies that make funding decisions on behalf of the state as part of a broader Whānau Ora strategy and receive performance payments if certain outcome levels are achieved Māori families; and 2) the social impact bond trials that involve for-profit organisations funding mental health services for the unemployed and attempts to reduce youth reoffending, while non-government organisations deliver the services needed. Although not explicitly targeting Māori, the sites for and focus of these trials mean Māori are disproportionately targeted. Service providers receive performance payments and funders receive returns on investment if outcomes are significantly improved. Drawing on government documents and independent reviews, the paper qualitatively analyses the costs/benefits associated with these new ways of delivering social services, as well as practical issues of implementation. The Whānau Ora commissioning agencies demonstrate more potential to improve indigenous peoples, given they offer greater level of indigenous control over the funding process and given significant problems with the bond trials, but there is no evidence that payment-by-outcomes is effective in either case.

Pekka Pennanen: Social Impact Bonds in Finland

One of the latest social innovations for the realization and funding of welfare services is Impact Investing and one of its form, Social Impact Bond (SIB). In the SIB-model, private or institutional investors invest in welfare services and take financial risk. SIB arrived in Finland as a process of several coincidences. The application of the new model as part of the welfare service provision in Finland is still fairly limited. However, the upcoming projects are larger in scale and budget than those implemented so far. My study reveals four objectives and four methods that the Social Impact Bond combines. The first objective is prevention of social problems. The second is improving the productivity and efficiency of social services. The third objective is better services, and the fourth is to reduce the budget deficit. These objectives can be achieved by applying the model-related methods. The first method is performance measurement and enhancing public sector effectiveness. The second method is increasing cooperation between different sectors. The third method is buying results, and the fourth is transferring the financial risk to private investors.

Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.


BREAKOUT SESSION ONE: Sociological Theory
Chair: Simon Barber

David Toews: Where do Beliefs Come From? Tarde’s Relational Theory of Monadic Order Schemes

Much of sociology is built upon a misapprehension of Durkheim’s idea that our individual beliefs are a product of social constraint as a positive theory based upon induction from empirical realities. Durkheim’s theory of belief is, in fact, wholly negative and deductive, appealing to a notion that it is inconceivable to not believe in anything given that social behaviour seems to only appear as incoherent when one has failed to identify the people, places, and things in certain definite situations that it is reacting to and in some sense constrained by. As a result of this misapprehension, I claim, sociological theorists have neglected to ask the question: where do beliefs come from? Relational sociological theory puts forward that what are primary are fluctuating networks of relations. Tarde posits that wild or unprocessed – what he terms ‘cosmic’ – networks of relations are seized and ordered by humans through a process of imitating other people, animals, and things. He puts forward the concept that within vast interferences between various networks of imitations there emerge “mathematical reasons” that account for why this or that belief becomes formulated in the minds of actors and then used as an affectively-loaded account of their action. This quantified landscape of relations amounts to what I term monadic order schemes. In this paper, by drawing contrasts between Durkheim and Tarde, I critically explore the extent to which a Tardian neomonadology can help explain where beliefs come from and their role in social interaction, as well as the relationship between humans and other objects.

Benjamin Atkins: Capital’s modes of being: on phenomenological ontology and historical materialism

Edmund Husserl’s development of phenomenology in the early 1900s was instrumental to the much of the philosophy that followed, from existentialism to ‘poststructuralism’. His and Martin Heidegger’s work provided rich methodological apparatuses not only for ‘continental philosophy’ but for progressive thought around the world, including feminist, anti-racist, and anti-colonial theory in the U.S., Latin America, South-East Asia, and Australasia. This occurred despite the fascist politics of one of phenomenology’s leading figures, Martin Heidegger. My recently submitted dissertation proceeded from puzzlement at this contradiction between Heidegger’s politics and the influence of his work on radically progressive thought. I enquire into how this might be, and whether the compatibility of phenomenology with liberatory thought might indicate the untapped potential of phenomenology’s relationship with historical materialism. This takes form through the immanent critique of Heidegger’s work and Herbert Marcuse’s early attempt to synthesise these fields. I provisionally suggest that phenomenology can provide an ontological supplement to Marx’s concept of capital as self-valorising value by revealing it as an ontological structure of human being. Workers exist in an immanent ontological understanding of capital’s constituent entities such private property, alienation, and exploitation, as the very basis of theoretical understandings of capital.

Marko Galic: The Making of Precarious Habitus

This paper investigates the structural constraints and everyday struggles of vulnerable precarious workers who work within insecure modes of employment. Working in unprotected precarious jobs results in precarity, a broader concern that prevents workers from both anticipating the future and living well in the present. It signifies a socio-economic condition and a mode of domination that systematically subjects increasing numbers of people to uncertainty and social vulnerability. Because women, Indigenous peoples and non-Western migrants are disproportionately represented in precarious work, this paper critically analyses precarity in the longue durée, considering the historical connections between precarity and capitalism (the mode of accumulation) and between precarity and colonialism (the structure of dispossession). Drawing on ethnographic work based on 26 semi-structured interviews with precarious workers and union representatives, I analyse precarity beyond the relationship of paid work. I introduce the concept of precarious habitus, signifying normalisation and internalisation of precarity. As an intentional consequence of anti-worker employment policies, the study reveals workers’ struggles to get by in an environment of precarious work and life, forcing them into submission and the acceptance of exploitation.

Anna Fielder: Stretch Marx

The maternity services are in a state of crisis in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Over the past 18 months, midwives and nurses have taken to both streets and picket lines in objection to pay and working conditions. Doctors have also been on strike. There are maternity staff shortages across the country, and a particularly acute shortage of Māori and Pasifika midwives. Maternity unit closure has created longer travel distances for people in labour and resulted in babies born on the side of the road. In this paper I discuss some of the largely unspoken ways in which capitalism has contributed to the contemporary crises which beset the maternity services, and I do so by drawing upon the work of Karl Marx. However, Frantz Fanon once noted that ‘Marxist analysis should always be slightly stretched’ when considering contexts of colonisation. In this paper I stretch the corpus of Marxism even further, in order to take the topic of childbirth seriously.

Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.


Chair: Liz Beddoe

David McNabb: Growing Partnerships: Responding to Issues of Privilege in Social Work Education in Aotearoa

The social work profession is committed to human rights, social justice and the achievement of equity within human societies. It is the job of social work education to prepare and support students to work in a way that promotes these goals. Whereas a critical analysis of societal injustice is often employed that typically focuses on the disadvantage experienced by oppressed groups, the concept of privilege is helpful in analysing the advantages held by dominant groups as a flip side to such analysis. Research was undertaken with nine of the 19 social work programmes throughout Aotearoa to examine how this commitment to equity was being demonstrated by educators. Participants included a diverse range of educators who spoke about the way injustice was analysed and addressed. The theme of privilege was raised and formed part of the practice for teaching about injustice, also for educator development and the way equity could be demonstrated more widely within their programmes. Examples are discussed and recommendations made on how the concept of privilege can be helpfully used in teaching, in staff development and more broadly in social work education programmes.

Susan Beaumont: Diversity and te Tiriti o Waitangi: Educating Social Workers

Beaumont’s (2018) research found that although social work practitioners reported their social work education did not support their engagement with diversity, knowledge of te Tiriti o Waitangi did. Research suggests knowledge of te Tiriti o Waitangi raises practitioner awareness of colonization and power dynamics in Aotearoa New Zealand. The social work profession recognises dynamics of power as central in the violation of human rights for all peoples. However, education in te Tiriti o Waitangi or in others forms of difference does not necessarily translate into competent practice. This raises challenges for social work educators who must attest to each graduates’ competency to work with tangata whenua, other ethnicities and cultural groups, diversity and difference. This presentation explores themes raised by qualified, practising social workers about te Tiriti o Waitangi and diversity and will prompt discussion about how to grow Tiriti-based practitioners able to engage biculturally in a diverse society.

Larah Bottomley: Child and family participation in child protection services

There have been policies, theories and research brought about recently that highlight the importance of children having a voice, and the right to participate, within child protection services. However, what does this look like in practice? Many agree that child participation should be welcomed, but is this simply lip service?
The aim of my presentation is to report on my scoping review conducted this year that discusses child and family participation in child protection services. I will raise issues such as what does participation look like, is participation actually prioritized, and what are the barriers and enablers to children and their families participating more in child protection services. While my research seeks to answer these important questions as much as possible, it has also shown where the gaps in knowledge are, and poses questions around how front-line workers will respond to child and family engagement in the future.

Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.


David McNabb

Senior Lecturer, Unitec
avatar for Liz Beddoe

Liz Beddoe

Professor, University of Auckland



KEYNOTE: Professor Roger Burrows
In the decade between 2007 and 2017 London changed fundamentally. This lecture is about how the actions of the transnational über-wealthy — the “have yachts” — impinged on the life-worlds of the “merely wealthy” — “the haves.” The lecture will explore the conceptual utility of gentrification as a way of thinking about these seismic urban changes, and concludes that profound socio-spatial changes and new intensities in the financialization of housing, neighborhood tensions, and cultural dislocations are reshaping London as a plutocratic city and the lives of those who live there in historically unprecedented ways. Even the concept of “super-gentrification” does not adequately frame these circumstances.

Sponsored by BRANZ.

avatar for Professor Roger Burrows

Professor Roger Burrows

Newcastle University, UK
Roger Burrows is Professor of Cities at the School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape, Newcastle University, UK. His academic background is in sociology, statistics and political economy but he has also worked in the fields of social policy and cultural studies. About one-half... Read More →