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How the Social Sciences help us understand ourselves

The Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) collaborated with The Conversation and Routledge to organize ‘Social Sciences Stars’ 2018. This is the recording from our Canberra event, held at the National Library of Australia.

Download a transcript of the recording.

Social Sciences and social life

The Social Sciences allow us to take a step back and consider some of life’s important questions. How do we live? Why do we live like that? And what tools can social scientists use to research our new ways of living, and help us understand ourselves?

In this podcast you will hear from acclaimed social researcher and author Dr Hugh Mackay AO about our essentially social nature and what it means for our attitudes, behavior and mental health in society today.

Renowned sociologist Professor Deborah Lupton will share examples of new research methods (think GoPro cameras; participatory ‘living labs’), to demonstrate how social scientists continue to innovate.

Find your way around the recording

04:39 ‘Please explain us to ourselves’ with guest speaker Hugh Mackay AO.

29:16 ‘Lively sociology: Researching new ways of living, using new methods’ with guest speaker Deborah Lupton. Follow along with Deborah’s slide deck.

Guest speakers

Hugh Mackay AO

Hugh MackayHugh Mackay is a prolific social researcher, writer and commentator. His latest book, Australia Reimagined, was published earlier this year. In recognition of his pioneering work in social research, he has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and awarded honorary doctorates by Charles Sturt, Macquarie, NSW and Western Sydney universities.

A newspaper columnist for over 25 years, Hugh is currently an honorary professor of social science at the University of Wollongong, an adjunct professor in the faculty of arts at Charles Sturt University, and a patron of the Asylum Seekers’ Centre. He was previously deputy chairman of the Australia Council, chairman of trustees of Sydney Grammar School and the inaugural chairman of the ACT government’s Community Inclusion Board. In 2015, Hugh was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia.

Deborah Lupton

Deborah LuptonProfessor Deborah Lupton is an internationally renowned sociologist and foremost advocate for engagement with digital spaces and methods.

Deborah Lupton joined the university in early 2014 as a Centenary Research Professor associated with the News & Media Research Centre in the Faculty of Arts & Design. Her research and teaching is multidisciplinary, incorporating sociology, media and communication and cultural studies. Deborah has previously held academic appointments at the University of Sydney, Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia, the co-convenor of the national Digital Data & Society Consortium, and the director of the Smart Technology Living Lab at UC.

Deborah is the author/co-author of 16 books, editor/co-editor of six edited books, and has published over 170 journal articles and book chapters on topics including the social and cultural dimensions of: medicine and public health; risk; the body; parenting cultures; digital sociology; food; obesity politics; and the emotions. She is an advocate of using social media for academic research and engagement, including Twitter (@DALupton) and her blog This Sociological Life. Deborah was one of the founding co-editors of the journal Health, and currently serves on that journal’s editorial board, as well as those of the journals Health, Risk & Society, Journal of Sociology, Digital Health, Social Theory & Health, Health Sociology Review, Societies and Big Data & Society.

About Social Sciences Stars 2018

In September 2018, the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) collaborated with The Conversation and Routledge/Taylor & Francis to organize ‘Social Sciences Stars’ during Australia’s inaugural national Social Sciences Week, 9-16 September 2018.

Speaker events in this free-to-attend series were held in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne that week. In each city, the format was the same: a public talk delivered by a leading public intellectual and a published scholar in social sciences on a significant topic concerned with the understanding of us and the society we live in, followed by audience interaction and a small networking event for guests.

This is the recording from our Canberra event, held at the National Library of Australia.

Listen to the recording from our Melbourne event.