A doctoral candidate in gender studies, my research focuses on the conservative turn of sexuality and gender in post-9/11 American sociopolitics and popular geopolitics. My doctoral thesis explores the conflation of queerness and terrorism – and the concomitant re-heterosexualisation of American nationalisms - in X-Men comic books, focusing on the ways queer characters are consistently rendered foreign and terroristic. In particular, it engages with Puar's articulation of homo-nationalism, Bloodworth-Lugo and Lugo-Lugo's notion of the 'browning' of queerness, and Muñoz's theory of disidentification.
My thesis looks at New Zealand's neoliberal reforms in the 1980s and 1990s, and how the economic ideas of the time were taken up in social policy debates, particularly around families and whānau, and the unpaid caring work of mothers. I'm lucky to have Dr Chris Brickell and Dr Rebecca Stringer as my supervisors. My career highlights include working across economic and social policy, at the Treasury, the Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. In my spare time, I like to run, sing and be a mum.
We live in a digital age where pornography has a greater presence than ever before. With comprehensive sexuality education far from a reality in our schools, young people are increasingly turning to pornography to provide answers to their questions about gender, sex and sexuality. I am interested in the effect that increased access to pornography has on our young peoples’ sexual identities and whether or not sexuality educators are addressing this. My thesis will pick up on threads found in feminist debates that have been raging for decades and examine their relevance to the lived experiences of today's youth.
I am exploring how gender and sexuality relate to the health technologies of Viagra and the male hormonal contraceptive pill. I am addressing the issue of why the male hormonal contraceptive pill has never been made available for the consumer market. I will interview general practitioners to assess attitudes in Aotearoa/New Zealand in relation to contraception and female and male sexual dysfunction. Research has revealed that the public believes that men should take greater responsibility for effective contraception. Statistics also reveal that 40% of pregnancies in Aotearoa/New Zealand are unplanned. The utilisation of Viagra has perpetuated a restricted view of hegemonic masculinity and also of sexuality. The male hormonal contraceptive pill and Viagra are highlighting an increasing focus on male reproductive bodies.
I am currently enrolled in the PhD programme in the department. I am a registered occupational therapist and senior lecturer in the School of Occupational Therapy at Otago Polytechnic, where I completed my Master of Occupational Therapy (Distinction). My reasons for coming to the University of Otago were two fold, firstly, after spending a lot of time looking for supervisors who had the experience, knowledge and interest to supervise my project I found them at the department of Sociology and secondly, I live in Dunedin and it was great to be able to attend such an internationally renowned University, just on my doorstep. My PhD looks at transition and specifically how patients within forensic psychiatric services transition from hospital to the community. People in forensic psychiatric services, like the majority of the population, undergo a variety of transitions. Many are forced upon them and their perception, often based on reality, is that they have limited control over these processes. Moving to the community after significant periods of time in psychiatric hospitals is challenging for the majority of those making this transition.
Interest in my project has come out of my work as an occupational therapist within a forensic psychiatric service; I worked closely with those making the transition back to the community, helping to elevate their anxieties about the process. Available literature that provides insight into the adaptation process undergone by those patients transitioning to the community is scarce. This research project aims to contribute to the body of knowledge in the area and to be of use within this clinical area of practice. My primary supervisor, Associate Professor Anita Gibbs and second supervisor, Associate Professor Martin Tolich provide me with a learning environment that is fantastic. They encourage me, nurture my learning and provide all the support I should need. I really enjoy the environment they provide where I can question, postulate and come to my own conclusions. When I’m not working or studying I enjoy getting out into the beautiful national parks of this country, reorganising my garden and spending time with my partner.
I am a PhD student in Sociology and have completed an MPhil in Population Studies from the Tribhuvan University, Nepal. I have chosen the University of Otago as my educational destination due to its international reputation in quality education. I am focusing my research on the leisure activities of older people residing in rest homes and the impact of these on their quality of life. The leisure activities among older people is a growing concern in New Zealand due the ageing population and the fact that they have more free time than other age groups. From the perspective of gerontologists, participation in leisure activities in later life is associated with lower risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression and improves the cognitive skills and enhances the quality of life. However, these issues in rest homes have been overlooked. My research will employ a mixed method approach for the in-depth understanding of the available leisure facilities to older adults and the effects of these on their life.
I am working under the guidance of Professor Dr. Amanda Barusch and Dr. Bryndl Hohmann-Marriott and am grateful to have their wonderful supervision. Their instruction always helps me strengthen my skills and prepares me to fulfil my goal.
Md. Mahfuzur Rahman
I’m Md. Mahfuzur Rahman. I’m a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work, University of Otago. My research focuses on the fertility stalls in South Asia, specifically the fertility stalls in Bangladesh. My study is mainly based on quantitative analytical technique. I have a University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship. I born in Bangladesh and have done my B.Sc. (Honours) and M.Sc. in Population Science and Human Resource Development, University of Rajshahi. I have four years of teaching experience at university level. I have previous research experience on fertility and maternal and child health. My main research interests include fertility dynamics, partnership stability and child bearing, and maternal and child health.
Adolescents becoming parents stirs a variety of views, from strong support for the adolescent to a belief that the adolescent is not able or emotionally ready to parent. When risk factors or concerns are present for children, Child, Youth and Family is mandated to assess the parental capacity of these adolescents and their ability to meet the needs of the children. As a Masters student, the focus for my research is how social worker's at Child, Youth and Family assess the parental capacity of pregnant adolescents. What informs the potentially life changing decisions they make? The research is qualitative, conducting semi structured interviews with social worker's across New Zealand. The Masters programme at the University of Otago has supported me to continue full time employment as a social worker while studying. I began my postgraduate student journey when discovering the Diploma in Child Centred Practice. The diploma sparked an interest in my thesis topic, and I thoroughly enjoyed the inter disciplinary nature of the programme which kept children at the heart of practice.
I am a PhD student from South Korea. Within feminist gerontological perspective, I am currently exploring the perception of aging including gendered ageism, anxiety aging, and anti-aging practices. In a contemporary society, the combination of an anti-aging culture and an obsession over youthfulness has engendered and strengthened dimensions of youth and beauty, which is used to estimate a woman’s value and worth and created a message that physical changes and signs of aging could and/or should be solved or fixed. Feminists have dealt with the issues of beauty works including anti-aging practices and discussed whether anti-aging practices and beauty work become alternative schemes of oppression or empowerment of women. However, scholars have barely concentrated on these issues within the contexts of gender, race, ethnicity, and class combined. Therefore, my PhD thesis will be based on the “feminist gerontologist perspective” as a theoretical framework, which focuses on the intersection of age and gender, race, ethnicity, and class that bring about inequalities. My PhD thesis will look at the perception of aging including gendered ageism, anxiety aging, and anti-aging practices among certain ethnic groups living in westernised societies and to understand the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, and class in relation to experience of aging.
I am a PhD student in the Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work at Otago University. I work as a social worker and have completed my Masters degree at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.
There were many reasons to choose Otago University to enroll within its PhD program; however the most paramount ones are for its international reputation in quality education, its highly professional supervision and a personal reason focusing on my intention to explore the phenomenon of domestic violence against women in Israel, the Arab Palestinian women in particular, from a distant perspective.
Partner abuse is the most common form of violence against women, and its incidence increases annually causing injuries, disability, mental and psychological outcomes or even death.
Of the various professional interventions offered to battered women, shelters are considered the most significant link which provides women protection, support and assistance in breaking the circle of violence. Yet, shelters in different closed and conservative societies and cultures such as the Arab society in Israel are considered a cruel violation to family and society traditions and norms. Furthermore, there is a lack of empirical research about battered women residing in shelters in Israel and very little is known about the contribution of these shelters. This gap of knowledge is even more pronounced among Arab women, citizens of Israel, who are part of an ethnic group. This is in spite of their high representation in shelters.
In light of the above, my study aims to deepen the understanding on domestic violence against Arab women, yet in relation with the tangled conflicted reality in Israel.
Israel has been engaged for so long in violent conflicts, a fact that is accompanied with militarization that has clearly affected women in the country, be they of the Jewish majority or the Arab minority. It is known that collective violence such as war, state repression, torture or conflict violence increases the risk of various forms of gender-based violence. For this purpose, battered Arab and Jewish women residing in shelters will be compared, while considering the cultural and socio-political characteristics of the Arab society in Israel alongside the conflicted tangled political reality in Israel.
I am working under the guidance and the supervision of Dr. Melanie Beres, Dr. Carla Lam and Dr. Nicola Atwool. I am blessed and grateful to have them as my supervisors.
My doctoral thesis is a formative, mixed method programme evaluation of the Caroline Reid Family Support Service. Dedicated services for children of parents with mental illness and/or addiction – COPMIA – are rare in New Zealand. The Caroline Reid Family Support Service began in 2003 by collaboration between child and adolescent specialist mental health services and a grass roots consumer service to meet the needs of these ‘invisible children’. The service was named after a real person – the wife of Graeme Reid (service founder), who developed a major mental illness after the birth of their second child. I work as a clinical family social worker for the service, which is now under the management of Stepping Stone Trust, a major NGO mental health provider in Canterbury. The child and adult clients of the service were asked how well they thought the service met its goals by means of child interviews (10), age-differentiated focus groups (4), and adult client mixed method questionnaires (32). I am therefore an insider in this research project. Insider status brings some limitations, however it has allowed me to gain ethical approval from the Southern Health Ethics Committee to obtain qualitative data from child clients. After three years of juggling part time research and clinical work I have taken extended study leave from the service and am now focusing solely on my doctorate. I am still based in Christchurch and working from home with the company of my jackadoodle, Maya! You'll see me from time to time when I come to Dunedin to catch up with my supervisors in person.