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Palgrave Macmillan

Australian Sociology

Fragility, Survival, Rivalry

ISBN 9781137379740
Publication Date July 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Pivot
Series Sociology Transformed

Sociology in Australia was battered and bruised by the injuries it sustained in the first half of the twentieth century. Most of these were self-inflicted. Through arrogance and overreach its early advocates ruined its chances, such that by the 1930s sociology had been rejected as a distinctive discipline by the only two universities which were prepared to give it a chance, Melbourne and Sydney. But since 1950 the discipline has fought its way back into the academic mainstream and now has a place in most of the nation's universities. This has not been easy; its fortunes seem forever mixed. It has never flourished in all states and territories at the same time and even while it is now on the rise in places like the University of Sydney it is relatively weak at some of its former strongholds in the second tier universities. Despite these mixed fortunes, the discipline has proved itself a survivor.

Kirsten Harley is Lecturer in Behavioural and Social Sciences in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney, Australia. She completed her PhD in Sydney's Department of Sociology and Social Policy and in 2011 was awarded the university's inaugural Rita and John Cornforth Medal for PhD achievement. She is co-editor (with Kristin Natalier) of the 2013 special issue of the Journal of Sociology on Teaching Sociology: Reflections on the Discipline.

Gary Wickham is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Murdoch University, Australia where he gained his first appointment in 1985. He has published seven books, including Foucault and Law (with Alan Hunt) (1994), Using Foucault's Methods (with Gavin Kendall) (1999), and Legal and Political Challenges of Governing the Environment and Climate Change (with Jo Goodie) (2013).

1. Introduction: The Main Themes and the Structure of the Book
2. A Sketch of Australian Sociology, 1959-2014
3. Different Visions of/for Australian Sociology, 1959-2014
4. Theory Use in Australian Sociology
5. Survival Against the Odds: A Case Study of Sociology at the University of Sydney
6. Conclusion


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