Inaugural ARCSHS oration explores the researcher's role in creating realities

The first ARCSHS oration poses questions about ways researchers constitute 'problems', and the role of research in defining, and then addressing, social issues.

The oration, entitled 'Constituting social “problems”: The role of social research in defining and addressing social issues' was delivered on Thursday, November the 7th at Rydges, Melbourne. Moderated by Helen Keane (Associate Professor and Head of School of Sociology, Australian National University), it was followed by a panel discussion with three leading researchers:

  • Gary Dowsett (ARCSHS Emeritus Professor)
  • Carla Treloar (Scientia Professor and Director of the Centre for Social Research in Health and the Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales) and
  • Kane Race (Professor in Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney)

The oration used contemporary feminist, science studies and other critical social science concepts to explore work done by ARCSHS and other Australian scholars working on issues of the body in society to unpack the assumptions that underlie the research questions that govern their fields. In doing so it invited researchers to engage critically with their own role in making facts and, in turn, realities of policy, practice and further research informed by those facts.

A recording of the full oration and panel discussion is now available online. An accessible transcript is available (Word, 154KB). Please email if you have difficulty accessing this format.

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