antipodeans:

Florence Ada Fuller, Barak, 1885. 
Oil on academy board.
Barak was an important Indigenous artist and activist who worked mostly during the 1880s and 1890s. His paintings and artefacts (spears, shields, clubs and so on) focus on spiritual ceremonies. Culture Victoria has a video discussing Barak’s artistic, cultural and historical significance:

William Barak was a Ngurungaeta for the Wurundjeri people and that means Clan leader. He spent the latter part of his years on Coranderrk Reserve, which was from 1863 to 1903, where he became a prominent figure in the struggle for Aboriginal rights, and particularly the rights of his people on Coranderrk Reserve …
 The Barak artefacts and painting in the Collection are quite significant to us because of who Barak was as a person but also because we don’t have very many items that date back to the late 1800s we can attribute to a specific individual, so for that reason these items are very important to the Trust and very significant to the community.

(via Culture Victoria - Barak)
High-res

antipodeans:

Florence Ada Fuller, Barak, 1885. 

Oil on academy board.

Barak was an important Indigenous artist and activist who worked mostly during the 1880s and 1890s. His paintings and artefacts (spears, shields, clubs and so on) focus on spiritual ceremonies. Culture Victoria has a video discussing Barak’s artistic, cultural and historical significance:

William Barak was a Ngurungaeta for the Wurundjeri people and that means Clan leader. He spent the latter part of his years on Coranderrk Reserve, which was from 1863 to 1903, where he became a prominent figure in the struggle for Aboriginal rights, and particularly the rights of his people on Coranderrk Reserve …

 The Barak artefacts and painting in the Collection are quite significant to us because of who Barak was as a person but also because we don’t have very many items that date back to the late 1800s we can attribute to a specific individual, so for that reason these items are very important to the Trust and very significant to the community.

(via Culture Victoria - Barak)

NAIDOC Week began as a celebration by the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, to recognise ”the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” The NAIDOC tradition stretches back to the 1920s when Indigenous Australian activists protested Australia Day, both due to its colonial history and ongoing discrimination. Indigenous people did not get full rights to vote until 1962 in most states, with Queensland being the last state to grant this right in 1965. Two years later, the Australian referendum amended the Constitution to finally grant Indigenous people citizenship.

The first NADOC Day was held in 1974

This year, NAIDOC began on the 6th of July and ends on the 13th of July. This year’s theme is, Serving Country: Centenary & Beyond. Events will commemorate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have served in Australia’s Defence Forces.

Explore the local events in your area.

Learn more

  • Sociology of Indigenous Australians: the historical, health and economic issues that impact the educational outcomes of Indigenous youth (on my research blog)
  • Other socio-political issues facing Indigenous Australians (on my Tumblr)
  • Indigenous art (on my art blog Antipodeans).

Art Credit: NAIDOC website.

Training Women Engineers at Google

This morning, I co-hosted a STEM Women event along with Dr Buddhini Samarasinghe. We spoke with two women who work on Google’s IT Residency Program. We asked them about how women can get involved with this program and how it helps them manage working in a male-dominated field. Erin manages the program which runs across several cities (including Sydney). They recruit new graduates like Sam, who spoke with us about her experience transitioning from studying computer science and working at the IT helpdesk in her university, to training on the program, and then getting a permanent role at Google as an engineer. 

It was especially interesting to hear that Google recruits people who have strong social skills and training in other fields, rather than simply just for their technical speciality. For example Erin also had a language background (Spanish) as part of her degree and she gave a couple of examples of people hired from the social sciences (psych and neuropsychology). I enjoyed hearing Sam talk about the applied science aspects of her job. Specifically, how working on software engineering projects as part of the program took her in new directions that she would not have otherwise have thought of while studying.


"Astra Howard is an Action Researcher/Performer working predominantly within public spaces in cities…After completing a PhD in 2005 titled: ‘Orchestrating the Public: To Reveal and Activate through Design the Experience of the City’, Astra has continued to test urban and social theories in the city spaces they critique."

Howard is an Australian designer and artist working with city councils, state government departments and community/arts organisations in Australia, Beijing, Paris, New York, Delhi, Hanoi and London. She has also worked with marginalised groups and the homeless in Sydney.  


Image and learn more about her work on the artists’ website. High-res

"Astra Howard is an Action Researcher/Performer working predominantly within public spaces in cities…After completing a PhD in 2005 titled: ‘Orchestrating the Public: To Reveal and Activate through Design the Experience of the City’, Astra has continued to test urban and social theories in the city spaces they critique."

Howard is an Australian designer and artist working with city councils, state government departments and community/arts organisations in Australia, Beijing, Paris, New York, Delhi, Hanoi and London. She has also worked with marginalised groups and the homeless in Sydney.  

Image and learn more about her work on the artists’ website.

Musicians in Chinatown New York City.

Source: Vine.

Making a kimono.

Source: Vine by Ayumi_report.

Image: "National Sorry Day" Sorry in Sign Language by butupa on Flickr.
National Sorry Day commemorates regret for the historical mistreatment of Indigenous Australians. It also symbolises the need for our nation to address the ongoing socio-economic disadvantage of our Indigenous population as a result of colonialism, including these facts:
Indigenous people have a life expectancy that is up to 11.5 lower than the national average
Indigenous people are six times as likely to die through homicide, with 65% of these deaths involving alcohol. This connection between homicide and alcohol rate is three times the national average
Indigenous people are 12 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault, and four times more likely to be hospitalised for alcohol-related mental and behavioural disorders
Indigenous child mortality rates are up to three times higher relative to other kids, and Indigenous children are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital
Indigenous youth are 20 times more likely to be detained in custody
Indigenous students graduate high school at half the rate of other Australians.
Read references and more discussion on my blog. High-res

Image: "National Sorry Day" Sorry in Sign Language by butupa on Flickr.

National Sorry Day commemorates regret for the historical mistreatment of Indigenous Australians. It also symbolises the need for our nation to address the ongoing socio-economic disadvantage of our Indigenous population as a result of colonialism, including these facts:

  • Indigenous people have a life expectancy that is up to 11.5 lower than the national average
  • Indigenous people are six times as likely to die through homicide, with 65% of these deaths involving alcohol. This connection between homicide and alcohol rate is three times the national average
  • Indigenous people are 12 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault, and four times more likely to be hospitalised for alcohol-related mental and behavioural disorders
  • Indigenous child mortality rates are up to three times higher relative to other kids, and Indigenous children are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital
  • Indigenous youth are 20 times more likely to be detained in custody
  • Indigenous students graduate high school at half the rate of other Australians.

Read references and more discussion on my blog.

This graphic has been going around for a few weeks yet surprisingly with little analysis. A Backstage Sociologist first published it in late April, writing only:

Teaching and learning are not market transactions: They are sacred encounters of soulcraft. This graphic leaves one who teaches social science and the humanities with a heavy heart and despairing about the eventual extinction of well-educated citizens.

I suspect there is more to this chart and part of the soul searching should happen within sociology itself. I see the steep rise in business graduates and perhaps to a lesser extent in the life sciences and communications are partly a development in technology and the reality of the job market. 
One way that sociology might address this is through a stronger focus on applied sociology. Without question, developing the sociological imagination has many personal and professional benefits, as critical thinking can help to improve civic participation and empower us to understand our lives in a broader context.
Then again, if you are a poor or otherwise disadvantaged young person thinking about the debt and other commitments you need to balance, pursuing a degree in sociology can be daunting. We are largely positioned as an academic discipline. There are few academic jobs for our graduates. Market forces may be driving graduates away from social science, but our discipline can be doing much more to demonstrate the applicability of our theories and methods to specific jobs and industries. 
You can read more from my website Sociology at Work, with links to resources that can help provide tangible examples of how sociology students might find work in different industries, and how they might specifically use their degrees. High-res

This graphic has been going around for a few weeks yet surprisingly with little analysis. A Backstage Sociologist first published it in late April, writing only:

Teaching and learning are not market transactions: They are sacred encounters of soulcraft. This graphic leaves one who teaches social science and the humanities with a heavy heart and despairing about the eventual extinction of well-educated citizens.

I suspect there is more to this chart and part of the soul searching should happen within sociology itself. I see the steep rise in business graduates and perhaps to a lesser extent in the life sciences and communications are partly a development in technology and the reality of the job market. 

One way that sociology might address this is through a stronger focus on applied sociology. Without question, developing the sociological imagination has many personal and professional benefits, as critical thinking can help to improve civic participation and empower us to understand our lives in a broader context.

Then again, if you are a poor or otherwise disadvantaged young person thinking about the debt and other commitments you need to balance, pursuing a degree in sociology can be daunting. We are largely positioned as an academic discipline. There are few academic jobs for our graduates. Market forces may be driving graduates away from social science, but our discipline can be doing much more to demonstrate the applicability of our theories and methods to specific jobs and industries.

You can read more from my website Sociology at Work, with links to resources that can help provide tangible examples of how sociology students might find work in different industries, and how they might specifically use their degrees.

Aussie Rules footballer and Indigenous Australian, Adam Goodes, unveiled the new Indigenous-themed footy jersey designed by his mother and he fielded questions about yet another incident of racism on the field. He says in response to a media question:

It’s not a comfortable thing to talk about. [Places his palm on chest] It’s definitely not a comfortable thing to have to go through. Yeah it’s going to cause a stir. It’s going to cause people to have conversations about it - but let’s talk about it.

Video source: SBS News.

When I was still teaching sociology, I was often bemused when some students complained that they had too much reading to do ahead of class. We typically set two journal articles or book chapters as mandatory reading each week (and of course there were additional suggested texts). This level of reading will serve you well throughout your career.
In fact, your applied sociological work is likely to involve lots of reading and synthesis of different materials. Your output may not necessarily mean writing up this information. In all likelihood, you’ll have to provide verbal summaries and visual presentations of what you read. All that undergraduate reading will be invaluable to your career.
Read more on my website, Sociology at Work, a not-for-profit network that supports the career planning and professional development of applied sociologists.
[Text image] Applied sociology expands your ability to evaluate, organise & present new information quickly. High-res

When I was still teaching sociology, I was often bemused when some students complained that they had too much reading to do ahead of class. We typically set two journal articles or book chapters as mandatory reading each week (and of course there were additional suggested texts). This level of reading will serve you well throughout your career.

In fact, your applied sociological work is likely to involve lots of reading and synthesis of different materials. Your output may not necessarily mean writing up this information. In all likelihood, you’ll have to provide verbal summaries and visual presentations of what you read. All that undergraduate reading will be invaluable to your career.

Read more on my website, Sociology at Work, a not-for-profit network that supports the career planning and professional development of applied sociologists.

[Text image] Applied sociology expands your ability to evaluate, organise & present new information quickly.

If Gay Guys Said the Shit Straight People Say…

"I don’t mean straight in a heterophobic way, I just mean, you know, dumb and stupid,"  

"You’re a great guy, but just so you know - nothing straight is going to happen between us."

Word to the wise, do not head over to the YouTube comments section of this video, unless you want to read a whole lot of, “I’m not homophobic but…”

Clinical sociology is an applied practice that focuses on health intervention, such as working with medical practitioners, community health services, social policy and public health campaigns. Head over to Sociology at Work to read two case studies of how medical sociology is used.
The first example is in informing health and policy work in industrial claims and workers’ compensations. The second example looks at a clinical sociologist who provides career coaching through physical therapy. Finally, there’s a discussion of how you might begin planning a career in clinical sociology.
[Image text] Clinical sociology delivers health intervention. This includes: rehabilitation; counselling; mediation; community services; case management; social policy research; & public health campaigns. High-res

Clinical sociology is an applied practice that focuses on health intervention, such as working with medical practitioners, community health services, social policy and public health campaigns. Head over to Sociology at Work to read two case studies of how medical sociology is used.

The first example is in informing health and policy work in industrial claims and workers’ compensations. The second example looks at a clinical sociologist who provides career coaching through physical therapy. Finally, there’s a discussion of how you might begin planning a career in clinical sociology.

[Image text] Clinical sociology delivers health intervention. This includes: rehabilitation; counselling; mediation; community services; case management; social policy research; & public health campaigns.

In this video, I discuss the careers panel that I sat on as part of the annual conference for The Australian Sociological Association (TASA). I focus on the panel discussion about how to translate theory into practice when you’re working outside academia. I also cover workplace ethics in the video, as well issues about managing professional identity outside of academia and the importance of networking. I was asked about how I manage my research consultancy business. I talk about how to market yourself and how to establish a professional reputation with prospective clients using social media.

Read a summary of the video on Sociology at Work.