About

Sociology and Anthropology study the realities, conflicts and challenges of life in its many social and cultural forms. Initially the first Sociology School in Australia, the program at UNSW now brings together the closely-related disciplines of Sociology and Anthropology to ensure that cultural diversity is central to our teaching. These two disciplines have been brought together in order to better appreciate the complexity of our lived experiences. The Sociology and Anthropology program is broadly concerned with questions that seek to understand the differences in how we live our lives. What makes life meaningful? Why do we disagree? Why do we care? What constitutes change?

We occupy an interesting place vis-à-vis the Social Sciences and Humanities. Critical practice is central to our disciplines and this provides us with a reflexive perspective regarding many orthodoxies that currently inform the social sciences. We examine these orthodoxies and pursue our own research by means of a variety of interpretative approaches, whether those recently developed or those longstanding within the core of our two disciplines. All of these interpretative modes speak to comparable traditions in the Humanities. The Sociology and Anthropology program at UNSW enhances the diversity of the School of Social Sciences by investigating the way that orthodox assumptions come to be realised in everyday life. Consequently, we produce cutting edge research that introduces students to innovative perspectives in the Social Sciences and the Humanities.

Sociology and Anthropology at UNSW is known for its expertise in critical theory, feminist theory, and classical and contemporary social theory along with a concern for community engagement, social justice and ethical praxis. We have a strong international reputation for theoretical innovation, teaching excellence, and training outstanding postgraduate research students. The combined nature of our program creates a unique space that generates new perspectives on a diversity of social and cultural experiences.

We conduct national and international research and teach to the following fields of inquiry:

  • Cultural and Social Theory
  • Asia Pacific Region and Australia
  • Indigenous Australia and Identity
  • Place, Ethnicity, Citizenship, Globalisation
  • Media Sociology
  • Visual Sociology
  • Governance and Development
  • Political Communication, Public Knowledge & Media Consumption
  • Critical Theory
  • Work and Technology
  • Health, Quality of Life, Life-Cycle
  • Ecology and Post-Humanism
  • Relations and the Self
  • Applied Anthropology and Sociology