There are dangers with trying to develop too focused a title for this research theme as this is likely to lead to exclusion of potentially interesting and important areas of research and research collaboration. For instance, adding ‘change’ or ‘cohesion’ introduces a particular idea that socially transformative research would be privileged above, say, methodological endeavour. Whilst there are problems with the use of the singular forms in ‘culture and society’, it perhaps allows for the emergence of greater productive diversity in developing what is likely to be a wide and changing brief.
The ways in which societies and cultures are understood, analysed and approached, and the meanings created by these for individuals and groups within them, again offers fertile ground for exploration and cross-school collaborative work, and this too is an area which would be useful to include within the theme’s overarching brief.
Inclusivity and broad coverage is important. It is within this context that exciting pockets of research can develop across the university. Let’s not be too prescriptive at this stage of the game.
Professor Jonathan Parker
‘Society and Social Welfare’, HSC