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Professor Janeen Baxter

Current Projects

For Better or For Worse? Understanding the Revolution in Married Life in Australia
With Belinda Hewitt, University of Queensland (ARC Discovery Grant, $560,000)

There has been a revolution in the social organisation of marriage. Internationally we have witnessed dramatic changes in the rate of marriage, the route to marriage and the timing of marriage. This project investigates what is happening to marriage in Australia and whether it provides the same benefits and outcomes it once did. Are married people happier and more satisfied than others, do these patterns vary across social groups and are they affected by differing pathways to marriage? The project uses publically available data from various Australian longitudinal surveys and the ABS, as well as new data from in-depth interviews. The results will improve our understanding of how different life choices shape wellbeing, and the implications of marital transformation for social, political and economic structures that have traditionally relied on marriage as a basic organizing principle. This is a 5 year project incorporating an ARC Professorial Fellowship for Janeen Baxter, and an Australian Postgraduate Award for Maelisa McNeil.

Negotiating the Lifecourse: Longitudinal Research into Work and Family Transitions and Trajectories
With Peter McDonald, Edith Gray, Ann Evans, Deborah Mitchell, Jennifer Baxter and Julie McMillan, Australian National University (ARC Discovery Grant, $580,000 in most recent ARC round)

This study is a longitudinal investigation of the relationship between men's and women's changing involvement in paid work and the organisation of domestic work. It began in 1996/97 with a national survey of 2231 respondents across Australia. Since then we have been successful with 4 applications for funding from the ARC to collect an additional 4 waves of data (2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009). The aim of the project is to examine the ways in which individuals negotiate the demands of paid and unpaid work as they move through the lifecourse. The survey collects detailed information about current work involvement, work histories, the domestic division of labour, household organisation, current and previous relationships and a range of social attitudes. Beyond its major academic contributions, results have been extensively reported in the media and have increased community understanding of Australian society. The project has an important role in several areas of policy formulation especially in work/family, housing and education. Its principals are leading social commentators in these policy areas partly because they are able to draw upon this significant national resource. The study has provided the basis for numerous Honours, Masters and PhD projects. Full details and results from the project to date can be found in Ann Evans and Janeen Baxter (eds) (forthcoming) Negotiating the Life Course: Stability and Change in Life Pathways Dordrecht: Springer.

Women in Non-Traditional Careers: A Longitudinal Study of Female Professionals in the
Mining and Resources Industries
With Polly  Parker, David Brereton, Catherine Pattenden and Kathy Kram (ARC Linkage $220,000)


Partner Organisation(s): BHP Billiton Ltd, Minerals Council of Australia, Queensland Resources Council, Rio Tinto, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Xstrata Copper


Despite improvements in diversity policies, EEO legislation compliance, flexible work options, and mentoring and networking programs for women, research evidence shows that companies in the mining and resources industry encounter great difficulties attracting and retaining women in technical fields. This study addresses these issues through a longitudinal study of women in the mining and resources industry. It addresses four key research questions: 1. What factors influence the career pathways of women professionals working in non-traditional roles in the mining and resources industry, and how does this compare to the experience of men? 2. What factors influence women’s decisions to exit the industry or shift out of mainstream operational roles? 3. How do women in the industry manage the work-family interface? 4. What kinds of career supports, organisational and industry culture, workplace policies and management strategies are, and would be, most useful to women to sustain and develop their careers? The study utilises unique baseline data collected in 1997 by CI Pattenden for a project commissioned by the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. This project, one of the first to examine women’s career pathways in the mining industry, is now recognised as a benchmark in the Australian Mining Sector. The research focused on the low participation rates of women (approximately 10% in 1997) in the industry’s technical professional workforce, and the factors impeding their progression to more senior management and executive levels. The current study traces and re-interviews participants from this baseline project and examines their career pathways over time to chart career progression and analyse factors influencing career choices and outcomes. These data are supplemented with an industry wide survey of a new sample of men and women in the industry examining employment experiences, work-family balance and career pathways. While the research focus is primarily on women working in technical professions, such as engineering, geology and metallurgy, it is anticipated that the findings will have broader relevance to understanding the experience of women working in other male-dominated industries. The project includes an Australian Postgraduate Award for Janice Terrill.

Completed Projects

Industrial Relations, Gender Equity and Work/Family Balance: Assessing the Impact of Changing Law and Practice in Queensland
With Gillian Whitehouse, University of Queensland and Catharina Broers, Queensland Department of Employment & Industrial Relations (ARC Linkage Grant, $233,000)

This project is designed to assess the impact of changing industrial relations law and practice on gender equity and work/family balance in Queensland. It seeks enhanced understanding of the complex relationships between industrial relations frameworks, business adaptations and outcomes for employees; focusing in particular on the way these relationships vary across sectors and regions. An innovative research design will track a panel of workplaces and their employees over three years, complementing aggregate statistics with in-depth longitudinal evidence. The research is highly significant as industrial regulation in Australia undergoes major change, and offers a new level of evidence to inform policy.

Cohabitation in Australia: Trends and Implications for Family Outcomes
With Michele Haynes and Mark Western, University of Queensland (ARC Linkage Grant, $99,000)

Australia, like most other western nations, has witnessed a significant increase in the percentage of couples choosing to cohabit rather than to marry, from 5.7 to over 12 per cent over the last 25 years. Even more dramatic is the increase in the percentage of couples choosing to cohabit for a period of time prior to marriage, from less than 10 per cent in the 1960s to over 75 per cent in 2003. The aim of this project is to contribute to our understanding of these trends and in particular to use longitudinal panel data to examine the implications for relationship quality and stability. This project has three broad objectives: First to develop and expand our understanding of recent trends in cohabitation rates in Australia by examining the social, demographic, economic and attitudinal characteristics of cohabiters compared to non-cohabiters. Second, to examine the implications of cohabitation for relationship outcomes after marriage or in other subsequent relationships. Third the project will employ recently available longitudinal data from HILDA and state-of-the-art longitudinal methods to track the movement of individuals through cohabitation and the impact of cohabitation on relationship outcomes. The APAI on this project is Sandra Buchler.

Neoliberalism, Inequality and Politics
(with Mark Western UQ; John Western, UQ; Bruce Tranter, UQ; and Jan Pakulski, UTAS (ARC Discovery Grant, $420,000)

In 20 years since 1983 there has been a fundamental transformation of Australian public policy based on economic deregulation, an increasing emphasis on market processes and the privatisation and corporatisation of government businesses and services. This project examines the impact of these changes on social mobility and inequality, gender relations and politics and culture. We use high-quality national sample surveys and leading-edge statistical methods to adjudicate on whether neoliberalism produces positive or negative social outcomes in these three areas of social life. The project is being conducted jointly with colleagues in the School of Social Science, the School of Political Science and International Studies, and the University of Tasmania.

The Causes and Consequences of Marital Separation and Divorce in Australia.
(with Mark Western, University of Queensland and Karen Wilson, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and indigenous Affairs. (ARC Linkage Grant, $86,000)

This project used longitudinal Australian data to investigate the causes and consequences of marriage breakdown. Most previous Australian divorce research concentrated on describing overall trends or used samples of separated and divorced populations only. This study examined data from representative population samples to first develop a conceptual framework for understanding the structural and demographic determinants of marriage breakdown in Australia, second gain a greater understanding of the financial and health implications of separation and divorce over time, and third identify issues arising from the research that were relevant for informing social policy relating to marital breakdown. The main outcome was a significant advance in our understanding of the factors contributing to divorce and the consequences of divorce in Australia and the provision of essential knowledge to better inform policies relating to marital separation and divorce. The APAI on the project, Belinda Hewitt, successfully completed her PhD and was awarded the Jean Martin Award for Best Sociology PhD thesis in Australia 2005-2007 and is currently an Australian Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow.


Associate Professor Alex Broom

Current Projects

2011-13 Australian Research Council Discovery Project [DP110104636] Navigating back pain care: a sociological study of women's illness pathways within and between intersecting social worlds. [Broom, Adams, Refshauge, Sibbritt] $391,622

Back pain impacts on millions of Australians each year yet our understanding of the ways in which people negotiate the multiple and often ideologically distinct care provider groups available remains limited at best. Drawing on a nationally representative sample of Australian women, this will be the first sociological study worldwide to document women’s decision-making practices, illness experiences, and lay/professional interactions in the context of back pain. Utilising a mixed-methods approach and through the synthesis of novel theoretical perspectives, the results will bring together the perspectives women and care providers to facilitate new theoretical insights into these ‘intersecting social worlds’.


2011-15 Australian Research Council Future Fellowship [FT100100294] The changing landscapes of medical pluralism: a sociological analysis of patient experiences and decision making in Australia, India and Brazil. $656,448

Many countries have witnessed a massive increase in the popularity of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine alongside biomedical approaches to health care. However, little is known about people’s decision-making practices, illness experiences, and lay/professional interactions in a range of cultural contexts. Using a mixed-methods approach and a critical sociological perspective, the results will bring new insights into medical pluralism in the developed and developing world. This will be the first sociological study worldwide to undertake an international analysis of how countries balance biomedical vis-à-vis traditional, complementary and alternative approaches to health care.


2012-15 Australian Research Council Linkage Grant [LP120200268] Pathways to and through palliative care: A sociological study of patient, carer and clinician experiences at the end of life. [Broom, Adams, Yates, Kirby, Good, Wootton, Hardy] $164,830 [Total cash and in-kind $591,411]

Well over 100,000 people die per year in Australia and this has major psychological, emotional and economic impacts on individuals, families and communities. While palliative care services exist to support patient and family needs at end-of-life, palliative care in Australia is often fractured, ideologically driven, and varied in scope depending on the context of care (i.e. dying at home versus in a hospice). This world-first sociological study will qualitatively explore patient and family pathways to and through palliative care, providing the knowledge necessary to enhance patient and family choice and improve care at the end of life.


2010-12 Australian Research Council Discovery Grant [DP1094765] Therapeutic pluralism in pregnancy, labour and birthing: Decision-making, communication and interprofessional dynamics [Adams, Broom, Gallois and Sibbritt] $270,000

The aim of this study is to discover new empirical and conceptual understandings of landscapes of care in pregnancy, labour and birthing (PLB), from the perspectives of Australian women and a range of health practitioners. The project, the first in-depth social analysis of therapeutic pluralism in PLB worldwide, will help provide an evidence base for policy and practice development in this important area of women’s health care.

 

 


Dr Lynda Cheshire

Current Projects

Local Government, Mining Companies and the Resources Industry in Regional Australia: Meeting the Governance Challenge
(with David Brereton, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, UQ, Catherine Pattenden, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, UQ, and Geoffrey Lawrence, UQ)
Recent mining expansion in Australia has presented significant challenges, as well as opportunities, for regional communities. Using a comparative, cross-jurisdictional, approach this study will examine how regional governing entities are responding to these challenges. The project addresses: the shifting lines of responsibility between the public and private sectors; the response capacities of local governments; and the cumulative impacts of intensive resource development on regional communities. The study is expected to place Australian scholarship at the forefront of mining/governance research and assist policy makers and resource companies develop more effective governance responses to mining developments in the regions. This is a two year ARC Linkage project that commenced in 2009 and is being run through the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at The University of Queensland.
 

Globally Engaged? Responses to Neoliberal Globalisation among Family Farmers in Australia
(with Geoffrey Lawrence, UQ, Zlatko Skrbis, UQ and Mike Woods, Aberstwyth)

Australia has one of the most ambitious programs of agricultural reform in the world, which makes Australian family farmers some of the most globally embedded of all social groups. In spite of this, mainstream sociological debates about globalisation rarely consider farmers as reflexive actors of global economy but focus instead on the mobile and cosmopolitan workers of the knowledge economy. This project engages with the concept of global reflexivity to examine how farmers interpret and act within this global environment. It is hoped that the research will: fill a critical gap in knowledge of how family farmers negotiate a global world; bring farmers to the centre of mainstream debates about globalisation; provide baseline survey data for international comparison; and provide new insights into farmer responses to free trade policies. This is an ARC Discovery project that commenced in 2009 and will run for three years.

Completed Projects

Engaged Government: A Study of Government-Community Engagement for Regional Outcomes
(with John Wanna, ANU; Patrick Bishop, Griffith; Geoffrey Lawrence, UQ; John Rolfe, CQU and Allan Dale; DRNM).
This project is an ARC linkage project involving four industry partners from the Queensland Government (NR&M, Main Roads, Transport and LGAQ) and three universities (UQ, Griffith and CQU). It's objectives are twofold: one the one hand, it seeks to examine the changing role of the state in contemporary social life by exploring the shift in rule from government to governance ? that is, from the top-down exercise of state power to a form of rule that is exercised through partnerships between state and non-state actors. On the other hand, this project also aims to examine these new practices and relations of governance as they are played out in an empirical setting. Through an examination of various government-community engagement strategies initiated in Queensland, this research will assess the potential for new governance arrangements to lead to positive long-term outcomes for regional areas.

Building Sustainable Social Capital in New Communities
(with Bruce Muirhead, Helen Bartlett, Geoffrey Lawrence, Andrew Jones and Phil Graham, UQ)

This study is jointly funded by the Australian Research Council and the property developer, Delfin Lend Lease (DLL) and involves a team of researchers from around UQ. In recent years, DLL has adopted a social capital framework for its development activities as a way of creating residential communities that are both self-reliant, and that exhibit high levels of trust, cohesion and reciprocity amongst the local population. The aim of this research is to undertake an examination of the issues and assumptions underpinning social capital building by DLL, and to raise broader issues such as the roles and obligations of property developers in providing social or employment services to residents of their communities, rather than merely houses.

Site-Level Community Engagement Processes in the Australian Minerals Industry: A Comparative Analysis
(with David Brereton, Victor Callan, Neil Paulsen and Bernard McKenna, UQ)

A key principle of corporate social responsibility is that companies should endeavour to engage with, and be responsive to, the concerns of affected local communities. With the support of four industry partners, this ARC-funded study will compare how community engagement has been practised at seven Australian minerals operations. The study will examine the discourses and practices of community engagement in each mine site, assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of existing engagement processes, account for significant differences between sites, and identify opportunities for improving how companies engage with communities.


Associate Professor Michael Emmison

Current Projects

The Impact of Technological Modality on Troubles Telling and Advice Giving on a National Children's Helpline
(with Susan Danby - QUT, Jonathan Potter and Alexa Hepburn - Loughborough University UK, and Jacob Cromdal and Karin Osvaldsson - Linkoping University Sweden)

This is an ARC Discovery Project which has received $175,000 in support for the period 2007-2009. The project is a conversation analytic study which is examining interaction between children and young adults who make contact with Kids Help Line, the national Australian help line, and the professional adult counsellors who respond to their inquiries. The focus of the study is the impact which the chosen technological modality of making contact (by telephone, online web-counselling or email) has both on the formulation of the callers’ troubles tellings and the way the counsellors respond to these.

The Management of Medical Advice Seeking in Calls to a Child Health Line
(with Susan Danby, Carly Butler and Karen Thorpe – QUT)

This study, which has received funding from the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation (Perpetual Trust) and Queensland University of Technology, is examining the apparent paradox of nurses avoiding giving medical advice in calls to a Child Health Line. The paradox of avoiding giving medical advice on a ‘health line’ arises because, contrary to caller expectations, the Child Health Line nurses do not have the institutional remit to offer advice. Drawing on a corpus of over 450 calls to the help line the project is using conversation analysis to examine the methods that the nurses employ when dealing with requests for medical advice from callers.


Doctor Emma Kirby


Current Projects

The Sociology of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine
(with Alex Broom - UQ, Jon Adams - UTS, Carla Meurk - UQ, David Sibbritt - UTS, Amie Steele - UTS, Jon Wardle - UTS, Assa Doron - ANU, K.R. Nayar - JNU India, de Barros - UNICAMP, Brazil, Kathy Refshauge (USydney)
Within the sociology of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM) we focus on the critical analysis of contemporary healthcare practices, grounded in individual accounts of health, illness and healing. Our sociological analyses tend to focus on the interplay of healthcare practices and professions, and the complexities, nuances and temporal dimensions of individual experience. Challenging the whole range of epistemological and ontological standpoints within our increasingly pluralistic healthcare landscapes - and whether focusing on issues around cancer, chronic illness, maternity care or rural health - we take a critical approach that seeks to document perceptions and experiences from a wide range of stakeholder perspectives. Across out research projects we aim to provide novel theoretical understandings of the state of contemporary health and medical practice.

The Sociology of Cancer and End-of-Life Care
(with Alex Broom - UQ, Jon Adams - UTS, Phillip Good - St Vincent’s Brisbane, Julia Wootton - St Vincent’s Brisbane, Assa Doron - ANU, K.R. Nayar - JNU India)
Cancer: Within the sociology of cancer we explore health, illness and healing experiences, including those of patients, families and healthcare professionals. Here we focus on the utilisation of rigorous sociological research methods and theory to better understand the social, cultural, historical and political aspects of contemporary cancer care and survivorship. That is, drawing on a wide range of data sources (e.g. survey methods, qualitative interviews, ethnography, document analysis, dairy case studies), we explore the perceptions and experiences of those with, and impacted on, by cancer. Departing from a focus on traditional ‘quality of life’ measures, a critical sociological perspective interrogates cancer as a social, cultural and physiological entity, and those who are affected by it as embedded in systems of knowledge and practice that require certain things of them. Such understandings are aimed at helping provide better care and services to patients and families, and support health professionals.

 


Professor Geoffrey Lawrence

Current Projects

Governing Food Security in Australia in an Era of Climate Change: A Sociological Analysis (with David Burch, UQ)
Ensuring Australia’s food security is an emerging concern for the nation. This study is: evaluating the impacts upon food security of a range of resource and environmental factors, including climate change; examining the governance of food security; exploring the food-security issues arising from the extreme weather events of 2011; and assessing long- and short-chain systems of food provision at a time of crisis. Expected outcomes are:
•    a critical understanding of the agencies responsible for food security governance;
•    an assessment of the ability of the agri-food system to ensure food security;
•    conceptual developments in food governance; and
•    recommendations to improve food governance in Australia.
This is a two-year ARC Discovery project that commenced in July 2012 and involves a PhD and MPhil student.

The New Farm Owners: Finance Companies and the Restructuring of Australian and Global Agriculture (with David Burch, UQ, Kristen Lyons, UQ, and Carol Richards, UQ)
Financial institutions now control millions of hectares of farmlands, worldwide, marking a new phase in the ownership and organization of agriculture. Yet, little is known about the way Australian and global agriculture is being restructured by finance capital. This study is: investigating how and why financial institutions are involved in agriculture; assessing the social and environmental impacts; identifying local level responses; and linking these changes to broader processes of globalization and neoliberalism. Expected outcomes are improved knowledge of the dynamics of finance capital’s role in agriculture, new insights into global agri-food transformations, and an understanding of the nature of opposition and resistance to financialisation. This is a four year ARC Discovery project that commenced in July 2011. It involves partners in Germany and Norway as well as an Australian Postdoctoral Fellow a PhD student and an MPhil student.

Governing Food in a Globalising Environment: Innovation and Market Strategies in Norwegian Food Supply Chains
"(led by Reidar Almas, Norway, and includes teams of researchers from Norway, Canada, the US and Australia)
This project addresses the question of how competitiveness and innovativeness of food producers are affected by processes of governance and industry interaction in a globalising environment. In response to major challenges for global food supplies, Norwegian food industry and regulatory authorities need to understand the challenges and opportunities arising from new technologies, shifting multilateral regimes and, in consequence, shifting patterns of value chain interaction. Such understanding will improve the capacity of Norwegian food industries to formulate adequate strategies for knowledge-based-competitiveness. The project is funded from the Norwegian Food from Sea and Land (‘Matprogrammet’) program.



Completed Projects

From Seedling to Supermarket: The Social and Environmental Implications for Australia of the Restructuring of Agri-food Supply Chains
(with David Burch, UQ, and Jane Dixon, ANU)
Supermarkets are involved in the restructuring of agri-food supply chains, the contours and impacts of which are poorly understood. The aims of this study are to: document the changes that are occurring in agri-food supply chains; compare and contrast the Australian and overseas experience; and, identify the social and environmental impacts of such transformations. The outcomes are expected to include new insights into: supermarket power; the regulation and governance of agri-food chains; and supermarket influence on diet and consumer health. This is a four year ARC Discovery project that commenced in 2007 and includes two PhD students and a Postdoctoral Fellow.

Local Government, Mining Companies and the Resources Industry in Regional Australia: Meeting the Governance Challenge
(with David Brereton, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, UQ, Catherine Pattenden, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, UQ, and Lynda Cheshire, UQ)
Recent mining expansion in Australia has presented significant challenges, as well as opportunities, for regional communities. Using a comparative, cross-jurisdictional, approach this study will examine how regional governing entities are responding to these challenges. The project addresses: the shifting lines of responsibility between the public and private sectors; the response capacities of local governments; and the cumulative impacts of intensive resource development on regional communities. The study is expected to place Australian scholarship at the forefront of mining/governance research and assist policy makers and resource companies develop more effective governance responses to mining developments in the regions. This is a two year ARC Linkage project that commenced in 2009 and is being run through the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at The University of Queensland.

Globally Engaged? Responses to Neoliberal Globalisation among Family Farmers in Australia
(with Lynda Cheshire, UQ, Zlatko Skrbis, UQ and Mike Woods, Aberstwyth)
Australia has one of the most ambitious programs of agricultural reform in the world, which makes Australian family farmers some of the most globally embedded of all social groups. In spite of this, mainstream sociological debates about globalisation rarely consider farmers as reflexive actors of global economy but focus instead on the mobile and cosmopolitan workers of the knowledge economy. This project engages with the concept of global reflexivity to examine how farmers interpret and act within this global environment. It is hoped that the research will: fill a critical gap in knowledge of how family farmers negotiate a global world; bring farmers to the centre of mainstream debates about globalisation; provide baseline survey data for international comparison; and provide new insights into farmer responses to free trade policies. This is an ARC Discovery project that commenced in 2009 and will run for three years.


Professor Jake Najman

Developmental Determinants of Crash Risk Behaviour
This study is a continuation of the Mater prospective cohort study of childhood development begun in 1981. This road safety component will extend the cohort study and make use of developmental data already collected to explore predictors of driver risk behaviour and consequent crash-related injury rates. Outcome data has been collected from specific questionnaires to be administered to subjects supported by information from routine administrative databases such as mortality and morbidity data files, trauma registries, and Queensland police and transport crash data files. Information from this study may help facilitate the development of strategies for reducing road accidents and injuries in this high risk age group. This study involves a record linkage between survey data and records of incidents recorded by the Queensland Department of Transport. The linked records maintain the anonymity of all respondents

Longitudinal Study of Social Factors Influencing the Health of Mothers and their Children
This project (commonly referred to as "The Mater Project" or Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy and its Outcomes [MUSP], funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, began in 1981. It involves a sample of 8,556 mothers who were enrolled in the study at their first pregnancy visit. Mothers were interviewed in the first trimester of pregnancy, three to five days after the birth, six months after the birth and most recently at five years and at fourteen years of age. The study has been funded for a 20 year follow-up of the original participants. This began in 2002 and will continue until the end of 2004. The study is concerned with a wide range of factors, e.g. social class, religious beliefs and practices, mental health, lifestyle and how these impact on the health and development of children and changes in the health of women. This study provides a unique opportunity to look at the way women's lives change after they give birth and the factors that predict these changes and the consequences of these changes for the health of their children. It also allows examination of child health and development from the prenatal period through to adulthood.

Summary of National Study of Health Intimacy and Social Relations
This study entails a random telephone survey of 3000 Australian adults, aged 18-69 years, to gather information on current sexual satisfaction, sexual problems and prior sexual abuse. In addition, information on the mental and physical health of people will be gathered. This information will be used to (1) estimate levels of sexual problems and sexual practices within the population; (2) relate these sexual problems and practices to peoples. current mental and physical health; and (3) compare those people who do and do not respond to these types of sex related surveys and estimate what effect they may have on the results.


Professor Zlatko Skrbis

Current Projects

Social Futures and Life Pathways of Young People in Queensland: Waves 2 and 3 of Longitudinal Study
(with Mark Western - UQ)

Much has been written about the unprecedented change in society and how it impacts on the identities of young people. It has been argued that young people's life trajectories are much more diverse, flexible and unpredictable than they were in the past. In 2006 the investigators surveyed over 6000 young Queenslanders aged 13 about what they think of their future and how they cope with change. This ARC Discovery-sponsored project follows-up participants when they are 15 and 17 to provide important information for researchers, policymakers and others about how young people think about their futures, engage with society, and move through school, work and family in a world of rapid change and uncertainty.

Social Networks, Belonging and Active Citizenship among Migrant Youth in Australia
(with Fethi Mansouri - Deakin; Steve Francis - Australian Red Cross; Carmel Guerra - Centre for Multicultural Youth)

This project will focus on youth from three Australian migrant communities at the centre of recent debates about migrant integration, intercultural conflict and social cohesion. It will investigate the role of formal and informal networks in creating among migrant youth a sense of belonging to the mainstream society. The project redresses a critical gap in popular and official understandings of the social fabric of Australia and will provide benchmark data for improved government and community services in the area of migrant youth. It will examine and assess the role of social networks in informing young people's sense of belonging and active participation in the community of citizens.

Globally Engaged? Responses to Neoliberal Globalisation among Family Farmers in Australia
(with Lynda Cheshire - UQ, Geoffrey Lawrence - UQ, and Mike Woods - Aberstwyth)

Australia has one of the most ambitious programs of agricultural reform in the world, which makes Australian family farmers some of the most globally embedded of all social groups. In spite of this, mainstream sociological debates about globalisation rarely consider farmers as reflexive actors of global economy but focus instead on the mobile and cosmopolitan workers of the knowledge economy. This project engages with the concept of global reflexivity to examine how farmers interpret and act within this global environment. It is hoped that the research will: fill a critical gap in knowledge of how family farmers negotiate a global world; bring farmers to the centre of mainstream debates about globalisation; provide baseline survey data for international comparison; and provide new insights into farmer responses to free trade policies. This is an ARC Discovery project that commenced in 2009 and will run for three years.

Cosmopolitanism: Uses of the Idea
(with Ian Woodward, Griffith)

Cosmopolitanism is a concept discussed in various social science and humanities disciplines with increasing regularity. It is becoming an essential concept that helps us explain and imagine anything from the nature of contemporary social relations, the limits of the political and the nature of our consumptive practices, to ways in which we think about strangers and the limits of our freedom. A monograph titled Cosmopolitanism: Uses of the Idea will be published by Sage in early 2011.

Completed Projects

New Pathways and Belief Formation in a High School Setting
(with Mark Western, UQ; Bruce Tranter, University of Tasmania; David Hogan, NIE, Singapore)

This research projects is a longitudinal study of young Queenslanders and attempts to provide a comprehensive assessment of the identities, attitudes, beliefs, expectations and social orientations of young people at critical points in their life trajectories. By tracking them over time and watching how their identities and life circumstances change it brings critical evidence to bear on the nature of the "new life pathways" in contemporary Australia and on who the new winners and losers are in the new social environment. By investigating issues of identity formation and transformation, mapping life pathways that move through worlds of work, education, family and the like, and showing how pathways and identities are linked, the research addresses central questions about the extent to which individuals can negotiate and take advantage of the new social arrangements they encounter in their daily lives. The first wave of this study was conducted in 2006 and involved more than 7000 young people across all educational sectors.

The Sociology of Cosmopolitanism: Globalization, Identity, Culture and Government
(with Gavin Kendall, QUT; Ian Woodward, Griffith)

The dream of a cosmopolitical utopia has been around for thousands of years. Yet the promise of being locally situated and at the same time globally connected and mobile has never seemed more possible than it is today. The question remains as to whether it is positive and realistic for us to have multiple loyalties. Can we sustain community and solidarity with our neighbours while we look beyond our nation? And if we can’t - or won’t – consider distant strangers as part of our own world, are there increasingly dire consequences? This book reconnects classical sociological theory and contemporary ideas on mobility, otherness, material assemblages, consumption and surveillance to render the idea of a global cosmopolitan utopia amenable to sociological investigation.

Constructing Singapore: Elitism, Ethnicity and the Nation Building Project
(with Michael Barr, Flinders University)

Constructing Singapore studies Singaporean nation-building by focusing on two processes: elite formation and elite selection. It gives primary attention to the role that ethno-racial ascription plays in these processes, but also considers the input of personal connections, personal power, class and gender. It is a study of the progress of Singapore's state-sponsored nation-building project to its current state whereby a Singaporean version of Chinese ethno-nationalism has overwhelmed the discourse on national and Singaporean identity. Based upon archival research and formal interviews, this study published in 2008, unpacks the culture of elite governance in Lee Hsien Loong's Singapore today.