From Western Sydney to Melbourne

Here’s our visual sociology for October 2016! I began the month ill and amazed that Christmas decorations were already up around Sydney, and I started heavy travel for work.

These puppies cheered me up when I was very sick. 1 October 2016


On 8 October, I first met the Mandarin Centre Panda, at the Mandarin Centre in Chatswood. It is our most festive friend.

Sociology of Trolleys: Inner Western Sydney

Let’s move together towards the bold journey ahead with this abandoned treasure left alongside the path to the train. 12 October


I went to see Untamed by Sydney Dance Company. Artistic Director is Barcelona-born Rafael Bonachela, whose new work Anima debuts in the second half of the evening. 22 October

Sociology of Hotel Art: Carlton, Melbourne

A special entry from Carlton, Melbourne, with some kind of abstract landscape in an especially ugly hallway (within a very nice hotel room!). Why are hotel hallways ugly? Sociologists have debated this phenomena since the early 19th Century. Scholars do not have consensus but the best available data suggest this is to reinforce social control through dull artworks and horrible decor. Rise up against the tyranny, hotel faring proletariat. By definition you should not be in a hotel room as you are from the working classes. How did you get here? False consciousness. 26 October

Indigenous Sociology

At the end of the final week of October, I attended the Indigenous Sociology for Social Impact workshop convened by Associate Professor Kathleen Butler (front) who has written extensively about what it means to be an Aboriginal woman in Australian sociology. She invited Indigenous and non Indigenous sociologists to discuss the racism in our discipline that is unnamed but directly impacting on the educational and career outcomes of Indigenous scholars. Prof Butler did an inspired job of bringing together researchers from very different career pathways and practices. Prof Butler used a methodology drawing on Aboriginal yarning circles to allow open ended discussion and ideas to flow easily. This is one of the best workshops I’ve ever attended with strong, honest anti-racist critical analysis not catered to White sensibilities and good will to keep the momentum going. Can’t wait to do more.