01. January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

Conference Publication Proceedings

Name of the Conference: The Australian Sociological Association 2009 Annual Conference

Dates of the Conference: 01 to 04 December 2009

Location of the Conference: The Australian National University, Canberra

Title of the Conference Proceedings: The Future of Sociology

Publisher: Published by TASA

Compilation and Production: Conference Solutions

Place of Publication: Canberra, Australia

ISBN Number: 978-0-646-52501-3

Editors: Stewart Lockie, David Bissell, Alastair Greig, Maria Hynes, David Marsh, Larry Saha, Joanna Sikora and Dan Woodman; (Eds)

Date of Publication: December 2009

Copyright: © Copyright remains with the authors

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Stating the need for immigration and pointing to its benefits for the receiving country is a known strategy in political discourse to encourage public support of increased immigration targets or liberalised immigration. The economic benefits of migration have traditionally served as a counterargument against political fears of xenophobia in many European countries, and in Australia, they have helped to replace an immigration policy based on exclusion. Needs and benefits are usually described in relation to the host economy, more specifically the labour market and income through tax. The language of needs and cost-benefits which has become normalised in immigration policy in Australia as well as internationally is however not restricted to the policy sphere. It extends into the area of research on immigration and settlement.

This paper will first discuss the economic rationales underpinning Australian immigration policy with a particular focus on regional settlement policies before exploring manifestations of economism in analyses of migration and reflecting on implications for the sociological analysis of migration. The paper is based on a literature and policy review for a new Australian Research Council Linkage project on migrants and refugees’ settlement in rural and regional Australia.

Read full paper “Exploring Economism in Migration Policy and Research” by Boese, Martina

The urban population of developing countries is increasing at an alarming rate. As a result a disturbing feature of this trend is proliferation of informal housing development in cities of developing countries. A great deal of importance in recent years has been put forwarded to the informal housing sector. The common characteristics of informal housing are insecurity of tenure, low standard of infrastructure and services. By the end of 1980s, international donor agencies like World Bank, UN agencies had given increasing significance to informal housing policies and infrastructure provision in cities in developing countries.

Upgrading and rehabilitation of informal housing are seen in developing countries with the joint venture initiative of government and private sector. Some of these resettlement programs of informal housing schemes in the past primarily had some success but eventually, in many cases, the evicted people returned to inner city places after selling off their houses to the middle income groups. High standards of housing and job unavailability within their catchments areas have played a significant role in case of transferring ownership to the middle income group. In this paper, informal housing practice in developing countries and attitude and approach of changing patterns towards this sector has been discussed.

Read full paper “Informal Housing and Approaches towards the Low-income Society in Developing Countries” by Ahsan, Reazul and Quamruzzaman, J.M

This paper aims to explore urban poverty, informal economy and marginality from a developing world perspective. It focuses on rapid mass urbanisation and growth of new urban poverty in the global South.

The paper highlights the informal economy where poor households cope through various household strategies. It explains how poor communities are socially and culturally marginalised despite living in the city for a long period of time. The paper further explores the nature of their political marginality as they are often excluded from urban policy and planning. It reveals that the urban poor often participate in political activities but it does not help them integrate into city politics in real sense. The responses and collective actions under certain urban circumstances are also addressed. This paper, however, argues that the new form of urban poverty and marginality in the global South is directly linked to the process of rapid mass urban transformation and informlisation of the urban economy.

It further argues that the issue of urban poverty in the Global South remains an important focus of sociological research in future because of the global intensification of urbanization.

Read full paper “Urban Poverty, Informality and Marginality in the Global South” by Shahadat Hossain.

Jean Martin, born Jean Craig, was the founding mother of Australian sociology. Beginning her career in the early 40s at the University of Sydney with A P Elkin, enthusiast for sociology and practitioner of anthropology as well as religion, she inherited a rich intellectual culture but also had to make her own. After completing her MA and further research on farming life in northern New South Wales in 1945, she worked further for postwar reconstruction via Elkin and then, in 1947, spent the academic year at the University of Chicago. She was much influenced by American scholars like Warner and Dollard; but she was already thinking in a so to say Durkheimian cultural manner before Chicago.

This paper opens up some of these times and issues, to wonder what Jean knew first.

Read full paper “Miss Craig goes to Chicago (Jean Martin finds Australian sociology)” by Beilharz, Peter

Recent Australian research on Indigenous sentencing primarily explores whether disparities in sentencing outcomes exist. Little is known about how judges perceive or refer to Indigenous defendants and their histories, and how they interpret the circumstances of Indigenous defendants in justifying their sentencing decisions.

Drawing on the ‘focal concerns’ approach, this study presents a narrative analysis of a sample of judges’ sentencing remarks for Indigenous and non-Indigenous criminal defendants convicted in South Australia’s Higher Courts. The analysis found that the sentencing stories of Indigenous and non-Indigenous offenders differed in ways that possibly reduced assessments of blameworthiness and risk for Indigenous defendants.

Read full paper of “An Examination of the Sentencing Remarks of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Criminal Defendants in South Australia’s Higher Courts” by Bond, Christine and Jeffries, Samantha.

In 1997 Emirbayer published a manifesto for relational sociology and social network analysis (SNA) figured prominently as a methodology for this program. This paper supports the program of relational sociology proposed in this manifesto but argues that Emirbayer undervalued social research traditions in SNA that examine networks from a bottom-up perspective using ‘ego-centric network’ or egonet methodologies.

This paper makes a case for the benefits of egonet research methodologies by arguing that egonet methods are sensitive to the qualitative dimensions of social actors’ relations with their immediate social context. Egonet methodologies build from ‘name generator’ questions that generate a list of a respondent’s (ego) contacts – their ‘alters’. Follow-up questions elicit information about the specific social ties revealed by the name generator. I identify a crucial issue associated with this methodology as that of finding credible theoretical categories for describing relationships. I then describe three studies that derive grounded theory categories for this crucial aspect of social network research. In conclusion I return to the Emirbayer’s manifesto for relational sociology and suggest some of the ways that egonet research might enhance its programme.

Read full “Qualitative Social Network Research for Relational Sociology” paper by Alexander, Malcolm