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Symposium to challenge society’s views of social problems

Symposium to challenge society’s views of social problems

The world is changing. What kind of social science can we build in a world of neoliberalism, climate crisis and growing violence? This topic, and others that aim to challenge class, ethnic and gender-based inequality, will be discussed at a symposium being hosted by the University of Auckland’s School of Social Sciences.

Called Progressive alternatives: politics, policy and practice, the symposium will include several sociologists from the University of Auckland, and a keynote address by Professor Raewyn Connell, University Chair in Sociology at the University of Sydney.

Professor Connell will discuss how the methods, agendas and concepts of social science come mainly from the old imperial powers, and the new global powers of the North. This situation is now contested from de-colonial, post-colonial and indigenous perspectives.

Professor Connell is one of Australia’s leading sociologists and has held university posts in Australia and the USA, including the University of California, Santa Cruz, and visiting positions in Canada, the USA, and Germany including a Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University.

University of Auckland academics include Dr Avril Bell, who will discuss the topic
”More than just a building: transforming Maori-Pakeha relationships in a community project”; and Dr Louise Humpage on “The ‘grit’ beneath neoliberalism’s wheels: using policy to build public sector support for social citizenship.”

Dr David Mayeda will present two topics, one with Raagini Vijaykumar on “Gender-based violence among Asian and Middle Eastern woman in Aotearoa New Zealand”, and “Teaching effectively with Maori and Pacific Students.”

The symposium will be held at the University’s Conference Lecture Theatre at 22 Symonds Street, 9am-5pm on Friday, 12th September 2014. For more information email Louise Humpage at

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