Sociology

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Colonial Entanglements in Early Auckland


Supervisor

Avril Bell (Sociology)
Esther Fitzpatrick (Learning, Development and Professional Practice)

Discipline

Sociology
Learning, Development and Professional Practice (Faculty of Education and Social Work)

Project code: ART036

The summer scholar will carry out a library-based search of sources on life and society in early Auckland (1840-1870). The focus will on economic, political and social life as the settlement developed over these decades. The changing place of Māori in the life of Auckland will also be an important focus. Bibliographic data on sources will be stored in an Endnote database and the summer scholar will also produce an annotated bibliography of the sources they find. Depending on what sources are found within the UoA library system, the summer scholar may also be expected to research in the central Auckland library.

Scholar’s Work

This project explores the history of relations with Māori in the period of transition from Māori to Pākehā dominance (1840-1870). We aim to explore the privileges, responsibilities and debts we incur from these colonial ancestors by researching the lives of our own forebears in early Auckland. The lives of these colonial settlers in New Zealand will be located within the wider contexts of the histories of British imperial and domestic politics of the first half of the nineteenth century, the establishment of settler government in Auckland and the politics of early Auckland, and the histories and politics of Māori of the Auckland and Waikato regions from early contact through to 1870.

Specific objectives:

  • explore how colonial settlers reconciled their relationships with Te Ao Māori and with colonial settlement
  • consider how family commitments impacted on their actions and the place of white, imperial privilege in securing opportunities for settler family advancement
  • reflect on the ways in which Pākehā of this time were in many ways more closely engaged in Te Ao Māori than we are today and consider what opportunities for other kinds of relation have been lost through colonialism
  • develop a local place history of Auckland and, to some extent, the Waikato in the period in which the balance of power tipped from Māori to Pākehā.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

The summer scholar will need to have:

  • well-developed library research skills
  • the ability to identify key ideas and themes in sources they read
  • the ability to write clear, brief summative notes on these key ideas
  • the ability to work independently

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

The ground beneath our feet


Supervisor

Avril Bell (Sociology)
Barbara Grant (Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education and Social Work)
Frances Kelly (Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education and Social Work)

Discipline

Sociology

Project code: ART037

The ground beneath our feet’ is a project that seeks to provide scholars, researchers and lecturers with an interest in studying and teaching the place of the university with a forum for exchanging ideas, developing new projects, finding funding, and archiving and sharing resources and research outputs. The project will be launched with a 2-day symposium in September this year.

Scholar’s Work

The Summer Scholar will locate the body of published research and scholarship about the site of the University of Auckland and prepare an annotated bibliography. This work will include pre and post-settlement history, as well as architecture, geography, biota, artworks, archaeology, and so on. It will include any university site, past and present, for which there is a library-based resource of relevance. The bibliography will be a foundational resource on the project website and the summer scholar's contribution will be appropriately acknowledged.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

The summer scholar will need to have:

  • well-developed library research skills
  • the ability to identify key ideas and themes in sources they read
  • the ability to write clear, brief summative notes on these key ideas
  • the ability to work independently.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

Against Crime Science: The resilience of deviance


Supervisor

Ronald Kramer

Discipline

Sociology and Criminology

Project code: ART038

This project focuses on the collective “faith” that is placed in technological solutions to crime problems. Administrative criminologists and those who exert the most power within institutions of social control appear to have an especially pronounced technology fetish, one that knows very few limits and has led to an extensive assortment of gadgets and practices. The “crime science” in question, and its peculiarity, is evident in Lombroso’s view that the criminal body could be identified through measurement. While Lombroso’s work has been thoroughly discredited, his legacy is alive and well: Fingerprints, face recognition software, target hardening, surveillance, body scanners, risk assessments, crime forecasting, and so on, are premised upon the notion that “scientific” knowledge can stop crime. History, however, suggests a dialectic of crime science; rather than inhibit, new technologies simply spawn innovations in criminal behaviour and press deviance along fresh pathways. From this perspective, a critical series of questions about crime science can be raised: What are the origins of this “failed” enterprise and how is it sustained? What are its unintended consequences, and which social groups are effectively compelled to absorb the costs of innovations in criminality? What are the alternatives to crime science?

Scholar’s Work

This project revolves around distinct branches of crime science, each of which have produced specific technologies and/or practices within criminal justice. Within “biological sciences,” for instance, fingerprinting/biometrics, IQ debates, and biosocial models can be understood as central; within “security sciences,” efforts to combat terrorism, the growth of private security, and intensified forms of state surveillance are important trends. The summer scholar will facilitate the investigation of examples that, like the ones noted, effectively generate a critical analysis of crime science. They will be expected to gather and help analyse articles, stories, and documents that pertain to these examples.  

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

The ideal summer scholar for this project will possess:

  • Familiarity with databases and search engines
  • Knowledge of techniques for conducting effective searches
  • An interest in, and basic understanding of, the notion of “crime science” and/or “faith in technology”
  • Ability to engage/grapple with a diverse range of discourse types (e.g., media reports, academic sources, press releases, government reports, technical reports)
  • Ability to organise/catalogue qualitative data (i.e., some knowledge of managing qualitative data)
  • Strong computer literacy skills
  • Critical reasoning skills

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

Intimate Partner and Family Violence in Asian Communities


Supervisor

David Mayeda

Discipline

Sociology and Criminology

Project code: ART039

This project will build from an existing research project that began with a summer scholarship in 2014/2015. At that time interviews were conducted with 27 Asian adolescents and young women in Auckland on their perceptions of intimate partner violence. That project has produced a number of academic publications. The summer scholar for 2017/2018 will assist the supervisor in two related projects:

1.    Development and authorship of two manuscripts drawing from the interview data gathered in 2014. The two manuscripts will address (A) how forms of honour-based violence interface with scholarly conceptions of coercive control; and (B) how intimate partner violence persists and can be stymied across generations. The summer scholar will be a co-author on all published manuscripts.

2.    Conceptualisation and development of 2-3 short videos based on the 2014 data set that address intimate partner violence within New Zealand’s Asian communities. Conceptualisation of videos will be made in consultation with non-governmental organisations (NGO) in New Zealand who address intimate partner violence. Filming and editing of the videos will also take place during the summer scholarship; the videos will eventually be released through a range of social media platforms in partnership with the collaborating NGOs.

Scholar’s Work

The summer scholar will be expected to assist in the following:

A.    Conducting literature reviews (e.g., identifying/reading relevant scholarly articles, recognising key themes within the academic body of literature).

B.    Applying academic literature to existing research findings.

C.    Writing sections of scholarly manuscripts for publication.

D.    Interfacing with NGOs who address intimate partner violence.

E.    Generating topics and interview questions for video project.

F.    Video interviewing video participants alongside supervisor (e.g., help set up equipment, read video interview questions).

G.    Transcribing video interviews.

H.    Identifying video themes and development of final content for video narratives.

I.     Technical video production.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate the following qualifications:

A.    Strong background in feminist sociology/criminology or a related social science discipline.

B.    Familiarity with issues connected to intimate partner violence in Asian/migrant communities, in particular with honour-based violence.

C.    Familiarity with social issues impacting Asian communities in New Zealand.

D.    Strong analytical reading and writing skills.

E.    Experience conducting interviews or related experience.

F.    Video production experience.

G.    Connections with Asian community groups in Auckland.

H.    Ability to take direction, work creatively and independently.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

'Secondary sexting’ versus ‘revenge porn’: an analysis of the difference in terminology on public perceptions


Supervisor

Claire Meehan

Discipline

Sociology

Project code: ART040

There is a growing concern over the engagement of teenagers in sexting, especially so-called ‘secondary sexting’ - the non-consensual sharing of intimate images of anyone, usually under the age of 18, usually with someone of a similar age. ‘Revenge porn’ or better described as image based sexual abuse (IBSA), is the non-consensual sharing of intimate images of anyone over the age of 18. Regardless of age, harm comes from the fact that sexual images are shared without consent and often go viral. Sharing private sexual images without consent exploits an individual’s sexual identity and infringes their sexual autonomy. The online abuse which accompanies distribution of private sexual images often includes sexual threats, as well as abusive comments about the victim’s appearance, body, sexuality and sexual agency (McGlynn, 2016). While the harms remain similar, regardless of age, the difference in language is important as it influences policy response, education efforts and public perceptions. It is in this broader context that this research project seeks to explore public attitudes towards secondary sexting versus IBSA. This Summer Scholarship will form part of a meta-analysis and review of research, as well as the formulation of an application for a Marsden Fast-Start Grant.

Scholar’s Work

1.    Complete a literature grid on sexting versus IBSA;

2.    Conduct thematic analysis of websites, social media, media articles and blog postings;

3.    Assist in the facilitation of focus group (ethics approval will be sought prior to the project commencing);

4.    Assist in the coding and interpretation of data;

5.    Assist in the identification and development of major themes, and supporting evidence for these ideas, that could serve as the basis for journal articles;

6.    Conduct a joint staff seminar series presentation with the principal researcher;

7.    Maintain frequent contact with the principal researcher, who will clarify aspects of the research process

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

1.    Strong analytical skills;

2.    Ability to conduct systematic literature reviews;

3.    Be able to take a consistent and systematic approach in the course of analysing online media;

4.    A conceptual knowledge of qualitative research methods would be beneficial.

5.    Strong knowledge of feminism, sexting and IBSA;

6.    Comfortable with the topic area

7.    It would also be beneficial, but not essential, if the Summer Scholar has practical experience of utilizing research methods or has completed CRIM 710: Cybercrime

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

Indigeneity, the Orang Asli people, and contemporary Malaysian jurisprudence


Supervisor

Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni

Discipline

Sociology

Project code: ART041

Indigenous jurisprudence is an emerging field of law. It is informed by a broad range of academic disciplines, from critical legal studies, sociology of law, legal philosophy and anthropology, to critical criminology and indigenous studies. Developing in-depth understandings of the nuanced complexities associated with ‘the indigenous’ in this field relies heavily on having a range of different in-depth country case studies that unpacks indigenous epistemological and ontological frameworks. While there is a small but growing literature on the indigenous jurisprudence of indigenous peoples in settler colonial societies, such as New Zealand and U.S.A, there is very little on the situation of indigenous peoples in countries like Malaysia, where the dominant settler populations contrast markedly. This summer scholarship will focus on reviewing all available grey and/or published literature about the customs and traditions of the Orang Asli (‘original peoples’) of Peninsular Malaysia, noting literature that detail specifically how these customs and traditions are incorporated or not into contemporary Malaysian law, and why. This case study offers a much needed point of contrast to country case studies that currently dominate the indigenous jurisprudence literature. The scholarship outcome will form a literature review that will be submitted as a manuscript.

Scholar’s Work

1.    Complete a comprehensive literature review using an agreed upon search methodology for the three key literature fields: (a) indigenous jurisprudence; (b) the contemporary Malaysian legal system, and; (c) the culture, customs and traditions of the Orang Asli.

2.    Write a summary of key findings from relevant literature for each of the three fields.

3.    Write an informed opinion on the overall findings gained from the literature review on what can be said about the incorporation or not of Orang Asli normative orders in Malaysian law and on indigenous jurisprudence in Malaysia.

4.    Offer reflections on the implications of the Orang Asli case for the development of indigenous jurisprudence as an academic field of study.

5.    Assist in the identification and development of major themes that could serve as the basis for journal articles.

6.    Participate in a joint department seminar with the supervisor on the findings of the summer scholarship project.

7.    Maintain frequent contact with the supervisor, who will clarify aspects of the research and writing process.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

1.    Strong analytical and academic writing skills;

2.    Ability to conduct systematic literature reviews.

3.    Be able to take a logical, consistent and systematic approach to comparing, evaluating and/or analysing across and within different literatures – especially legal, social science and popular media.

4.    A conceptual knowledge of research methods and interpretive analysis would be beneficial;

5.    Strong knowledge of one or more of the following fields: indigenous jurisprudence, indigenous criminology, sociology of law, legal philosophy, indigenous studies, and Malaysian studies;

6.    Comfortable with the topic area;

7.    Strong knowledge of Malaysian society.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

Identifying the Mediators of Pesticide Use: Studying Auckland's use of Glysophate


Supervisor

Manuel Vallée

Discipline

Sociology

Project code: ART042

This research project will focus on the social construction of pesticide use. Since the “green” revolution of the 1950s, societies have used an increasing number/amount of pesticides on crops, in parks, and on home gardens. This cultural adaptation has been pursued despite mounting evidence demonstrating the pesticides' serious impacts on human health. Given such health costs, it behoves us to better understand: 1) the cultural logic/calculus upon which pesticide use is based on; 2) the social agents who influence that cultural logic; and 3) the factors that determine which agents exert the most influence.

Towards this end, this project examines the Auckland City Council's growing use of Monsanto's Roundup Ready (i.e. glysophate) on roads, sidewalks, and parks. Pesticide spraying on public lands are of strategic interest. While most pesticide use happens in lowly-populated rural areas, urban pesticide spraying occurs within sight of urban dwellers, which could cause concern and concerted opposition. The absence of such opposition provides an opportunity for study and elucidating the factors contributing citizen acquiescence to pesticides.

For additional analytical leverage, the project will compare Auckland pesticide use to its counterpart in Montreal, Canada. While Auckland has been increasing its pesticide use, Montreal has been reducing its pesticide use, as manifested by the bans they have instituted against using pesticides in parks. Contrasting these two cases will help highlight the factors that enable one community to reduce its pesticide use, while another increases its pesticide use.

Scholar’s Work

Each week I will provide the Summer Scholar with key questions to guide their efforts, and they will be asked to produce a summary by the end of the week, which we will then discuss in weekly meetings. The project will be divided into two overarching phases, with the first half of the project dedicated to Auckland case. Specifically, the scholar will track government and media communiques related to Auckland's pesticide use on public lands, identify how it has changed over time (including types of pesticides, spraying frequency, and spraying amounts), identify the role government has played in this process, and carry out the first steps of a literature review on pesticides (which will include identifying and obtaining key texts).

In the second phase, the scholar will investigate the Montreal case, which will include tracking down government and media documents pertaining to Montreal's pesticide use, as well as identifying changes that have occurred to pesticide use on public lands, the role played by government and environmental activists, the strategies that activists used, and the contextual factors that contributed to their successes.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

I am looking for six things: 1) a student with solid research skills, which includes being able to use research tools (i.e. internet and library resources) to find relevant information; 2) someone who is organized and knows how to organize vast amounts of information in a database (such as excel); 3) someone who has very good to excellent writing skills, who will be able to accurately describe the findings each week; 4) someone who is self-motivated and has personal initiative; 5) someone who has an active interest in the research project; and 6) someone who has taken my environmental sociology course.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

University Advances in Providing Environmental Literacy


Supervisor

Manuel Vallée

Discipline

Sociology

Project code: ART043

This project is based on the premise that universities play a major role in the evolution of Western industrialized societies. Because they play a major role in shaping the next generation's beliefs, values, and embodied practices, they are complicit in the reproduction of an anthro-centric and neo-liberal worldview that is devastating the environment, and undermining the life-support mechanisms for human existence. On the other hand, universities hold tremendous potential for transforming society, and helping to create just, sustainable and resilient human societies. For these reasons, in the 1990s international agencies directed resources to encouraging universities to provide all graduates with a sound environmental literacy. Assessing the success of those efforts is the focus of this project. Towards that end, we will investigate institutions of higher learning in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States, to identify those that have strengthened the environmental literacy provided to students. Beyond identifying such advancements, we will investigate the context of those successes, in order to identify key factors mediating the process, and draw on the sociological literature about institutional change.  

Scholar’s Work

Each week I will provide the Summer scholar with key questions to guide their efforts, and they will be asked to produce a summary by the end of the week, which we will then discuss in weekly meetings. The project will be divided into four stages, with the first geared at identifying the universities and liberal arts colleges that have instituted an environmental literacy requirement, and compiling this information into an excel database. The second stage will consist of conducting a brief literature review on the topic of curriculum greening. Third, the scholar will track background data (i.e. student enrollment, size of endowment, cultural values, levels of student activism, etc.) about the universities who have passed the requirement, which will help contextualize each story. Lastly, the student will search for media coverage of the universities' initiative, in order to identify both salient factors that contributed to the passage of the environmental literacy requirement and potential key informants to interview at a later date. 


Required Skills/Pre-requisites

I am looking for six things:

  1. a student with solid research skills, which includes being able to use research tools (i.e. internet and library resources) to find relevant information
  2. someone who is organized and knows how to organize vast amounts of information in a database (such as excel)
  3. someone who has very good to excellent writing skills, who will be able to accurately describe the findings each week
  4. someone who is a self-motivated and has personal initiative
  5. someone who has an active interest in the research project
  6. someone who has taken my environmental sociology course.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.