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Dr Sara James Senior Lecturer, Sociology

Dr Sara James is a cultural sociologist whose research focuses on the changing role of work in people’s lives in an era of fragmented careers and precarious employment. Her recent book, Making a living, making a life: Work, meaning and self-identity (2018), draws on in-depth interviews and cultural analysis to investigate the significance of work in contemporary Australia. Sara is committed to engaging with broad audiences and promoting a public sociology. She makes frequent contributions to local and national media, including ABC Radio, 3AW, Fairfax newspapers and The Conversation. She is a member of The Australian Sociological Association’s Executive Committee and has co-authored two text books: Key concepts in the Humanities and Social Sciences (2018) and Sociology in Today’s World, 3rd edition (2014). Sara also undertakes research in higher education pedagogy, with a particular focus on the first-year experience and student’s career aspirations. Her passion for teaching and student engagement has been recognised with four teaching awards, including the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017. Sara’s current research projects include a major study of Baby Boomer women’s unpaid work and a qualitative investigation of creative careers in Australian advertising firms. She is currently co-editing a special section of the Journal of Sociology on ‘Meaningful Work in Late Modernity’ (forthcoming 2020).


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