School of Sociology Highlights

School of Sociology Highlights

The School of Sociology has created an exciting program of research and teaching that combines the theoretical and applied dimensions of sociology. The ethos for the school is centered around the critical analysis of social transformations, publically-engaged aspirations and impact, and dedication to examining inequality in its various manifestations.

Events, Conferences and Exhibitions

  • 2017 saw many fantastic seminars in the Sociology Series, including Dr Natalia Ruiz-Junco’s 'A New Sociology of Empathy' and Professor Mary Lou Rasmussen’s 'Prophylactic sexuality education, “young people” and sexual futures'.
  • Along with the ANU Gender Institute and the School of Demography, the School of Sociology hosted a one day cross-disciplinary symposium for ANU researchers focusing on reproduction and family formation. The sympsoisum, entitled 'Reproduction and Family Planning' brought together 20 researchers involved in a diverse range of topics relating to this area of research.
  • In November, the School of Sociology hosted the inaugural conference on Mundane Governance, which explored the subteties and intimacies of governance as demonstrated in Woolgar and Neyland’s foundational work of the same name, which was a publication with the Oxford University Pres. The conference featured a public lecture given by Professor Steve Woolgar, one of the writers of the publication.
  • The 15th Dangerous Consumptions Colloquium was held over a two day period in December and focused on research that examined any form of “dangerous”, “risky” and contestec consumption of products such as alcohol, tobacco, pharamaceuticals, coffee, sugar, illcit drugs, gambling, sexuality, reproduction, the internet, social media, pornography and food, drawing information on social, cultural and critical theory.
  • Associate Professor Dr Robert Ackland has been researching the tracking of Twitter activity of Australian politicians and this vitriolic abuse directed towards the politicians has been brought to life as an artwork series by PhD candidate Jen Fullerton. The artwork is part of the ANU 2017 Vice Chancellor’s College Artists Fellows Scheme which pairs the ANU School of Art and Design PhD and Honours students with academic researchers.

Consultancies and Outreach:

  • Professor Roger Burrows visited the school in August 2017 and gave a public lecture on exploring gentrification in order to interrigate recent socio-spatial changes in some of London’s most affulent neighbourhoods.
  • Internationally renowned public lecturer Professor Nikolas Rose gave a lecture on exploring how we can rethink the experience of living in the city in the light of recent developments in the sciences of life.
  • Sociology Masters candaidate and PARSA President, Alyssa Shaw,  travelled to the UN Commission for the Status of Women’s annual gathering as part of the YWCA Australia delegation.


  • Emeritus Professor Anthony Hopkins published an artice in The Conversation on “How the gas industry can help fight climate change in Siberia”. The article discusses the contribution that the gas industry can make to fight against climate change in providing technologies to capture methane gases released from melting permafrost.
  • Dr Timothy Graham and Associate Professor Robert Ackland published a chapter entitled “Do Socialbots Dream of Popping the Filter Bubble? The role of socialbots in promoting participatory democracy in social media’ in Socialbots and Their Friends: Digital Media and the Automation of Sociality. It was one of the first academic collections to consider the socialbot in a critical manner.
  • Associate Professor Helen Keane, published an article called “Anytime, Anywhere’: Vaping as a social practice” examining the way vaping has been established as a practice through a range of factors such as the increased burdens of smoking and the online availability of information and advice.
  • Dr Jenny Davis published an article called “Curation: a theorectical treatment” analysing how people curate the digital content that they share, and that which they consume.
  • Professor Mary Lou Rasmussen edited and wrote an introduction to to the Palgrave Handbook of Sexuality Education, which provides an authoritative overview of issues within sexuality education, coupled with ground-breaking discussion of emerging and unconventional insights in the field.


  • Sociology PhD candidate Gemma Killen recieved the CASS Tutoring Award for Excellence in Tutoring for her contribution to the School of Sociology, tutoring and lectuirng in Gender Studies while working towards her PhD.
  • Dr Anna Tsalapatanis, Dr Helen Law, Dr Clare Southerton, Dr Tim Barrett and Dr Dolruedee Kramnaimuang all recieved their Sociology PhDs in December 2017.

Updated:  28 September 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications