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Episode 10: Social isolation and mental health in Rural Australia

Merrilyn Crichton knows that her research touches on economics, hard science, sustainability, psychology and sociology–and she is the first to argue that to examine social isolation and mental health in Australia’s rural communities, all these fields are needed.

Episode 9: The value of local connections in the Dairy Industry

Sosheel Godfrey warns against making a bogeyman out of an alternative banking system. That is, he doesn’t see the so-called ‘middlemen’ of Pakistan’s dairy industry as evil collectors that rob farmers of profit, rob the chance to sell milk urban consumers. Rather, he sees them as a part of the community, investing back into their communities through the farmers. Living alongside the local farmers, they extend cash advances to farmers, sometimes providing loans to small hold farmers. And so, their motives are not just making a profit, but rather helping other members of their community to survive and thrive.

Episode 8: The social side of Veterinary Training

Nicola Wunderlich, in her work in capacity building, is the first person to advocate for tailoring your content to your audience. In other words, Nicola calls on scientists and researchers to personalise their content to their audience, and how their audience is most likely to absorb (and use) the information

Episode 7: Community Responsibility for each other

Sarah Redshaw thinks our healthcare model is sometimes too focused on disease.
On the surface, this seems like a weird thing to say, given how we go to doctors when we’re ill; we expect them to make it about disease and illness. But Sarah argues that this approach can divorce the individual from any financial, social and cultural pressures they’re is facing outside the consultation room. In other words, the individual is separated from their lives outside the hospital, which can lead to an incomplete picture of the individual’s life and times.

Episode 6: The Anglican Church Community in Rural Australia

In her work on the Anglican Church in rural Australian communities, Monica sees religion as a force that provides a sense of belonging and community. And more than that, she argues that these seemingly abstract concepts–community, social wellbeing, belonging–can and do influence an individual. And so, in times of hardship and struggle, the local church becomes a place of connection and support.

Episode 5: Farmers Adopting Technology

In his work as a sociologist, Vaughan Higgins studies the local, national and international forces that impact on farmers. That’s a fancy way of saying that he looks at why or why not farmers adopt certain technologies or change practices

Episode 4: Women in Trade in Rural Australia

why more women don’t move into male–dominated fields is much more complicated that it seems. On this episode of What’s Sociology Got To Do With It?, Larissa and Donna argue that rural Australian women face attacks from two sides: judged for leaving their communities yet often facing limited opportunities and strict gender roles if they remain.

Episode 1: Mental Shortcuts and antibiotic resistance

Studying antibiotic resistance may seem like a hard science topic, something that’s just data and chemicals, but Kellie Thomas says that it is critical that the human element–that is, the people–are considered in academic research.

Episode 2: Challenges Facing Australian Farmers

Wes Ward challenges researchers to recognise the web of individuals involved in agricultural systems. That is, he challenges them to think of the shearers, the contract workers, the farm managers and everyone else involved in running a farm. He says that this ‘thinking of the big picture’ is the only way organisations, researchers and farmers can move towards shared goals, building trust and fixing the challenges actually facing Australian farmers.

Episode 3: How Humanity is connected to the natural world

Jennifer Manyweathers can see a problem. It’s the problem of how, in her work on foot and mouth disease, she’s seen the assumption that if someone is included in policy guidelines or if people are told by experts to do something, they’ll do it.