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  • Featured Member Profile: Andrew Hammond

    Posted on August 18, 2017

    Today’s featured member profile comes from the fabulous Andrew Hammond, take it away Andrew!


    Member: Andrew Hammond

    What are you researching?

    I research policy, politics and governance in the areas of sport, disability and education in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. I draw primarily on historical and sociological perspectives to inform my work. My doctoral project focuses explicitly on the relationship between disability and inclusion social policy and sports coaching practices.


    What drew you to this topic?

    In my opinion, history and memory are essential to good policy making. Aside from being interested in why coaches and clubs weren’t including more people with a disability in ‘mainstream’ settings, I realised that the exclusion of acutely marginalised groups in sport has been a ‘wicked’ policy agenda that policy makers have been trying to ‘solve’ for some time. Not much is known in the literature about the effectiveness of previous initiatives. Additionally, I noticed through my own employment in the sports industry that people only occupy roles momentarily (I would imagine this is not an exclusive problem to sport). There is, therefore, a large churn and turnover of people in sport in paid and voluntary positions and I realised that there was a very real danger, that many people working within these organisations- might not remember a time when things were any different. Therefore, I’m deeply engaged in my research as I believe it has the potential to inform future policy decisions so finite resources (money and time) are not spent on initiatives that have been proven to have been ineffective in the past.


    What have been the highlights of your RhD journey?

    A key highlight has been my recent publication of a paper that was accepted by the International Journal of Sport History that examines the federal government’s involvement in disability sport. Togeather with one of my supervisors and TASA colleague Dr Ruth Jeanes, we drew on the critical disability studies concept of ableism to evaluate the continuities and shifts that have occurred in policymaking since the early 1980s. We were particularly concerned with the decline in the federal government’s involvement in coach education. It is great to get your ideas out there in print and to see what others think.


    What do you wish you had known before you started?

    That as a PhD student you need to be comfortable with failure and setbacks but my advice is don’t get too hung up on the negatives, there is more to life than work and scholarship. Making friends with people who are members of groups like TASA helps with this, it is important to remember we all share remarkably similar experiences with regards to success and failure in academia and an empathetic ear is often closer then you think.


    What advice would you give to others who are either just beginning, or contemplating starting postgraduate study?

    Network, network and network (join TASA and attend the conferences sooner rather than later).


    What do you do when you aren’t working on your research?

    At present, in addition to researching, I also have the privilege of using sociology to inform my voluntary work in sport. For instance, I sit on Swimming Australia’s coach accreditation and development advisory committee where I contribute to the development of coaching policy. I like this because it reminds me of the real world value of sociology and reminds me why I started studying the discipline in the first place. It reminds me that the ideas of Foucault, Weber and Latour are not all that abstract and have real world relevance. Otherwise, I’m hanging out at the markets and when I’m not doing that, I enjoy a good glass of wine or a pint of beer at one Melbournes many bars. I also still swim most days.


    Thanks Andrew! If you think you could answer our 6 quick questions, drop me an email at


  • Updated list: TASA Thematic Group events **Postgrad Scholarships Available**

    Posted on July 20, 2017

    Hello TASA Postgrads!

    I thought I’d draw your attention to a few of the upcoming events organised by TASA’s Thematic Groups that happen to be offering travel bursaries for some of their Postgrad and ECR participants. This is a fabulous opportunity to engage with new research in your field while easing the financial burden often attached to attending academic events!

    1. Emotions and Social Theory: Reflexivity, Critique and Structure : a collaborative workshop organised by the TASA Social Theory TG and the Contemporary Emotions Research Network (UOW) is offering 2x $300 bursaries. Keynote Speakers: Professor Jack Barbalet, Dr Mary Holmes, Professor Rob Stones. CFP Due 18th August, Event is @ University of Wollongong Friday 24th November, 2017.
    2. Chasms and Bridges: Religion and Secularity in a Polarised World  : One day symposium with Keynote lectures from Professor Marion Maddox and Associate Professor Alpha Possamai-Inesedy offering 8 bursaries of up to $150. Expressions of interest due 18th August, Event is @ Western Sydney University City Campus on 29th September, 2017.
    3. Politics and Crime Control in the 21st Century: Controversies and Challenges : A one day symposium organised by the TASA Crime and Governance TG, offering 8x $300 bursaries. Speaker: Eileen Baldry. CFP due August 4, Event is @ UoN Sydney Campus, 22nd September, 2017.
    4. Development for Species: Animals in Society, animals as society : A two day symposium organised by the TASA Sociology & Animals TG & Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization, offering 3x$150 bursaries. Keynote Speakers: Associate Professor Nik Taylor & Professor Maneesha Deckha. CFP due August 4, Event is @ Deakin University, Melbourne City Campus 18-19th September, 2017.
    5. 2017 TASA Health Day: A one day event organised by the TASA Health TG offering 5x$150 travel bursaries. Speakers include Professor Katherine Boydell, Associate Professor Kylie Valentine, and Honorary Associate Professor Toni Schofield. CFP due July 19th, Event is @ UNSW Sydney 13th October, 2017.

    Missed any? Let me know here.

    Until next time,


    Blog Editor


  • Featured Member Profile: Ben Lohmeyer

    Posted on July 10, 2017

    Today’s featured member profile comes courtesy of Ben Lohmeyer (aka the tweetmaster behind @tasapostgrads). Take it away Ben!


    Member: Ben Lohmeyer

    What are you researching?

    I am researching hyper-governed young people’s experiences with neoliberal violence and their experiments with techniques of resistance. Youth is an intensively governed period, and the young people I am researching experience additional surveillance and regulation as a result of their involvement in political action, child protection or juvenile justice. These young people describe their experience of violence in modernity in ways that extend beyond the physical. They experience a crushing reality infused with symbolic, structural and systemic forms of violation. However, they do not passively accept these sanctioned forms of violence. Rather they are actively resisting and seek a violence free society.

    What drew you to this topic?

    Prior to starting my PhD research, I worked as a youth worker with young people around violence, peace and justice. This often included working with young people in child protection, juvenile justice and political action. Working in this space I encountered many young people’s stories of violation and their attempts to counteract or prevent violence. Undertaking research in this space was a logical extension of a desire to journey alongside young people in resisting violence.

    What have been the highlights of your Postgraduate journey?

    The biggest highlight of my PhD has been listening to young people stories. Freire describes stories as an important avenue for representing complexity, and challenging dominant narratives by promoting solidarity and critical thinking. Having the opportunity to hear these stories and amplify them to a wider audience is a satisfying experience.

    What do you wish you had known before you started?

    Everything! But seriously I have learnt so much through this process, and I wish I had known it all before starting. That would have made it heaps easier, but also kinda pointless. So… I would say I’m just glad to have had good supervisors and am grateful for everything I have learnt.

    What advice would you give to others who are either just beginning, or contemplating starting post graduate study?

    Make sure you have good support. Pick supervisors who are knowledgeable, but also easy to relate to and communicate with. Make sure your family/friends are on-board. Make friends with other PhD students who are encouraging and positive.

    What do you do when you aren’t working on your research?

    When I’m not working on my research most of my time is spent with my family. I have two hilarious little kids (a 3 year-old and a 6 month-old). We love to ride bikes, play hide and seek, and climb our rock wall. Given half a chance I’ll sneak out and for a ride on my mountain bike or head to the footy (Carn the Power!)

    Thanks Ben! If you think you could answer our 6 quick questions, drop us an email at


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