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Thursday, December 5 • 1:30pm - 3:30pm
BREAKOUT SESSION SIX: Sociology

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Chair: Bruce Cohen

Bruce Curtis: Initial results from an attitudinal study of academic staff in the humanities and social sciences

The presentation will provide some initial findings from an online study of academic staff in the humanities and social sciences of New Zealand universities. The humanities and social sciences are defined primarily as covered by the PBRF panels: Social Sciences, Humanities and Law, Education, and Maori and Pacific. The study is an attempt at a census and all 1771 staff identified as belonging to the humanities and social sciences were invited to take part. Email addresses were drawn from the calendars of New Zealand Universities. Decisions around the inclusion / exclusion of staff relating to some university units (e.g Commercial Law, and Environment were decided after looking at individual staff pages. The study seeks to reproduce a mail-based approach in 2004 (Curtis and Matthewman, 2005).


Edgar A Burns and Adam Rajčan: Redefining Sociology Doctoral Writing: Producing Articles and Chapters During PhD

We suggest re-conceptualising of sociology doctoral research culture and knowledge production practices. We use as our starting point work done on writing for publication during sociology PhD study in New Zealand and now Australia. We go from this empirical material to think about different experiences and levels of research output activity by PhD students. Writing outputs from published research outputs achieved during the period of students’ doctoral enrolment is interrogated here beyond simply publications counted. What innovative possibilities in social science disciplines, such as thesis by publication and industry PhDs could add to existing practices. A simple typology recognises students variation in writing productivity. What does this means for the writing experiences and expectations of individual students; of students in different departmental cultures; and what different roles colleagues and supervisors play in this process?


Kellie Bousfield and Jacquie Tinkler: “Can you not afford a proper math’s teacher?”: Institutionalised Individualisation, Standardised Testing, and the Decline of Teacher Status

Teacher status is measured by social standing, career desirability, remuneration, trust, and autonomy. The status of teaching impacts teacher recruitment, retention, job satisfaction, performance, and importantly, student outcomes. Internationally, there has been ongoing concern about low teacher status. Extant research in Australia, however, has focused on remuneration, a lack of professional autonomy, and an increasingly standardised curricula as key contributing factors. This research, however, considers the negative impact of standardised testing on teacher status. Nation-wide standardised testing was introduced in Australia as a direct effort to improve educational outcomes. Improvements would come, government argued, by making teachers accountable, to parents, through publicised results. Ten years since its introduction, however, results have not improved, and teachers have been left feeling both undermined and undervalued by these examinations. Utilising Beck’s theory of institutionalised individualisation, and findings from qualitative interviews with parents of students undertaking standardised testing, this research demonstrates how a government policy of standardised testing, and subsequent student performance data generated for parental consumption, undermines teacher status. Specifically, standardised testing, as a policy designed to promote individual choices and private solutions for children’s schooling through parental initiative, sees teachers framed not as competent professionals but as an educational risk parents must guard against.


Bonnie-Estelle Trotter-Simons: Music as critical theory: Exploring intersectional ontoepistemologies


I am interested in exploring what it means to study music in order to conceptualize radical vulnerability and performative ontologies (Nagar, 2018; Jones & McRae, 2011). Further, I illustrate considerations for how this might be done methodologically from an intersectional feminist standpoint. Speaking about sociology of music and feminist literature on embodied theory and reciprocal praxis, I will present on the ways I am conceptualizing musical performance and understanding the role of knowing in being as it relates to performance. I briefly discuss some examples to illustrate my discussion, Angela Davis' analysis of the performances of Billie Holliday and Aghoro's conceptualisation of agentic Afrofuturist ontologies in the music of Erykah Badu and Janelle Monae. I will comment on broad enquiries about what a critical intersectional feminist study of music may offer to theorising radical ways of being with and within the world.


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

Presenters
EA

Edgar A Burns

Chair of Integrated Catchment Management, University of Waikato
Sociology of professions and expertise; book just published.New role about sociology of water and land.
avatar for Kellie Bousfield

Kellie Bousfield

Associate Head of School/Lecturer, Charles Sturt University
I work primarily in the sociology of education. My research interests include education policy, equity, education for democracy, and standardised testing.