Research shows that research doesn’t make a difference. A critique and reimagining of the potential of research in addressing poverty and socioeconomic disadvantage

Date 12:00 PM 03 November 2016 - 13:00 PM 03 November 2016
Location Father Tucker's Room, Brotherhood head office, 67 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Presenter: Dr Deborah Warr, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

Social research addressing issues of socioeconomic inequalities is clearly an important activity, however, there is strong potential for it to have stronger impacts in reducing these inequalities. The philosopher, AJ Grayling, recently observed that data is not knowledge and (extending this train of thought) knowledge is not understanding and understanding is not action, although these are unfolding and interlinked possibilities as we grapple to make sense of the world around us.

Social research can make critical contributions in facilitating these shifts in processing and applying insights into human situations but this requires specific kinds of processes and activities.

In this talk, I reflect on my own involvement in research that has aimed to generate insights into subjective experiences of poverty and socioeconomic marginalisation and strategies for maximising the value of research in alleviating inequalities.

Deborah Warr is a sociologist and Australian Research Council Future Fellow, and her program of research is broadly concerned with the social determinants of health for populations experiencing poverty and socioeconomic disadvantage.

She has conducted research exploring explores associations between neighbourhoods and health, local effects of sociospatial polarisation and place-based stigma, and the outcomes of university-community partnerships and community-led projects addressing local issues.

Her approach to research reflects longstanding commitment to the value of participatory and collaborative research, and through her role as a program convenor for the Melbourne Social Equity Institute she has established innovative approaches to community engaged research.

View the presentation. (PDF, 8.7MB)

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes