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)


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