Research focus areas in Social Sciences

Discover some of the research interests of staff who work in the Social Sciences and find links to more information.

Find your subject on this page.

Criminology

Criminology is a rich area of research at Victoria and includes:

  • critical criminology, human rights and social justice
  • prisons, punishment and society
  • criminal psychology
  • drug and alcohol misuse, law and policy
  • white-collar crime, organised crime, and transnational crime
  • gender and crime, sexual offending, family violence, prostitution law reform
  • crime prevention and community safety
  • policing and private security
  • green criminology and environmental justice

Find out which academic staff work in each research area and read about research projects in criminology at the School of Social and Cultural Studies.

Cultural Anthropology

Research in Cultural Anthropology explores how culture shapes our lives and includes work in:

  • inequality
  • health and wellbeing
  • the environment
  • robots
  • genocide
  • international development
  • migration
  • neoliberalism and capitalism
  • Pacific cultures

Find out which academic staff work in each research area and read about research projects in cultural anthropology at the School of Social and Cultural Studies.

Sociology

Sociology research has a particular focus on:

  • bioethics
  • classical and contemporary political and social theory
  • embodiment
  • everyday life
  • feminist theory, gender, sexuality and health
  • humour
  • medical sociology
  • research ethics
  • sociology of violence
  • the history of ideas
  • work and emotions.

Find out which academic staff work in each research area and read about sociology research projects at the School of Social and Cultural Studies.

Social Policy

Our Social Policy research examines:

  • social movements
  • the role of discourse in policy-making and political processes
  • women and political representation in New Zealand
  • childcare and unpaid work debates
  • social inequality
  • gender and welfare states

Find out which academic staff work in each research area and read about research projects in social policy at the School of Social and Cultural Studies.

Gender and Sexuality Studies

Research in Gender and Sexuality Studies focuses on:

  • reproductive technologies
  • embodiment
  • sexual and gender-based violence
  • sex work
  • gender and sexuality in film and media
  • ancient sexuality and gender
  • race, colonization and development
  • feminist theory

Gender and Sexuality Studies is taught in the School of Social and Cultural Studies. Find out more about research in the School.

Political Science and International Relations

Research areas include:

  • China/East Asia/Pacific—economic development, foreign policy, regionalism
  • conflict and security
  • European and North American politics
  • global governance, aid and development, human rights
  • immigration, citizenship and political representation
  • New Zealand politics
  • authoritarianism and democratisation
  • political economy
  • political and international relations theory

Discover the research interests of individual staff in Political Science or International Relations and find out more about research in the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations.

History

Currently our research focuses on the modern period, covering a wide geographical region:

  • New Zealand, Pacific and Australian history
  • Early modern and modern European history
  • American history
  • Asian history—especially India
  • Atlantic World

Discover more about History research at Victoria and find out which academic staff work in your research interest area.

Philosophy

Philosophy research has a particular focus on these areas:

  • Logic—including modal logic, relevant logic and probability logic
  • Political philosophy—including global justice, patriotism and nationalism, and the politics of personal relationships
  • Ethics—including ethical theory (eg are moral properties real?), moral psychology, the ethics of technological change, virtue theory and the philosophy of mental health and mental disorder
  • Experimental philosophy, or X-phi—including conceptions of pain and consciousness, causal attributions, happiness and wellbeing, the philosophical temperament, and the demographic makeup of philosophy
  • Philosophy of science—including biology, social science, psychology, and ethics in biotechnology
  • Metaphysics and epistemology—including the nature of causation, and fictionalism
  • Philosophy of art—including interpretation, popular art (video games, comics, film), feminist issues, ontology
  • Philosophy of education (with the School of Education)—philosophy for children

Find out which academic staff work in each research area and read more about Philosophy research at Victoria University.

Religious Studies

  • Religious diversity, religious change in the Pacific, Jewish studies
  • Christianity, contemporary religious change, religion and peacemaking, religion in New Zealand
  • Religion and development, secularism
  • South and Southeast Asia, Hinduism, Religious Studies theory, religion and community
  • Islam, anthropological study of religion, religion and philanthropy, religion and gender, religion and media
  • Mission studies
  • Religion and NGOs
  • Religion and disasters
  • Religion and colonialism

Find out which academic staff work in each research area and read more about Religious Studies research at Victoria University.

Media Studies

  • Television—including institutions and industries, media policy, genres and forms, audiences and representations, history
  • Media and identity—including audience studies, media and subjectivity, youth media culture
  • Media politics and news—including political economy of media, news production and representation of world events, civic engagement and the public sphere, media policy and regulation, international political communication
  • Visual culture—including semiotics, textual analysis, visual communication, culture and media aesthetics
  • Popular culture and popular music—including individual and collective identities/subjectivities, celebrity studies, cultural production and consumption
  • Digital media and technology—including media convergence, surveillance and privacy; production, consumption and labour
  • Media in Aotearoa/New Zealand—including post-colonial history/theory; media institutions, policy and texts; the relationship between media and national identity, indigeneity and migrancy
  • Creative industries—including national and international film institutions, creative labour, cultural economies and geography, urban studies

Find out which academic staff work in each research area and read more about research in the School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies.

Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

Research in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics focuses on:

  • Sociolinguistics
  • Lexicography
  • Second language learning and teaching
  • Discourse analysis
  • Sign language
  • Language in the workplace
  • Bilingualism
  • Vocabulary
  • Linguistic descriptions of specific languages
  • Gender in language
  • Digital narrative

Discover the research interests of individual staff in Applied Linguistics or Linguistics and read more about linguistics research at Victoria.