Sociology Monash

Last Updated on January 18, 2023


Sociology addresses changing social organisation and consequences for the life opportunities of individuals, families and groups. Sociologists examine class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and disability – among other forms of difference – to understand and explain how people’s lives are shaped and how they think and feel about themselves and the world around them.

Sociologists seek to describe and explain patterns of social change. Social institutions intentionally and unintentionally change and create changes in our roles as children, parents, members, citizens and students. Sociology investigates social trends and seeks an historical understanding of the processes of social organisation and change in order to be able to assist in the development of sound social policy.PreviousSocial Media & Employment ProjectLed by Dr Brady Robards, this project aims to investigate how young people present themselves on social media when preparing for employment, and how employers use social media in recruitment. Funded by the Australian Research Council.Children as health advocates in families: assessing the consequencesLed by Profs JaneMaree Maher, Jo Lindsay, and colleagues. Widespread public concern with obesity means children are seen as advocates for change in family health practices. This qualitative study examines how health knowledge taken home by primary aged children impacts on children’s well-being, family food practices, and family relationships. Funded by the Australian Research Council.Migration, Mixed-marriage and Integration in AustraliaLed by Assoc Profs Helen Forbes-Mewett, Dharma Arunachalam, and Prof Andrew Markus, this project aims to reveal the prevalence, experience and variations of ethnic and religious mixed marriage in Australia, which will guide policies that facilitate social integration and cohesion.Expectations in healthcare testing: A sociological studyLed by Prof Alan Petersen and colleagues, and funded by the ARC, this project aims to understand the sociocultural processes underpinning optimism for the use of testing technologies in healthcare. Australians have high expectations of tests in healthcare. But are they higher than warranted? And are they impacting on healthcare expenditure?Household innovation and the transition to the low waste cityLed by Assoc Profs Ruth Lane, Dharma Arunachalam, Prof Jo Lindsay, and colleagues, and funded by the ARC, this project examines the capacity for experimentation and innovation in households for transitioning to low waste cities. Australia is experiencing an urban waste crisis. Long-term solutions require new strategies to reduce waste generation and, to be effective, these will need the engagement and active participation of households.Next

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Teaching Program

Sociology is the study of contemporary societies in a global context. We investigate diverse human groups, communities, institutions, organisations, and social phenomena. Our undergraduate units provide students with the opportunity to explore theoretical and methodological issues, and cover topics such as health, families, sustainability, gender, sexuality, youth, religion, the media, demography, social psychology and social research skills. The abiding aim of our teaching is to develop in students the skills required to critically analyse the social world from the perspective of sociology.

Sociology staff are consistently recognised for their high quality teaching, and are the recipients of numerous teaching awards, commendations and citations. Many of our units are rated among the very best in the university. Our teaching approach is designed to create an exciting and dynamic learning environment, and we are Faculty leaders in seminar teaching and blended learning (in both educational technologies and face-to-face modes of teaching).


Undergraduate studies

Our teaching approach creates pathways for students to progress from an undergraduate interest in sociology, to pursuing the discipline through Honours, and then graduate research.

Graduate Research

Sociology graduate research is part of the Social and Political Sciences Graduate Research program.


Sociology staff lead on research in key areas:

Diversity research

Diversity is a strong and dynamic research theme in Sociology. We undertake research in the following areas:

  • Multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism
  • Life-course studies
  • Migration
  • Social cohesion in Australia and international migration
  • Family and household structures, fertility and partnering in Australia, religion, aging and health
  • Australia’s diverse and changing international student population
  • Religious diversity
  • Interaction between religion and society in Western societies


In Monash Sociology we explore the relationship between people and their natural and built environments. To address sustainability challenges such as climate change, rapid urbanisation, resource limitations and ecological degradation, it is now recognised that both social and technical solutions are needed. Our key research questions are:

  • How can we enhance the resilience and liveability of our cities?
  • How do we strategically manage the transition to sustainable futures?
  • How can community, government and industry co-create better environmental outcomes?
  • How can we curb overconsumption?


Gender is a major research theme for staff in Sociology. We undertake research in the following areas:

  • Gender and families
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Relationships and intimate life
  • Fertility and partnering
  • Relationship between families and consumption
  • The ever evolving family form
  • Issues of responsibility, parental control, and children and young people as the active consumer are explored

This research is linked to research in health and diversity.


At Monash Sociology we conduct research on the following topics:

  • Public health and health promotion
  • The sociology of new and emerging health technologies
  • Ageing and health
  • Digital health
  • Transformative pharmaceutical and diagnostic technologies
  • Digital media and narrative in health communications
  • Social,  political and ethical dimensions of biomedical innovation
  • Children as health advocates in families
  • Families and health
  • Management of food and healthy eating in families


Our youth research focuses on the ways young people respond to – and create – new conditions of social and economic life in the 21st century. Topics include:

  • Impacts of globalisation, new media and technology
  • New transitions environment and shifts in work/study patterns
  • Relationships and self-identity and citizenship for youth today
  • Impact of class and gender on young people and their aspirations
  • Youth homelessness
  • Youth employment
  • Australia’s diverse and changing international student population
  • Young people’s consumption and leisure practices
  • Young workers and health risks
  • Youth sexual health knowledge and practices
  • Diversity in higher education

Monash Sociology staff participate in the following research programs or research groups:

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