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Centre for Research on Social Inclusion

CRSI Students

Bona Anna 

Supervisor: Dr Jean-Philippe Deranty; Associate Supervisor: Dr Amanda Wise
PhD Topic: Everyday Multiculturalism and the Theory of Recognition: A Case Study of an Australian Migrant Community
Everyday multiculturalism is a bottom-up research approach that focuses on cultural difference as it is experienced and enacted by people in daily life. It encompasses a view of the world at the level of social interaction - encounter, mutual exchange, reciprocity. In this regard everyday multiculturalism can be said to share something of the foundational impetus of Axel Honneth's (1992) recognition theory. Honneth presents us with a conception of human autonomy centred on the prerequisite of intersubjective recognition, and a related framework for interpreting emancipatory struggles (social movements) as drivers of social and moral transformation. This PhD project will bring an everyday approach to research in an Australian Pacifica migrant community, and apply precepts drawn from recognition theory to develop new ways of conceptualising the migrant experience. Its findings will add both to the growing literature on everyday multiculturalism and emerging empirical considerations of recognition theory.

Kristine Aquino

Supervisor: Dr Amanda Wise; Associate Supervisor: Dr Selvaraj Velayutham
PhD Topic: Everyday Racism and Antiracism: The experience of middle class and working class Filipinos in Sydney
This research investigates how working class and middle class Filipinos in Australia experience, understand, and manage race and racism in their everyday lived experiences. Through field observation and qualitative interviews with Filipino-Australians living in metropolitan Sydney, this study explores how racism manifests itself in everyday routine situations across diverse social spaces, and the cultural strategies and discourses deployed by Filipino-Australians to overcome these racial boundaries. By investigating how boundaries are transgressed or maintained, the research seeks to develop a critical understanding of how notions of equality and difference are conceptualized and lived out across race, class, culture, gender and generation among the Filipino diaspora in Sydney.

Marcus Baynes-Rock

Supervisor: Prof Deborah Rose; Adjunct Supervisor: Dr Fekadu Beyene
PhD Topic: Tricksters, Tramps and Tourist Attractions: The Spotted Hyena in the Human World
In Africa there is no animal more loathed, vilified and persecuted than the spotted hyena. Considered to be too ugly to be of any benefit to tourism, classified as vermin by livestock herders, historically dangerous to humans sleeping outdoors and considered unclean and contaminating due to its propensity towards consuming human remains, the hyena is a public relations challenge of the highest order. Hence, it is interesting that in the urban setting of Harar, Ethiopia, spotted hyenas are actually encouraged and roam the streets at night with impunity, consuming the garbage that the population produces and finding their way into the traditions and beliefs of the townspeople.
This research is concerned with the nature of the relationship between people and hyenas in the town of Harar and surrounding region. In a wider African context, Harar is of interest because it stands as an exception to the general treatment that hyenas receive and raises questions about peoples' attitudes towards animals that are based on physical or behavioural characteristics. In terms of environmental philosophy, Harar is interesting as it challenges the unwritten rule that wild nature should be 'out there' and distinct from the urban environment. Click here for Marcus' web page, blog1, blog2.

Ana Beaumont

Supervisor: Prof. Mitchell Dean; Associate Supervisor: Prof. Jaqueline Hayden
PhD Topic: New Directions for Participation and Governance: The idea of the Youth Council in modern liberal democracies
Youth councils are established by regional and local governments as representative forums for children and young people, with the aim of ensuring that children have the opportunity to actively participate in local decision making. Whilst generally heralded as a positive development, questions nonetheless arise as to why governments are intent on extending the idea of government to children in the guise of youth councils? This research considers how youth councillors experience and exercise 'agency' and 'power' and how this is understood within theoretical discourse on governance. The study will involve an exploration of the experiences and attitudes of youth councillors towards understanding the role of the youth council within modern societies. Focusing on the experiences of youth councillors in Australia, Germany and England, an international comparative perspective will be taken.

Sudheesh Bhasi

Supervisor: Dr Amanda Wise; Associate Supervisor: Dr Selvaraj Velayutham
PhD Topic: Faith and Social Capital: Exploring Religious Influence among Indian Immigrants in Multicultural Australia
This research examines the role of religion in providing the impetus to promote levels of social capital that could increase social opportunity and improve the quality of life in diasporic immigrant communities. Drawing upon empirical ethnographic research among first-generation Hindu migrants in Sydney, the study also explores ways in which values imparted through religious groups are appropriated by the migrants in creating positive changes in their own lives, which in turn improve their social potentiality. Furthermore, the study compares the significance of Hindu religious groups in the lives of Indian migrants, to secular ethnic-based organisations, to understand their varying roles in the active negotiation of identity within the Hindu disapora in Sydney. 

Catherine Byrne

Supervisor: A/Prof Marion Maddox
What, in heaven's name, are they teaching my 5-year-old? Does public education's hidden Christian curriculum contribute to social exclusion?
Australian public education is officially secular. Unofficially, many schools promote religious celebrations and support religious instruction. In some regions, a parent's choice: to scripture or to non-scripture? is a choice between Christian evangelism or time-wasting. The un-stated message, that Christianity has government-sponsored privilege, may contribute to social exclusion. As more non-Christian families locate in rural and regional areas, such single-faith national identity alignment will have important implications. My research explores this hidden religious curriculum in public schooling through surveys of kindergarten teachers, scripture volunteers, parents of kindergarten children and the children themselves. I hope to propose a model for socially inclusive religious education. Click here for Catherine's project page.

Stuart Cooke

Supervisor: Prof Deborah Rose
PhD Topic: Contemporary Indigenous Poetic Responses to Colonisation in Australia and Chile
This research focuses on the poetics of place in the poetry of Indigenous and Settler poets in Australia and Chile. The study is particularly interested in theorising a trans-Pacific theory of Indigenous poetics, or a theory that recognises how indigenous poetic expression is tied indelibly to particular locales, but also how often it is concerned with making connections to indigenous communities in other parts of the world. Drawing on work by Gilles Deleuze, Jerome Rothenberg, Stephen Muecke and Deborah Bird Rose, this work looks at mediations between the 'individual' and the 'many', 'flux' and 'form', and how the poem can mediate between these categories in post-colonial contexts. Loosely correlated with eco- and ethno-poetics, as well as with Indigenous Studies, this project examines in a critical light the poetic responses of two dramatically separate and distinct Indigenous populations to the onslaught of European colonisation.

Sean Durbin

Supervisor: A/Prof Marion Maddox
PhD Topic: American Evangelical culture, language and politics

Kathryn Gooch

Supervisor: A/Prof Marion Maddox; Associate Supervisor: Dr Judy Lattas
PhD Topic: At the Intersection of Terror and Gender: A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis
The discourse on the 'war on terror' has emerged as one of the most powerful in contemporary society. It has been used to justify a series of military operations, to legitimate a plethora of new 'security' measures and institutions, and to validate a number of new social norms and anxieties. This study aims at an understanding of how this public discourse has formed in Australia, based on the post-structuralist work of Michel Foucault concerning discourse and power. In particular, the study will explore how underlying attitudes towards gender in Australia have shaped the discourse, and how these attitudes have manifested in public opinion concerning the 'war on terror'.

Homeira Hosseini

Supervisor: Dr Amanda Wise
PhD Topic: The impact of immigration on gender role among Iranian women
This research investigates the perception of gender roles among female Iranian immigrants in Australia. This study will look at these changes on women's translating of their identity as well as the impact of these transformations on their relations and their positions among the community and in the family. The researcher believes that evaluating the changing gender roles within Iranian immigrants in sociology and feminist analysis could be helpful to reduce the negative consequences of these changes. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of the wider social- cultural context on women's conception.

Hau-Ren Hung

Supervisor: Prof Deborah Rose
PhD Topic: Indigenous ecological knowledge, social inclusion and action research: a comparison of case studies in Taiwan and Australia
The aim of this research is to explore the use of Indigenous knowledge in decolonizing relationships of exclusion and facilitating social and ecological benefits in settler societies. In this research, the concept of belonging will be a central theme. The case studies will enable me to ask the question: how can different traditions of belonging co-exist and flourish? I propose that people could develop a placed-based environmental ethics through their practices of belonging. Thus, belonging-shaping to a place through the revival, practice and communication of traditional knowledge may be a key to improving social inclusion and reconciliation. The basic premise is that local knowledge derived from place not only empowers minorities to confront the impacts of social exclusion, but contributes to ways of dealing with social injustice and ecological crisis in this time of rapid social and ecological change. Click here for Hau-Ren's profile page.

Mei Yi Leung

Supervisor: Dr Amanda Wise; Associate Supervisor: Prof Michael Fine
PhD Topic: Inclusion and exclusion of culturally and linguistically diverse communities in public spaces: the role of local government in Australia
Australians have prided themselves as a multicultural society where differences are not only 'tolerated' but embraced as 'productive diversity'. Against the facade of social harmony and rhetorics of 'fair-go for all' and 'mateship' is the reality of everyday discord in interaction among people that look, feel, believe and speak differently in public spaces like shops, roads, beach, parks, libraries, places of worship etc. While statutory authorities and all levels of government have roles to play in making the public space a welcoming and inclusive one, Mei's research will focus on the role of local government. As the local authority responsible for the physical as well as social infrastructure, local government in Australia has the capacity to exclude or include. Through empirical research, Mei will explore what roles local government have been playing, how well their work has been received by CALD as well as the wider communities.

Radhika Mittal

Supervisor: A/Prof Marion Maddox
PhD Topic: The mass media representation of environmentally sustainable food practices
Various food choices such as local or slow food, organic and non-genetically modified produce and vegan or vegetarian lifestyles are environmentally sustainable. They allow for a more traditional and intimate relationship with ecology. Acting as catalysts, these movements also challenge the existing equations between citizenship and consumerism, the political and the personal, private and public and the connections between production, marketing and consumption. Food choices can lead to a new discourse in equity, justice and environmental ethics. In this light, examining the connection between food and ecology, and the practices that respect this, I plan to look at the mass media representation of environmentally sustainable food practices. The mass media play an important role in depicting and influencing society and as a point of public participation on many levels, link science, society and state policy. Do the media limit or expand public understanding of the interrelation between food production and consumption practices and the environment? Does media portrayal forge a link between ongoing climate change and global food practices/trends? Or is there a sense of depersonalisation - thereby distancing readers from the reality of the environmental impact of their food behaviour? These questions will be addressed through an in-depth qualitative analysis of prominent newspapers from Australia, USA and UK.

Liberty Orbe-Taruc

Supervisor: A/Prof Marion Maddox; Adjunct Supervisor: Dr Phillip Ablett 
PhD Topic: Challenging the national leadership: The evolving role of the Roman Catholic Church in Philippine politics
The study focuses on the role that the Catholic Church has played in times of national leadership crises. It will involve an analysis of the factors that led the Catholic Church to mobilize the people against President Marcos in 1986 (EDSA I) and President Estrada in 2001 (EDSA II). Despite the wealth of writings about EDSA I and II, as well as those that highlight the Catholic Church's role in these events, there is dearth of publications that provide continuity to these events by relating it to present leadership crisis.

Carlos Palacios

Supervisor: Prof Mitchell Dean; Associate Supervisor: Dr Rochelle Spencer 
PhD Topic: When globalization opens social alternatives: new forms of citizenship and critical action in modern society
My research looks at new forms of critical action that bridge the divide between individualist and collectivist citizenship. Traditional understandings of citizenship tend to resolve the problem of social cohesion and multiculturalism by either obliging citizens to be altruistic and communitarian (collectivist) or by rewarding those who make out of their lives a personal race and an (individualist) competition for economic recognition. My PhD explores instead new practices of active citizenship like volunteer tourism, social entrepreneurship, service learning and collaborative consumption that are able to reconcile these two apparently opposing sides of contemporary liberal democracies.

Hwa Sur Park

Supervisor: A/Prof Marion Maddox; Associate Supervisor: Prof Soo Young Auh
PhD Topic: Korea's Transition from the Homogenous to the Diverse Society reflected on the policies of the Korean government
Korea has been going through dramatic social transformation from a homogenous society to a diverse one in recent years since it started the foreign workers program in 1991. It has changed from an emigration to an immigration country with over 1.2 million immigrants including foreign workers, marriage immigrants and others from surrounding Asian countries. The Korean diaspora and expatriates with foreign citizenship are nearly 70% of the 'immigrants' followed by the ones from China, Vietnam, CIS and etc. The main argument of the thesis is that having had closer encounter with ethnic Koreans of foreign citizenships  from various countries as 'foreign workers' and 'marriage migrants' and ever developing transnational network of the Korean diaspora communities in nearly 160 countries globally, the process of Korea's transformation into a diverse society as reflected on the government policy has been heavily influenced by  the process of its realization that the Korean ethnicity is not as homogenous as they believe but more complex and diverse. It is a new approach distinguishing itself from other studies following the similar cases found in other immigration countries such as Australia and Canada which see the social change as the result of the countries' new demographic composition resulted by the growing immigrants of alien ethnic background. My main point of the thesis is that the change of Korean people's view about their national identity and consequent social transformation into a diverse society are caused as much by their discovery about themselves as about the new demographic and cultural composition led by the Immigration. The main aim of the thesis is to contribute to Korea's becoming more inclusive of the social diversity.

Robert Pereira

Supervisor: Prof Gail Whiteford; Associate Supervisor: Assoc Prof Ellie Vasta
PhD Topic: The politics of participation: A critical and occupational justice analysis of social inclusion policy and its (non)effects on citizens living with multiple disadvantage.
This applied qualitative research investigation originated from Robert's experiences as an occupational therapist working with marginalised people in regional and rural settings in Australia and Chile. A large focus of his professional experience has involved working with people living with chronic illnesses and disabilities who also experienced other psychosocial and lifestyle disruptions and disadvantages such as living with low income, accommodation issues, isolation, high prevalence of mental illness, pension uptake, substance use and unemployment. As a result, Robert's thesis focuses on the 'multiple disadvantage' of experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage together with living with disability, as they can significantly influence one's participation in life and society. Robert's research aims to investigate the barriers to, and enablers of, participation for this marginalised group of society through a life history study of seven citizens living in Western Sydney. A crutial element of his thesis relates such experiences within the context of the developing social inclusion policy discourse in Australia through a critical analysis of key policy 'texts', including documents, speeches and press releases. The 'analysis of discourses' (Bacchi, 2005) employs a 'what's the problem represented to be?' (WPR) approach (Bacchi, 2009) together with the 'Participatory Occupational Justice Framework 2010' (POJF 2010; Whiteford & Townsend, 2011), providing a complimentary policy analysis from both a critical and occupational lens.

Rhonda Roberts

Supervisor: Professor Deborah Rose; Associate Supervisor: Professor John Simons
PhD Topic: The Human-Canine Bond: Empathy, Recognition and Reciprocity between Humans and their Canine Companions
In 'The Animal That Therefore I Am' (2002), the philosopher Derrida tells of his embarrassment at having been seen naked by his cat; then he is embarrassed that the cat created such a response in him at all. His experience is an account of intersubjectivity between humans and non-human animals, and it is this topic that I am exploring in my thesis.
The research is a qualitative study of the intersubjective relationships between people and their dogs. I will be exploring the concepts of empathy, recognition and reciprocity, with a specific focus on the everyday lived experiences shared between humans and their canine companions. I will argue that the three paradigms intersect and together offer a new way of looking at devotion between species. This research aims to bring the intellectual context of the humanities into focus with individual case studies designed to address issues related to human-canine engagement.

Kylie Sait

Supervisor: Dr Amanda Wise; Associate Supervisor: Prof Michael Fine
PhD Topic: Cultural Diversity, Community and Caring: Experiences of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) parents
Kylie conducted the research for the ARC Linkage study "Cultural Diversity, Community and Family Services: Experiences among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) parents of local early childhood services in Ryde". Her project investigated the experiences of parents with young children (aged 0-3 years) from various CALD backgrounds living in the Ryde local government area. She explored parents' experiences of local services; assessed the level of community supports and informal networks available to them; and analysed the extent to which issues of cultural, religious and linguistic difference include or exclude parents from formal and informal support networks. The final project report is available here. Based on this research, Kylie's PhD thesis provides an analysis of the ways in which Australian-born and migrant mothers of young children organise and experience employment, child care, and social networks.

Gai Scott

Supervisor: A/Prof Marion Maddox; Associate Supervisor: Dr Rochelle Spencer
PhD Topic: Corporate Australia, Business Enterprises and Australian Government Institutions: Their Internal Policies Relating to the Employment of Australian Muslim Women Graduates
Information obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that Muslim women attend Australian universities in greater proportion than non-Muslim women. They are graduating with qualifications that equip them for employment in the professional workforce. While some elect to work within what might be viewed as a 'protected' environment in Muslim-run or Muslim-focused businesses or organisations, many others enter the general workforce. This research explores the internal policies of Australian Federal and State governments, of Corporate Australia and business enterprises relating to the employment of Muslim women. It also examines the major issues and concerns for Muslim women especially within a secular workplace, and draws comparisons with the situation of their counterparts in England and France.

Chand Somaiah

Supervisor: Dr Amanda Wise; Associate Supervisor: Dr Selvaraj Velayutham
PhD Topic: The Baha'is of Sydney; Migration and Multiculturalism

Mersina Tonys-Soulos

Principal Supervisor: A/Prof. Marion Maddox
Ph.D Topic: Whatever happened to Australia's Multiculturalism ? Compare and contrast with the European Union.
My research will consider the changing nature of Australia's Multiculturalism policies as viewed in part through the practical/theoretical work of the "Cross-Cultural Ministries Department" Sydney Anglican Diocese, (1987-2000). This account:  social, theological and political will then be analyzed through the principles of Social Inclusion/Exclusion theory and its application. The outcome of this research will inevitably herald consequences in multicultural Social Policy for both Australia and the E.U.