Position

Associate Professor
Sociology

Biography

Debra is a sociologist in the School of Social and Policy Studies. Prior to being Dean, 2013-2016, she was a Principal Researcher at the National Institute of Labour Studies (2007-2013). Before this she was a Lecturer in Sociology at Flinders University and a Research Fellow with the Flinders Social Monitoring and Policy Futures Network. Debra began her academic career in 1999 as a Research Fellow at the Hawke Institute for Social Research.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, majors in Sociology and Politics, Flinders University, 1992
  • Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Sociology, First Class, Flinders University - awarded the University Medal, 1993
  • PhD in Sociology, Flinders University, 1999
  • Graduate Certificate in Education (Higher Education), QUT, 2002

Honours, awards and grants

Australian University Teaching Award )Institutional), Online Learning Support (2002)
University of South Australia, Postgraduate Student Association 'Staff person of the year' (2002)
Vice Chancellors' Award for Innovation - Process Improvement (2001)
University Medal (1993)
Australian Institute of Public Policy, Undergraduate Award (1991)

Key responsibilities

Associate Professor King was Dean: School of Social and Policy Studies 2013 - 2016.

Topic Coordinator:

  • SOCI2004  Sociology of Work and Organisations

Research expertise

  • Sociology

Research interests

Associate Professor Debra King is a sociologist with expertise in qualitative research methods and survey research. She has an overall interest on the meaning and experience of work and, in particular, the emotional dimensions of work.

Debra has conducted extensive research on the aged care workforce. She was the lead investigator and project manager for the National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey, 2012 (DoHA); has conducted over 200 interviews with direct care workers on their experience of working in the sector and with 100 managers on their experience of employing workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; she was the co-author (with Bill Martin) of the report, 'Who Cares for Older Australians?' (2008). She has numerous academic publications on the aged care workforce.

Debra is currently a Chief Investigator on a project titled: Quality Care and Quality Jobs: Improving work practices to deliver quality aged care jobs and aged care services for older Australians (2014-2016) with Sara Charlesworth (RMIT). The project is funded by the Department of Social Services and is conducted in partnership with Helping Hand, Brightwater Care, HammondCare and United Voice. See: Quality Jobs and Quality Care Project.

Debra was previously the Chief Investigator on a two year project examining the mental health and wellbeing of farmers who have been through a drought. She has also been a senior researcher on projects relating to employment and homelessness; employment for jobless families; mapping the work-related life-course for men and women in South Australia; and in understanding the experiences of retrenched workers from the Mitsubishi factory in Adelaide.

Debra's PhD research investigated how activists constructed their work in bringing about social change.

Supervisory interests

  • Aged care workforce
  • Emotions in work and organisations
  • Sociology of work

RHD research supervision

Current

Principal supervisor : Work and Organisations (1) ;

Associate supervisor : Emotion work (1) ; Economic sociology - rural women (1) ;

Completion

Principal supervisor : Ageing, social support (1) ;

Associate supervisor : Social change (3) ;

RHD Student Achievements

  • Linda Isherwood
    Best Student Paper Award - September 2012
    VC Prize for Doctoral Thesis Excellence - March 2014
    AAG, SA Early Career Research Award - December 2014

Publications

  • King, D.S. (2010). Learning by listening: Emotional reflexivity and organizational change in childcare. In Asa Wettergren & Barbara Siebens, ed. Emotionalizing organizations and organizing emotions. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 230-250.
  • King, D.S. and Martin, W.C. (2009). Caring for profit? The impact of for-profit providers on the quality of employment in aged care. In Debra King and Gabrielle Meagher, ed. Paid Care in Australia: Politics, Profits, Practices. Sydney, NSW: Sydney University Press, pp. 113-143.
    [Web Link]
  • King, D.S. (2005). Sustaining activism through emotional reflexivity. In Helena Flam and Debra King, ed. Emotions and Social Movements. London, UK: Routledge, pp. 150-169.
    [Scopus]
  • Flam, H. and King, D.S. (2005). Introduction. In Helena Flam and Debra King, ed. Emotions and Social Movements. London: Routledge, pp. 1-18.
    [Scopus] [Scopus] [Scopus] [Scopus] [Scopus] [Scopus] [Scopus]
  • King, D., Mavromaras, K., Wei, Z., He, B., Healy, J., Macaitis, K., et al. (2013). The aged care workforce, 2012. Canberra: Australian Government of Health and Ageing.
  • Martin, W.C. and King, D.S. (2008). Who Cares for Older Australians? A Picture of the Residential and Community Based Aged Care Workforce. Canberra: Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.
  • Isherwood, L.M. and King, D.S. (2015). Targeting workforce strategies: Asian migrants in the Australian aged care workforce. The 10th International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics - Asia/Oceania 2015 Congress. Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  • Isherwood, L., Moskos, M., King, D., Osborne, K. and Walker, R. (2013). The impact of complex disadvantage in a strengths-based employment program. Australian Social Policy Conference. Sydney, pp. 16/09/2013.
  • Isherwood, L.M. and King, D. (2013). The experience of Asian migrants in the aged care workforce. Australian Association of Gerontology conference. Sydney, Australia.
  • King, D. and Moskos, M. (2013). Wrong' sex: Being a male care worker in aged care. AIRRANZ conference. Freemantle, Western Australia. Feb 2013.
  • Osborne, K., Patel, K., Walker, R., King, D., Moskos, M. and Isherwood, L. (2013). Reducing intergenerational disadvantage through a life-first employment program: Individual and systems approaches. Public Health Association of Australia: Social Inclusion and Complex needs conference. Canberra.
  • King, D. (2012). Whither the migrant workforce in community (in-home) aged care in Australia? ArgentinaThe Second ISA Forum of Sociology. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Aug 2012.
    [Web Link]
  • Isherwood, L., King, D. and Luszcz, M. (2012). Widowhood in the fourth age: Loss, ageing and resilience. In 45th Australian Asociation of Gerontology Conference, Brisbane, Australia. 45 Australian Association of Gerontology Conference. Nov 2012.
  • Isherwood, L., King, D. and Luszcz, M. (2012). Social engagement in late-life widowhood: a longitudinal analysis. In Presented at the Australian Association of Gerontology Emerging Researchers Seminar, Adelaide. Australian Association of Gerontology Emerging Researchers Seminar. Adelaide.
  • Isherwood, L., King, D. and Luszcz, M. (2012). Proximity to adult children in late-life widowhood. In South Australian Gerontology Conference, Adelaide. South Australian Gerontology Conference. Adelaide. Sep 2012.
  • Osborne, K., Patel, K., Walker, R., King, D. and Moskos, M. (2012). A 'life first' approach to addressing mental health, family wellbeing and barriers to social and economic participation in Port Augusta. In Program of the 4th Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium. 4th Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium. Adelaide. Nov 2012.
  • Isherwood, L., King, D. and Luszcz, M. (2011). Social activity in late-life widowhood. In Presented at the South Australian Gerontology Conference, Adelaide. South Australian Gerontology Conference. Adelaide.
  • Isherwood, L., King, D. and Luszcz, M. (2011). A longitudinal analysis of social activity in late-life widowhood. In Presented at the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics Asia/Oceania Regional Congress, Melbourne. International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics Asia/Oceania Regional Congress. Melbourne.
  • King, D.S. (2010). The everyday world of work: From the passionate to the absurd. Australian Review of Public Affairs, August
    [Web Link] [Web Link]
  • King, D.S. and Martin, W.C. (2007). Guest Editor's Introduction: Australian research and thinking about paid care and its future. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 42(2) pp. 131-134.
    [Scopus]
  • King, D.S., Tan, Y., wainer, J., Smith, L.H., Fitzpatrick, D.D., Sun, Y., et al. (2009). Evaluation of the Better Access Initiative Component C: Analysis of the Allied Mental Health Workforce Supply and Distribution. National Institute of Labour Studies.
  • King, D.S., Lane, A., MacDougall, C.J.M. and Greenhill, J.A. (2009). Resilience and the Mental health and Wellbeing of Farm Families Experiencing Climate Variation in South Australia.
  • King, D.S., Martin, W.C., Dwyer, J.M., Healy, J.G., Owada, K., Smith, L.H., et al. (2008). Review of the Gynaecological Cancers Workforce, report for Cancer Australia.
  • King, D.S. (2007). Toward 'Life Course Policy': Capturing Complexity in the Work-Centred Life Course. In Curtis, B., Matthewman, S. and McIntosh, T., ed. TASA & SAANZ Joint Conference 2007 - Public Sociologies: Lessons and Trans-Tasman Comparisons. Auckland, NZ: TASA and SAANZ. TASA and SAANZ Joint Conference 2007. The University of Auckland, NZ. Dec 2007.
  • King, D.S. (2006). Conceptualising passion : problematising 'positive' emotions. In Val Colic-Peisker, Farida Tilbury and Bev McNamara, ed. TASA 2006 Conference Proceedings. Melbourne, VIC: The Sociological Association of Australia (TASA). Sociology in a Mobile World: TASA 2006. Perth, WA. Dec 2006.
  • King, D.S. (2005). In Pursuit of Passion: A Frame Analysis of the Popular Management Literature. In Julian R, Rottier R, White R, ed. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Hobart, TAS: TASA The Australian Sociological Association. TASA Conference 2005. Hobart, TAS. Dec 2005, pp. 1-11.
  • Brown, L.J., Osborne, K.A., Walker, R.B., Moskos, M., Isherwood, L.M., Patel, K.R., et al. (2017). The benefits of a life-first employment program for Indigenous Australian families: Implications for ‘Closing the Gap’ Journal of Social Inclusion, 8(1) pp. 78-95.
    [Web Link] [Web Link]
  • Isherwood, L.M. and King, D.S. (2017). Targeting workforce strategies: understanding intra-group differences between Asian migrants in the Australian aged care workforce. International Journal of Care and Caring, 1(2) pp. 191-207.
    [10.1332/239788217X14937990731721]
  • Walker, R.B., Brown, L.J., Moskos, M., Isherwood, L.M., Osborne, K.A., Patel, K.R., et al. (2016). ‘They really get you motivated’: Experiences of a life-first employment programme from the perspective of long-term unemployed Australians. Journal of Social Policy, 45(3) pp. 507-526.
    [10.1017/S0047279416000027] [Scopus]
  • Isherwood, L.M., Luszcz, M.A. and King, D.S. (2016). Reciprocity in material and time support within parent–child relationships during late-life widowhood. Ageing and Society, 36(8) pp. 1668-1689.
    [10.1017/S0144686X15000537] [Scopus]
  • King, D.S., Svensson, S. and Wei, Z. (2016). Not Always a Quick Fix: The Impact of Employing Temporary Agency Workers on Retention in the Australian Aged Care Workforce. Journal of Industrial Relations,
    [10.1177/0022185616673867]
  • Willis, E.M., King, D.S., Dwyer, J.M., Wainer, J. and Owada, K. (2015). Women and Gynaecological Cancer: Gender and the Doctor–Patient Relationship. TOPOI-AN INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF PHILOSOPHY,
    [10.1007/s11245-015-9349-9] [Scopus]
  • Isherwood, L.M., King, D.S. and Luszcz, M.A. (2015). Widowhood in the fourth age: support exchange, relationships and social participation. Ageing and Society,
    [10.1017/S0144686X15001166] [Scopus]
  • King, D., Wei, Z. and Howe, A. (2013). Work satisfaction and intention to leave among direct care workers in community and residential aged care in Australia. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 25(4) pp. 301-319.
    [10.1080/08959420.2013.816166] [Scopus]
  • Wainer, J., Willis, E.M., Dwyer, J., King, D.S. and Owada, K. (2012). The treatment experiences of Australian women with gynaecological cancers and how they can be improved: a qualitative study. Reproductive Health Matters, 20(40) pp. 38-48.
    [10.1016/S0968-8080(12)40658-9] [Scopus]
  • King, D.S. (2012). It's frustrating! Managing emotional dissonance in aged care work. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 47(1) pp. 51-70.
    [Scopus] [Web Link]
  • Howe, A., King, D., Ellis, J., Wells, Y., Wei, Z. and Teshuva, K. (2012). Stabilising the aged care workforce: an analysis of worker retention and intention. Australian Health Review, 36(1) pp. 83-91.
    [10.1071/AH11009] [Scopus]
  • Isherwood, L., King, D. and Luszcz, M. (2012). A longitudinal analysis of social engagement in late-life widowhood. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 74(3) pp. 211-229.
    [10.2190/AG.74.3.c] [Scopus]
  • Hanna, E.G., Bell, E., King, D.S. and Woodruff, R. (2011). Climate change and australian agriculture: A review of the threats facing rural communities and the health policy landscape. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, 23(2) pp. 105S-118S.
    [10.1177/1010539510391459] [Scopus]
  • Willis, E., Dwyer, J.M., Owada, K., Couzner, L., King, D. and Wainer, J. (2011). Indigenous women's expectations of clinical care during treatment for a gynaecological cancer: rural and remote differences in expectations. Australian Health Review, 35(1) pp. 99-103.
    [10.1071/AH09800] [Scopus]
  • Willis, E.M. and King, D.S. (2011). Independent regulatory agencies and Australia's health workforce crisis: Lessons from the gynaecological cancers workforce. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 31(1/2) pp. 21-33.
    [10.1108/01443331111104788]
  • Greenhill, J.A., King, D.S., Lane, A.P. and MacDougall, C.J. (2009). Understanding resilience in South Australian farm families. Rural Society: The Journal of Research Into Rural and Regional Social Issues in Australia and New Zealand, 19(4) pp. 318-325.
    [Scopus] [Web Link]
  • Budarick, J. and King, D.S. (2008). Framing ideology in the niche media: the Koori Mail's construction of the Redfern riots. Journal of Sociology, 44(4) pp. 355-371.
    [10.1177/1440783308097126] [Scopus] [Web Link]
  • King, D.S. (2007). Rethinking the care-market relationship in care provider organisations. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 42(2) pp. 199-212.
    [Scopus] [Web Link]
  • Deslandes, A. and King, D.S. (2006). Autonomous activism and the global justice movement : aesthetic reflexivity in practice. Journal of Sociology, 42(3) pp. 310-327.
    [10.1177/1440783306066729] [Scopus]
  • King, D.S. (2006). Activists and emotional reflexivity: toward touraine's subject as social movement. Sociology-The Journal of The British Sociological Association, 40(5) pp. 873-891.
    [10.1177/0038038506067511] [Scopus]
  • King, D.S. (2004). Operationalizing Melucci: Metamorphosis and Passion in the Negotiation of Activists' Multiple Identities. Mobilization: The International Journal of Research and Theory About Social Movements, Protest, and Collective Behaviour, 9(1) pp. 73-92.
    [Web Link]
  • King, D., Wei, Z. and Howe, A. (2013). Work satisfaction and intention to leave among direct care workers in community and residential aged care in Australia. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 25(4) pp. 301-319.
    [10.1080/08959420.2013.816166] [Scopus]
  • Howe, A., King, D., Ellis, J., Wells, Y., Wei, Z. and Teshuva, K. (2012). Stabilising the aged care workforce: an analysis of worker retention and intention. Australian Health Review, 36(1) pp. 83-91.
    [10.1071/AH11009] [Scopus]
  • Isherwood, L., King, D. and Luszcz, M. (2012). A longitudinal analysis of social engagement in late-life widowhood. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 74(3) pp. 211-229.
    [10.2190/AG.74.3.c] [Scopus]
  • Willis, E., Dwyer, J.M., Owada, K., Couzner, L., King, D. and Wainer, J. (2011). Indigenous women's expectations of clinical care during treatment for a gynaecological cancer: rural and remote differences in expectations. Australian Health Review, 35(1) pp. 99-103.
    [10.1071/AH09800] [Scopus]
  • Willis, E.M. and King, D.S. (2011). Independent regulatory agencies and Australia's health workforce crisis: Lessons from the gynaecological cancers workforce. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 31(1/2) pp. 21-33.
    [10.1108/01443331111104788]
  • King, D.S. (2007). Rethinking the care-market relationship in care provider organisations. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 42(2) pp. 199-212.
    [Scopus] [Web Link]
  • King, D.S. (2006). Activists and emotional reflexivity: toward touraine's subject as social movement. Sociology-The Journal of The British Sociological Association, 40(5) pp. 873-891.
    [10.1177/0038038506067511] [Scopus]
  • King, D.S. (2010). Learning by listening: Emotional reflexivity and organizational change in childcare. In Asa Wettergren & Barbara Siebens, ed. Emotionalizing organizations and organizing emotions. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 230-250.
  • King, D.S. and Martin, W.C. (2009). Caring for profit? The impact of for-profit providers on the quality of employment in aged care. In Debra King and Gabrielle Meagher, ed. Paid Care in Australia: Politics, Profits, Practices. Sydney, NSW: Sydney University Press, pp. 113-143.
    [Web Link]
  • Flam, H. and King, D.S. (2005). Introduction. In Helena Flam and Debra King, ed. Emotions and Social Movements. London: Routledge, pp. 1-18.
    [Scopus] [Scopus] [Scopus] [Scopus] [Scopus] [Scopus] [Scopus]

Professional and community engagement

I have played an active role in community and professional organisations and held leadership roles in The Australian Sociological Association including President (2011-2013) and being on the Expert Advisory Board of the Journal of Sociology.

My interest in paid care has resulted in being on the steering committee of the Australian Paid Care Research Network for which I have co-convened two national workshops and developed their website. In 2007, I was a guest editor for a special edition on paid care of the Australian Journal of Social Issues with Professor Bill Martin (UQ). A co-edited book with Professor Gabrielle Meagher (U Syd) on paid care in Australia was published in 2008. With Assoc. Professor Sara Charlesworth (UniSA), I am currently establishing a network of home care researchers.

I have held state leadership roles in the Australian Federation of University Women, and served on numerous University committees. Prior to becoming an academic I was a Community Development Officer in rural SA where I initiated and managed several community services and projects.

Expertise for media contact

Interests

  • Aged care workforce

Contact

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Phone: +61 8 82013806
Email:
Location: Social Sciences South (352)
Postal address: GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia
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