Social Inquiry is a meeting space for people interested in critical inquiry into education as a social phenomenon. As a space of, and for, such inquiry it does not have a particular disciplinary focus. Rather, it is meta-disciplinary (about disciplines and not for disciplines) and intent on opening possibilities of respectful engagement directed to the critique of educational forms and practices. It also has its purpose in developing capacities of participants to do social enquiry while recognising that it is itself a historical and political form of social practice.

Social Inquiry is a research forum dedicated to enlivening the presence of critical social inquiry in the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work. Its principal activities are research forums, discussion groups and building the links between research and teaching in the social sciences. Social Inquiry aims to broaden awareness of the culturally and historically specific character of educational matters within and beyond schooling.

Research projects by Social Inquiry members include the neo-liberal reform of higher education, the dispositions of educational students to social justice, teachers’ lives and work, and the changing character of the cultural relations of militarism. Discussions tend to focus on, but are not limited to, the traditions of critical theory, feminist and post colonialism.

We have the following principles to guide us:

  • a commitment to doing social inquiry across our teaching, research and the leadership and management of the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work
  • a commitment to understanding the epistemological and methodological traditions that underlie the diverse forms of social inquiry
  • a commitment to recognising the cultural and political implications of doing social inquiry
  • a recognition that social inquiry is a process not a state, that its particular form arises from interaction among multiple ways of knowing
  • a commitment to using social inquiry as a means to end social exclusion 
  • a focus on evolving social inquiry to meet the needs of contemporary global social and educational challenges
  • Social Inquiry is transdisciplinary in intent but principally sociological.

Social Inquiry Staff Profiles