Research Projects

Creative Work Mobilities

Across the industrialised world, digital communications technologies are changing how people work. But, the liberation of a wireless world is also changing where they work. In fact, it’s even creating a different concept of what we consider a workplace to be. Nowhere is this more evident than in the creative industries, where new kinds of mobile workplaces are expanding rapidly, including the rising incidence of working at home and/or in shared workspaces. In this project, we explore where these new work formations, types, temporalities, and the new forms of attachment to work, are taking us, both in the European Union and Australia. As a highlight, we’ll also analyse the effects of flexible work practices by gender. Our researcher’s findings on the Australian experience will be correlated with those of key creative industries and workplace researchers in the EU: Mobilities.lab, Lancaster University, UK; Media Industries Research Centre, University of Leeds, UK; Popular Cultural Studies and the Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland; and the Faculty of Economics, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy.

Super Diversity and Human Rights

The Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet) will undertake a joint research project with UNISA’s Human Rights and Security Research and Innovation Cluster to develop a comparative analysis of Afghan asylum seeker experience in the EU and Australia. Although they are geographically separate, asylum seekers in the European Union and Australia are engaged in processes of assessment, resettlement and detention embedded in international law and attendant upon refugee status determination. This comparative project will focus on the everyday experiences of asylum seekers and their interaction with Refugee Status Determination (RSD) processes to ascertain the outcomes relevant legislation in Australia and the European Union has on the understanding of concepts of asylum, to asylum seeker vulnerability and support, and to the burdens associated with being asylum seeker.

Migrating Memory: The EU and Australian Experience

The question addressed by the ‘Migrating Memories’ project has an extensive history. Disrupted by war, conflict and poverty, populations have long been on the move. But as recent debates in the EU and Australia on asylum seekers and boat-people have demonstrated, how to shift 'us' and 'them' modes of thought remains a continuing problem for policy-makers, practitioners and theorists. This project will approach the issue through the perspective of memory. Working with European experts in memory studies, with partner organizations in migration policy, cultural institutions, museums, the arts and media organizations, this project will examine—through the study of life stories, material culture, the cinema and visual culture—whether European research into the dynamics of memory migration can assist Australia in nurturing more hospitable cultural encounters.

Learning to live together in increasingly culturally diverse societies

The objective of this action is to forge a shared research platform between key educational researchers, policy makers and teachers in Australia and the EU to explore new pedagogies that enhance cultural cohesion. Australia and many EU countries face significant challenges as a result of increased flows of people contributing to greater cultural diversity and tensions around ethnic and cultural difference. This project will explore these themes.

Innovating European Mobilities

The growing importance of aviation and air travel in increasingly hypermobile, globalized worlds raises issues to do with border security and the protection of citizens, the (licit and illicit) movement and flow of people, goods and things, and related matters of migration and justice. Aeromobilities questions understandings of space, time and mobility in the age of mass air travel by providing a multidisciplinary focus on issues ranging from global airports to the control of airspace, airline work, helicopters, and the production of new information technologies and security software systems. Working together with the Mobilities.lab (Lancaster University, UK) and with UniSA’s existing connection with Learning Miles (Finland), this this project will work to shape these understandings in reference to EU-Australian aeromobilities by drawing on the local and networked experiences of EU and Australian airspaces to generate new theory and research into the specific kinds of innovations (experiences, experiments, technology, infrastructure) and barriers (security, freedom, immigration, human rights) associated with EU and Australian aviation and air travel in the twenty-first century.

Faith in the City

Life in the city has become fundamentally uncertain—especially for young people, who are the future residents of our cities. Young people living through crises and restructuring cannot assume they will escape their parents’ poverty, retain their parents’ wealth, or be able to reproduce their parents’ cultural capital. This project will involve collaboration with German researchers from urban sociology at Humboldt University, who are experts on inventive methodologies that integrate quantitative approaches with urban social research. This project is a joint comparative one between Berlin and Adelaide.

Community Reactions to Disaster: An EU/Australian Comparison

The 21st century has seen the rise of disasters that threaten society leading to what some commentators are calling a “new catastrophism.” The EU has been a leader in the social sciences seeking to understand social responses to disasters. The early work of German sociologist Ulrich Beck on the social response to Chernobyl was a pioneer work in the field that led to the creation of risk and risk policy discourse. This research project will integrate the natural and social sciences for an analysis of community reactions to disaster.

Areas of study and research

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