Video (2min): Researching with Young People
Video (20min): Fearless Minds Series - Focussing on the Invisible: The unseen impacts of youth violence
I research Youth Violence. You might be thinking of school bullying, youth ‘gangs’, or maybe the chaos of protests. I step back from these eye-catching behaviours, to uncover where violence is an invisible and accepted part of Australian society that shapes young people’s lives.
Stories of violent young people have inspired fear since the “bodgies” and “widgies” of the 1950s. The labels we give youth subcultures have changed, but the patterns of moral panic have not. If we want to build a safer world, we must ask hard questions why violence is ok in professional sport, but not on the school oval? Why is bullying ok in parliament, but not in the classroom?
I tackle these questions using a social lens. Rather than looking for the cause of violence inside young people’s minds and bodies, I think about types of violence that follow the patterns of violation deeply embedded in our societies and our stories. To address Youth Violence, we need to see it as part of a larger system full of contradictory messages. We need to look for the less visible forms of violence, then support young people to challenge and question its place in Australia’s history and future.
Youth Sociologist and Youth Worker
My research and teaching are in the field of youth sociology and the sociology of violence, with intersections into youth policy and youth work practice.
Prior to my academic career, I worked in the Non-Government Youth Work sector with young people around issues of violence and justice in alternative education and accommodation.
PhD (Sociology), Flinders University
Master of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney
BA (Youth Work), Tabor
2018 Vice-Chancellor's Best Higher Degree by Research Student Publication, Flinders University
2018 Conference Travel Grant, Flinders University to present at the International Sociological Association XIX World Congress, Toronto
2017 Student Publication prize (x2), School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University
2014 1st place, 3 Minute Thesis competition, Flinders University
Academic Integrity Officer - Social Work
Ben is a founding member and current Chair of Youth Work SA's executive committee.
Youth Work SA is the professional association for youth workers in South Australia.
2019 - Current Chair, Executive Committee, Youth Work SA
2016 - 2019 Secretary, Executive Committee, Youth Work SA
The Australian Sociological Association
2019 - 2020 Postgraduate Portfolio Leader, Executive Committee, The Australian Sociological Association
2017 - 2018 Postgraduate Committee Member, Social Media Portfolio, The Australian Sociological Association
Current research grants
Integrated Mentoring for Young Women Leaving Out-of-Home Care ($27, 728), Funded by Jack Brockhoff Foundation, in partnership with Bridged of Hope and Swinburne University
Community Centres South Australia: Social Connection and Inclusion ($12, 000), Funded by the Fay Fuller Foundation: CIs Ben Lohmeyer (Lead), Sarah Wendt.
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