Sociologists at Macquarie University undertake theoretically informed critical research on social issues within Australia and internationally. Core to our approach is the integration of theory and empirical work, and the Department has stand-out strengths in advanced quantitative and qualitative research methods. 

Research areas

Political economy and social policy

Norbert EbertTobia Fattore, Markus Hadler, Pauline Johnson, Kumiko Kawashima, Alison Leitch, Gabrielle Meagher, Peter Rogers, Benjamin Spies-Butcher, Adam Stebbing, Ellie Vasta, Selvaraj Velayutham, Shaun Wilson, Amanda Wise

  • Political economy
  • Australian social policy – tax, privatisation, welfare, social tax expenditure, social services
  • Climate and environmental policy
  • Comparative social policy
  • Fiscal sociology
  • Political participation
  • Social inequality and class
  • Populism
  • Social attitudes

Sociology of work

Norbert EbertTobia Fattore, Kumiko Kawashima, Alison Leitch, Gabrielle MeagherBenjamin Spies-Butcher, Shaun Wilson

  • Precarious work societies
  • Theories and conceptions of work
  • Labour movements and industrial relations
  • Employment and the welfare state
  • Migrant and transnational labour
  • Care work and social services

Public sphere, social movements and everyday citizenship 

Markus Hadler, Pauline Johnson, Alison Leitch, Justine Lloyd, Peter Rogers, Benjamin Spies-ButcherEllie Vasta

  • Theorising the public sphere
  • Everyday forms of democratic participation and resilience
  • Social movements
  • Disaster resilient communities
  • Listening practices
  • Cultural citizenship
  • Surveillance, security & the city
  • Cities & citizenship
  • Public space

Migration, multiculturalism and nation 

Maria AmigoKumiko Kawashima, Ellie Vasta, Selvaraj Velayutham, Amanda Wise

  • Social solidarity and belonging in diverse societies
  • Migration
  • Migrant communities, migrant women and generations
  • Transnational communities, connections and practice
  • Migrant labour
  • Diversity, place making and urban spaces
  • Identity, ethnicity and belonging
  • Interethnic relations and everyday multiculturalism in Australia and Asia
  • Diversity and the city, diversity and place

Gender, generations and the intimate sphere 

Maria Amigo, Niko Antalffy, Harry Blatterer, Tobia Fattore, Kumiko Kawashima, Justine Lloyd, Adam Stebbing

  • Theorising the intimate sphere
  • Friendship
  • Generations
  • Sociology of childhood
  • Social and tax policy, welfare and the family
  • Work and the family
  • Gender studies
  • Diversity, family and childhood
  • Sociology of youth

Sociology of culture and everyday life 

Alison Leitch, Justine Lloyd, Ellie Vasta, Selvaraj Velayutham, Amanda Wise, Harry Blatterer, Peter Rogers, Kumiko Kawashima

  • Arts & visual cultures
  • Food cultures
  • Public culture
  • Sub-cultures
  • Cosmopolitan and migrant cultures
  • Therapy cultures
  • Moral panics
  • Cultural representations of intimacy
  • History, memory, visual and material cultures of the city
  • Space, place and culture
  • Diversity & the city
  • Identity and belonging
  • Place-making

HDR research projects

Current HDR students

StudentRoomResearch thesis topic or areaSupervisor
Adrian Wing Shek Lui The Umbrella Movement in Hong KongDr Markus Hadler
Barry Ball Subsidy of stadiums for major football: public policy, sociological, economic and ethical issues.Prof John Lechte
Breanna Jones Gap year travel and its social value.Dr. Justine Lloyd
Brigit Busicchia The dimensions of food policy regimes in developed economies; Australia, United kingdom and France in comparative perspective.Dr Benjamin Spies-Butcher
Carlos Palacios Obregon Being free to intervene: the liberal dilemma of volunteer travellers and humanitarian selves.Prof. Mitchell Dean
Claire Farrugia Sharing to belong: social solidarity and African women's claims of citizenship in the western suburbs of Sydney.Dr. Justine Lloyd
Daryl O’Donnell Doorways to the black box: the policy intersections of bureaucracy and civil societyDr Benjamin Spies-Butcher
Desiree Gaillard Exploring the partnerships between non profit social enterprises and refugee women.A/ Prof Ellie Vasta
Ella Dixon For an authentic democracy, #IAm132": contested democratic imaginaries in the Mexican student movement #YoSoy132A/Prof Pauline Johnson
Eloise Hummell Running with fire: Catalan ethnic identity in 21st-century Spain.A/Prof Pauline Johnson
Emma Mitchell Multicultural perspectives of welfare: moral and material economies of responsibility.A/ Prof Amanda Wise
Evelyn Honeywill Network character: social character and the network society.Dr Norbert Ebert
Gaynor Nichols The Production of Reality Television Programmes: “Produced Reality” whose story is it?Dr. Justine Lloyd
Helen Barcham Self-help groups: an emerging social movement?A/Prof Pauline Johnson
Jodie Skellern (Ms)Recognition: How does cultural capital developed through gendered experiences of sport contribute to the leadership gap and structural change in Australia’s legal profession?A/Prof Shaun Wilson
Lise Barry The capacity conundrum: how lawyers assess their client's decision making capacity.Dr Peter Rogers
Lukas Hofstaetter Finance capital and global class formationDr Norbert Ebert
Penelope Bowyer-Pont Social movements, political participation and the internet: the efforts of online activism on the Australian political landscape.Dr Benjamin Spies-Butcher
Penelope Faulkner Social change in intimacy and sexuality: a case study of polyamoryDr Harry Blatterer
Peter Mann The sociology of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.Dr Peter Rogers
Phillippa Belmore Refugee mentoring: its capacity to welcome refugees, build social capital and assist settlement.A/ Prof Amanda Wise and Dr Kristine Aquino
Preslava Nenova Disaster resilience research: measuring resilience.Dr Peter Rogers
Randa Abdel-Fattah Phenomenology of Islamophobia.A/ Prof Amanda Wise
Ruth Gresham Knowledge, experiences, perceptions and attitudes of the receiving society to international studentsA/Prof. Amanda Wise
Sheree Klein The sociology of everyday solitude: an exploration of time of oneself in the modern worldDr Harry Blatterer
Shivani Ganesan Raju Living multiculturalism in ParramattaA/ Prof Amanda Wise
Sobhi Albadawi How do Palestinian refugees view the right of return?Dr Benjamin Spies-Butcher
and A/Prof Shaun Wilson
Thomas Antwi Bosiakoh Towards an understanding of informal migrant business activities of Nigerian migrants in Accra, GhanaA/Prof. Ellie Vasta
Wajihah Hamid Lakemba through the eyes of its residentsA/ Prof Amanda Wise
Wooi Han Lee  Dr Selvaraj Velayutham,
Yin Yin Ye Embroidery, gender and self-representation of the Miao women in southwest Guizhou ProvinceDr Kumiko Kawashima

Recently completed theses





Hicks, Lynnette


Dim and dimmer: An exploration of the production and diffusion of scientific knowledge in Australia between the 1770s and the 2010s

Dr Tobia Fattore

Pham, Lien Thi


Understanding the transformative potential of international education for Vietnamese overseas graduates and their communities

Dr Adam Stebbing; Dr Ben Spies-Butcher

Overgaard, Charlotte


Volunteer care work: a comparative study of volunteers, cultures of care and gender in Australia and Denmark

Associate Professor Shaun Wilson; Professor Thomas P. Boje

Stevens, Meghan2015Multimedia and its implications for the news messageProfessor John Lechte
Beaumont, Ana2014New directions for participation and governance: the idea of the youth council in modern liberal democraciesProfessor Mitchell Dean; Professor Jacqueline Hayden
Aquino, Kristine2013Everyday racism and resistance: the lives of Filipino migrants in AustraliaAssociate Professor Amanda Wise: Dr Selvaraj Velayutham
Bhasi, Sree Sudheesh S2013Migration, faith and social capital: an ethnography of Sydney's Hindu diasporaAssociate Professor Amanda Wise: Dr Selvaraj Velayutham
Mittal, Radhika2013What do newspapers tell us about climate change and food practices?Dr. Justine Lloyd; Associate Professor Marion Maddox; Dr Catherine Simpson
Orbe-Taruc, Liberty2013The Filipino Catholic church's evolving stance towards people powerAssociate Professor Marion Maddox

Pereira, Robert Bernard


The politics of participation: a critical occupational science analysis of social inclusion policy and entrenched disadvantage

Professor Gail Whiteford ; Associate Professor Ellie Vasta

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