Within a non-academic work setting, the idea of being ‘too academic’ often implies placing a different value on the scholarly application of theory and methods than is usually practised in formal academic contexts. This edition of Working Notes aims to highlight the different ways in which sociology is practised outside academia.
Language, Ideas and Policy: Insights From the Periphery. By Dr Dina Bowman, Melbourne, Australia
Dina draws parallels between her initial encounters with the jargon and assumptions of employment services policy and the treatment of ‘invalid’ survey responses. She emphasises the importance of looking at marginal perspectives—those understandings outside the dominant frame of reference within which policy research.
Do It Yourself Social Research and Everyday Evaluation: Lessons From a 40-year Career as an Applied Sociologist. By Dr Yoland Wadsworth, Melbourne, Australia
Yoland is renowned for her action research techniques, having worked with various research centres within universities as well as with state government research centres. She writes about her new book which brings together the wealth of her social research and evaluation experiences.
Health Matters: Working with Qualitative and Quantitative Methods. By Dr Christine Walker, Melbourne, Australia
Christine specialises in qualitative research on health issues, but she has more recently began working with quantitative methods. She discusses her not-for-profit alliance network supporting chronic illnesses, as well as her research on diabetes and epilepsy.
Addressing Disadvantage: Applying Theory to Practice. By Dr Dina Bowman, Melbourne, Australia
Dina writes about her work with a not-for-profit organisation that addresses employment disadvantage through services, advocacy and research. Dina’s current research focus is on understanding inequality in the ‘working years’. She outlines how it is possible to use social theory in an applied context in order to address inequality and to inform effective policy and practice.
Sociological Leadership in Education. By Dr Steve Nwokeocha, Abuja, Nigeria
Steve explains how sociology influences his management style for a government department contributing to regional educational policies. Steve also demonstrates ‘the difference a sociologist can make in bringing about positive changes in an organisation and in launching a very new organisation into national, continental and global relevance’.
Influencing Social Change: Advice for Students Who Want to Work with NGOs. By Sharon Bond, Melbourne, Australia
Sharon works as a Senior Research Officer with a not-for-profit organisation. She discusses her research that informs planning and development for community services helping school to work transition. Sharon discusses her career path and she provides advice for people looking to find similar jobs, including her studies and the skills required in her day-to-day work.
Identity Development Amongst Sea/Tree Changers: A Postgrad Research Blog. By Christina Kargillis, Sunshine Coast, Australia
Christina is a third-year postgraduate student studying identity development amongst people who move from larger cities to smaller country areas. She introduces how her blog supported her research.