Society and culture

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Society and culture


Geography and development studies

Our research explores the interactions between humans and their environments in different places, regions and spaces - where, how and why different cultures, political systems, social groups, economic systems, landscapes and environments have emerged, and what this means for our collective future. Specific areas of research include:

  • animal geography
  • children’s geographies
  • Indigenous peoples’ engagement in environmental management
  • rural and regional geography
  • media and diaspora in Southeast Asia
  • refugee and asylum seeker discourses and narratives
  • environmental geography
  • statelessness and impact of transnational migration in Indonesia
  • child protectin and children in international development
  • cultural geography

For more information refer to Arts Research in Creative Humanities (ARCH); the Indigenous Studies Research Theme, and the Sustainability Research Centre

Indigenous studies

Indigenous studies focuses on the cultures, histories, rights, interests, knowledge and perspectives of Indigenous peoples throughout the world. It also considers the context of intercultural spaces of colonialism, neocolonialism and postcolonialism and global and national structures and processes. Specific research areas in Indigenous studies include:

  • Indigenous peoples and sustainable livelihoods
  • protected areas
  • place-based identity
  • property rights and development
  • representation and art
  • local knowledge
  • community aspirations
  • governance
  • racism studies
  • reconciliation
  • cultural competency

For more information refer to USC’s Indigenous Studies Research Theme, the Sustainability Research Centre and Arts Research in Creative Humanities (ARCH)

Language studies

Research related to studies of language and culture includes:

  • second language learning and teaching
  • teacher education
  • CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning)
  • intercultural communication
  • discourse analysis
  • (Japanese) language teaching methodology
  • influence of learner's background in foreign language acquisition
  • cultural studies
  • relationships between migrants (mainly Italian) and indigenous Australians
  • Indonesian language education
  • sociolinguistics
  • pedagogy of online language and intercultural teaching and learning

For more information refer to Arts Research in Creative Humanities (ARCH)

Historical studies

USC’s expertise in historical research includes:

  • education
  • exhibitions and museums
  • gender relations
  • heritage studies
  • labour history 
  • world history 
  • Indigenous history 
  • macrohistory and social change 
  • migration
  • race relations 
  • transnational history 
  • Italian history
  • political history 
  • sport history
  • history of emotions
  • social and cultural history
  • oral history

For more information refer to Arts Research in Creative Humanities (ARCH)

Politics and international relations

Political research includes areas such as

  • Australian politics and foreign policy
  • citizenship
  • social movements
  • electoral policy
  • public policy and public sector management
  • governance
  • human rights
  • Indonesia–Australia relations
  • Japan– Australia relations
  • Japanese politics
  • Northeast Asian security 
  • Japanese security issues
  • Australia in Asia
  • international relations theory

Social work and policy

Social work research at USC draws on social science knowledge and methods to develop creative responses to social issues that contribute to a more socially just, equitable, democratic and sustainable world. Critical reflective approaches to research are used to analyse and consider:

  • social policies 
  • ageing studies
  • health care management
  • social capital
  • power relations and oppressive practices
  • social, political, cultural or gendered disadvantage and inequality
  • human rights and ethical standards
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