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  • Featured Member Profile: Simone Marino

    Posted on July 15, 2018

    Today’s featured member profile comes from the wonderful Simone Marino. Take it away Simone!

    Member: Simone Marino

    What are you researching?

    The Construction and Transmission of Ethnic Identity among Italian-Australians of Calabrian Ancestry across Three Generations. In my sociological study, I investigated 14 families, three generations of people from an Italian background, in the local “Italian community” of Adelaide. By first generation, I mean the immigrants who migrated during the 1950s, the second generation are their children and the third generation are the children of the second generation, who now are in their 20s. I found that the Italian community is very tight knit and it achieves this by regular social networking, religious celebrations, intra-ethnic marriages and family alliances. There is a fluidity of identity across the generations. It seems that being Italian means different things for different generations. Sadly, the first generation perceived to be undesirable when they migrated and the second generation inherited this legacy and tended not to emphasise their Italian-ness. But now, their children show off their ethnic background by ‘performing in a number of intra-ethnic and inter-ethnic contexts’: they might proudly gesticulate, they display specific objects (like golden chains,or driving a vespa or, if they can afford it, an Alfa Romeo car) and they ask their grandparents how to cook Italian food.What was despised by the dominant society in the past then came to be caricaturised, and successively celebrated.

    The main conceptual finding of my study is that  individuals’ ethnic identities appear to be shaped by their ‘institutional positionality’, which is their ethnic perception of ‘being in the world’.   I have coined this term to try to capture the temporal, subjective and spatial dynamics of ethnic-race race relations of individuals and their ontological (in)securities.


    What drew you to this topic?

    Do you ever remember those Italian kids at school, with their salami sandwiches who, after their classmates comments, such as: “what’s this stinky stuff?” turned red, perhaps they had changed their names from Giuseppe to Joe, from Pietro to Peter? This got me wondering why, today, their children, at school proudly bring their salami sandwiches and even sell them to their classmates, and how it came to be that they want to be called Giuseppe or Pietro, and to learn from their grandparents how to make a good pizza, how to be Italian. Matters of ethnic identity and integration are extremely relevant to contemporary Australia. My work on the way the Italian presence has evolved can help us integrate our new migrants. The tight knit little Italy community I found is the result of the previous Anglo-Australian racism. Once an ethnicity is perceived positively, migrants can not only keep their ethnic identity and feel part of mainstream Australian society, but they can add an extra dimension of their dolce vita.


    What have been the highlights of your RhD journey?

    After my first six months of working formally with the community holding 30 one hour interviews I found I was accepted as “one of them”, and was delighted to receive invitations to 4 weddings 3 christenings, 3 funerals and a number of engagement parties. Over a period of three or more years, I immersed myself in the community spending up to 20 or 30 hours a week with the families, taking careful notes after my meetings, and learning to understand their culture and experience.


    What do you wish you had known before you started?

    I should have been more aware that the structure and style of academic writing might be different between English and Italian. However, I am eagerly keen to learn and to challenge my position.


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

    I feel so ignorant to give advice to other colleagues. However, in my opinion, students who have just begun, or are contemplating starting a postgraduate study, must be very motivated. They also must love what they are researching, and must have the vice to read a lot! It is important to have days off. Most importantly, take notes whenever they believe they have found a key concept. Further, I found out that it is very beneficial to share your thoughts with colleagues, friends, and all possible audiences which may not be academic. By telling your ideas to others, your thoughts become clearer and organised.


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

    When I am not researching, I teach Sociology of Migration, Intercultural Communication and Italian Studies. In my free time, I like playing guitar, singing, doing karate, and when it’s possible travelling across Australia.


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


  • Call for Papers – Language, Culture and BELONGING symposium (LCBS2018)

    Posted on June 25, 2018

    A one-day interdisciplinary symposium hosted by the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research (GCSCR), Griffith University, Australia.

    Griffith University, South Bank campus
    September 26, 2018

    The desire to ‘belong’ is a central and arguably universal characteristic of human society. The purpose of this symposium is to build connections between researchers interested in better understanding the links between language, culture and belonging.

    This one-day symposium will feature two Keynotes, by Professor Norma Mendoza-Denton (UCLA) and Dr Brady Robards (Monash). In addition to the Keynote sessions, the symposium will be organised into three Panels, loosely themed around Words, Sounds and the Body, respectively. Panels will involve a series of papers and open discussion.

    Panels will take a speed talk format. The organising committee selected this particular model to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue at the event. This format is known to promote more vigorous discussion. We tailored this design to support the quality publication outcomes we intend to pursue post-symposium.

    We welcome papers from researchers in any discipline and field, including but not limited to: linguistics, communication studies, cultural sociology, cultural semantics, discourse analysis, gender and queer studies, linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics. Papers may focus on, but are not restricted to: accents and speech styles, body art and clothing, creative and performing arts, cultural key words, dance, DIY and prosumer culture, globalisation and diaspora, humour styles, shopping and consumption, sport, recreation and hobbies, ‘in-group talk’, narrative and story-telling, tourism and leisure, virtual communities and identities, work and employment.


    The Australian Sociological Association is supporting this event, offering one TASA Postgraduate Bursary (up to $300) for travel and accommodation costs. Eligible postgraduates will have an accepted abstract for this event and be a current member of TASA.

    For judging, eligible candidates will be contacted by email to complete a short paragraph statement addressing the following bursary criteria. When submitting an abstract via the EasyChair submission portal, please indicate if you are eligible for this bursary.

    TASA Postgraduate Bursary criteria (/100):
    > Significance of research to the symposium theme (/25)
    > Location/distance from the event (/25)
    > Financial hardship and/or care responsibilities (where these impact on ability to pay for event) (/25)
    > Commitment to TASA (ie years of membership) (/25)

    The bursary will be judged by members of the LCBS2018 organising committee and the TASA Postgraduate Portfolio Leader and Subcommittee.

    In conjunction with this symposium, TASA is also running a workshop on Thursday September 27 – ‘Behind the Scenes: How to Run Academic Events and Organise Collaborative Publishing.’ This workshop is aimed at postgraduates and ECRs, and is free for TASA members. For more info see


    For LCBS2018, Please submit an abstract of 200-250 words (excluding references) here. The submission portal will open on June 1st. You will need to create an EasyChair account or log in to your existing account to submit your abstract.

    The deadline for abstracts is 30 June 2018. The abstract should include a clearly-stated research question or topic, a statement about framework, method or data, and main results or conclusions. Please keep references to a minimum but provide full bibliographic information.

    The Organising Committee will attempt to ensure that accepted papers reflect a diversity of approaches and a balance of presenters from different career stages.

    You will be notified of the outcome of your abstract submission by 15 August 2018.

    All presenters are required to submit a full version of their paper (2,000-3,000 words) by 12 September 2018 for pre-circulation to other speakers.

    See the full call for papers here.



  • Featured Member Profile: Justine Groizard

    Posted on June 14, 2018

    Todays featured member profile comes from the wonderful Justine Groizard, take it away Justine!

    Member: Justine Groizard

    What are you researching

    My research focuses on animal-human relationships, or, more specifically, dog-human relationships, as they play out within the context of greyhound racing, rescue and retirement in rural New South Wales, Australia. Through observation and engagement with the dogs and a perspective that incorporates the animals as participants in the research, my project will be complemented by the insights of the humans who play an important role within these greyhounds’ lives. Through ethnography I explore the intersubjectivities between greyhound and human, looking at how one party contributes to the construction of the identity of the other. As these greyhounds transition between ways of being, I examine the surrounding transformations of humans, spaces and objects as they are re-imagined and constructed within different times and spaces. Through my work I hope to foster a deeper understanding of how relationships work within the greyhound racing sphere, and, subsequently, work with the community to better practices and policies relating to the greyhounds themselves.


    What drew you to this topic?

    My family has been involved in greyhound racing for generations. As a child, I was drawn to the sport through a desire to spend more time with the dogs. This led me to wanting to pursue a career in something relating to animals. As I became older I began to suffer feelings of hurt, betrayal and disenfranchised grief each time an unsuccessful greyhound was taken away to be ‘put down’. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I actually disliked the sport, it was the dogs themselves that had drawn me to the community. After several years of imagining myself as distinctly anti-racing I enrolled to write an Honours thesis, choosing to write about something that had always bothered me, that is, the fact that those who race greyhounds, and therefore, often have greyhounds killed at the end of their racing careers, imagined themselves as being ‘dog lovers’. After the completion of my Honours and a year of independent writing I believe that there is still so much more to learn about greyhound racing, and so many more ways we can improve the lives of the dogs.


    What have been the highlights of your RhD journey?

    As I am now only just beginning my ‘official’ RhD journey, I cannot speak to the highlights of that particular journey as such, however, one of the ultimate highlights during my year of preparing for RhD has been watching processes of transformation in the way that greyhound racing people relate to the dogs after talking about my work or reading my thesis. My method for animal-orientated change has always relied on the provision of information and learning, rather than attempting to guilt or create tension to cause a rethinking of practice. Several of my participants from the Honours thesis have already jumped on board to take part in the PhD research, allowing me to follow processes of their dogs moving from racing to retirement. The best part, for me, has been watching the cultural norm of having dogs ‘put down’ at the end of their career shift to having them adopted out. Obviously, with the high number of homeless dogs we already face in the state, this is not a permanent solution, but for someone who has by far seen enough greyhounds lose their lives at the end of their time racing, this is a nice reprieve, that is, until we can create an even better, more far-reaching method of tackling this huge issue.


    What do you wish you had known before you started?

    As my ‘official’ start date is actually in April this year (2018), this is an interesting question. I am sure I will look back on this time wishing there were other things I had done, but, for the time being all I can say that is thanks to an amazing supervisor I feel I am in a good place. If I could go back a year to when I first missed out on a scholarship to do this research, meaning that I was unable to start when I wanted, I would have told myself that my supervisor was right in that a year of independent study would actually be a blessing in disguise. Thanks to the time I have had in between Honours and PhD, I have presented at several conferences, met some amazing people and gained some invaluable contacts, gained experience writing journal articles (hoping to have some published by the end of this year), spent some time working in other academic fields, and, most importantly, had the time to read, read, and read some more. So, I think that now, if in fact I had been able to start a year ago like I had initially wanted, I would tell myself and spend a year doing what I have done, and that I am feeling even more grateful and ready to start this PhD as a result!


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

    To others now beginning their PhD, or considering this avenue, I would suggest being sure of your passion for your topic and your trust in your supervisors. Although, as stated above, my official start date is still approaching (not long now!) 2017 was one of the most interesting, best years of my life. Despite spending all 12 months striving for a scholarship, despite feeling disheartened whenever I did not secure one, I always had my supervisor’s at my side, and so I did not feel alone – and giving up was not even an option! My passion for my work drove me on to speak in front of others, to travel alone, to approach people I had admired from the other side of Google Scholar for years, all things I do not think the ‘me’ before being inspired by this project would have been able to do. If you have those staples, I believe I, and anyone else, can do anything.


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

    For the most part, I enjoy spending time with my family. Comprised of my partner, Justyn, a Chihuahua named Bruce, a Greyhound named Dove and a Scaly Breasted Lorikeet named Bobby, the minute I leave my house all I can think about is getting back to my wacky little household and spending time with them. Our main activity is snuggling, I love to put a movie on and have everyone cuddled up together, especially on rainy days.


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


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