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Wright, Jan Prof.

Emeritus Professor

  • Professorial Fellow - Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Early Start Research
  • Emeritus Professor - School of Education

Top Publications


    Year Title
    2015 Social class, anxieties and mothers' foodwork
    Published in   Sociology of Health and Illness: a journal of medical sociology
    2014 The healthy child citizen: biopedagogies and web-based health promotion
    Published in   British Journal of Sociology of Education
    2012 Health imperatives in primary schools across three countries: Intersections of class, culture and subjectivity
    Published in   Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education

Research Overview


    • Children and young people's meanings of self in relation to their ideas about health, bodies and weight
    • Families' ideas about health and food and the impact of these on their practices
    • Critical/sociological analysis of physical education and/or health education pedagogies and curriculum in schools and higher education
    • A critical analysis of health education policy and public pedagogies associated with health promotion and prevention

    My research draws on feminist and post-structuralist theory to critically engage issues associated with the body, health and physical activity. In all my work there has been a close attention to the body as central to subjectivity and as necessary to an understanding of the self. This theme has been taken up in studies of movement-based pedagogies and published papers examining media constructions of gender and physical activity.

    I am committed to making a difference to the ways the subject, physical and health education, is conceived in curriculum and policy and how it is taught in schools.

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p><strong><em>Current research and multidisciplinary team:</em></strong> I am currently working as a chief investigator (CI) on a UOW Global Challenges Seed Funding project (GC), titled, ‘Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment: Bringing Transformations through Dialogic Accounting’. I am working with the following senior colleagues on this project: Vera Mackie, Senior Professor of Asian and International Studies, Faculty of Law Humanities and Arts; Professor Gordon Waitt, Head of School of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences; and, Professor Jan Wright, Faculty of Social Sciences, We also have the following external investigators: Professor Trevor Hopper, Sussex University (SU), UK; Professor Judy Brown, Victoria University of Wellington; and, Dr. Sendirella George, Victoria University of Wellington.</p><p><strong><em>Brief description of the project:</em></strong> Women’s empowerment is a key microfinance objective and is achieved by providing small loans to poor people mainly in developing countries. Notwithstanding highly publicised success stories, microfinance is controversial.<sup> </sup>Feminist and development scholars claim that promoters of microfinance often gloss over its ‘dark side’. Despite a rich academic and policy literature on microfinance, challenging questions remain – in particular, with regards to defining women’s empowerment, understanding how conventional accounting and accountability systems reinforce structural barriers that disempower women, and exploring how accounting can contribute to female empowerment. The study addresses these questions through a pilot case study with an NGO the CI has worked with for her PhD [ISDE, Bangladesh]. The study broadens the focus by working with poor women in receipt of microfinance loans and feminist activists working with ISDE’s NGO network on ‘gender mainstreaming’ and ‘non-formal education’ projects. The researchers have collaborated to develop an analytical framework drawing on insights from feminist and development studies to examine ways of transforming traditional accounting tools and the criteria for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on microfinance initiatives. We completed our data collection, and conducted thirty individual interviews, and four focus group sessions, using methods such as story-telling and video reflections. <br /><br /><strong><em>Expected Impacts:</em></strong> The research is designed to provide theoretical, empirical, methodological and policy contributions.  Theoretically, it  shows how feminist concepts can inform politicised understandings of accounting. Empirically, it  develops accounting and accountability practices that help us understand the socio-political relations (e.g. gender, class and ethnicity) that produce disempowerment and poverty.  Methodologically, it advances understanding of how to put dialogic accounting into practice. In terms of policy design, it stimulates discussions among academics, civil society groups, and policymakers regarding the potential roles of accounting in poverty reduction, good governance, and participatory development.<sup></sup></p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Master of Philosophy Understanding Family Engagement and the role of school-home communication Alexander, Louise
    Doctor of Education Navigating Learning on the front line of Policing Briggs, Belinda
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Understanding the establishment of the AIME Vibe and mentoring model Johnstone, Ashleigh
    Master of Philosophy -SOC The Potential of Lyengar Yoga as a Therapeutic Intervention in Overcoming Trauma. Larkin, Natasha
    Doctor of Philosophy Development of a sociocultural program to support young Indigenous children's consonant production Pogson, Carolyn
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) How does university study impact the ways women, who have experienced domestic violence, rebuild their lives? Lewer, Kelly

Top Publications


    Year Title
    2015 Social class, anxieties and mothers' foodwork
    Published in   Sociology of Health and Illness: a journal of medical sociology
    2014 The healthy child citizen: biopedagogies and web-based health promotion
    Published in   British Journal of Sociology of Education
    2012 Health imperatives in primary schools across three countries: Intersections of class, culture and subjectivity
    Published in   Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education

Research Overview


    • Children and young people's meanings of self in relation to their ideas about health, bodies and weight
    • Families' ideas about health and food and the impact of these on their practices
    • Critical/sociological analysis of physical education and/or health education pedagogies and curriculum in schools and higher education
    • A critical analysis of health education policy and public pedagogies associated with health promotion and prevention

    My research draws on feminist and post-structuralist theory to critically engage issues associated with the body, health and physical activity. In all my work there has been a close attention to the body as central to subjectivity and as necessary to an understanding of the self. This theme has been taken up in studies of movement-based pedagogies and published papers examining media constructions of gender and physical activity.

    I am committed to making a difference to the ways the subject, physical and health education, is conceived in curriculum and policy and how it is taught in schools.

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p><strong><em>Current research and multidisciplinary team:</em></strong> I am currently working as a chief investigator (CI) on a UOW Global Challenges Seed Funding project (GC), titled, ‘Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment: Bringing Transformations through Dialogic Accounting’. I am working with the following senior colleagues on this project: Vera Mackie, Senior Professor of Asian and International Studies, Faculty of Law Humanities and Arts; Professor Gordon Waitt, Head of School of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences; and, Professor Jan Wright, Faculty of Social Sciences, We also have the following external investigators: Professor Trevor Hopper, Sussex University (SU), UK; Professor Judy Brown, Victoria University of Wellington; and, Dr. Sendirella George, Victoria University of Wellington.</p><p><strong><em>Brief description of the project:</em></strong> Women’s empowerment is a key microfinance objective and is achieved by providing small loans to poor people mainly in developing countries. Notwithstanding highly publicised success stories, microfinance is controversial.<sup> </sup>Feminist and development scholars claim that promoters of microfinance often gloss over its ‘dark side’. Despite a rich academic and policy literature on microfinance, challenging questions remain – in particular, with regards to defining women’s empowerment, understanding how conventional accounting and accountability systems reinforce structural barriers that disempower women, and exploring how accounting can contribute to female empowerment. The study addresses these questions through a pilot case study with an NGO the CI has worked with for her PhD [ISDE, Bangladesh]. The study broadens the focus by working with poor women in receipt of microfinance loans and feminist activists working with ISDE’s NGO network on ‘gender mainstreaming’ and ‘non-formal education’ projects. The researchers have collaborated to develop an analytical framework drawing on insights from feminist and development studies to examine ways of transforming traditional accounting tools and the criteria for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on microfinance initiatives. We completed our data collection, and conducted thirty individual interviews, and four focus group sessions, using methods such as story-telling and video reflections. <br /><br /><strong><em>Expected Impacts:</em></strong> The research is designed to provide theoretical, empirical, methodological and policy contributions.  Theoretically, it  shows how feminist concepts can inform politicised understandings of accounting. Empirically, it  develops accounting and accountability practices that help us understand the socio-political relations (e.g. gender, class and ethnicity) that produce disempowerment and poverty.  Methodologically, it advances understanding of how to put dialogic accounting into practice. In terms of policy design, it stimulates discussions among academics, civil society groups, and policymakers regarding the potential roles of accounting in poverty reduction, good governance, and participatory development.<sup></sup></p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Master of Philosophy Understanding Family Engagement and the role of school-home communication Alexander, Louise
    Doctor of Education Navigating Learning on the front line of Policing Briggs, Belinda
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Understanding the establishment of the AIME Vibe and mentoring model Johnstone, Ashleigh
    Master of Philosophy -SOC The Potential of Lyengar Yoga as a Therapeutic Intervention in Overcoming Trauma. Larkin, Natasha
    Doctor of Philosophy Development of a sociocultural program to support young Indigenous children's consonant production Pogson, Carolyn
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) How does university study impact the ways women, who have experienced domestic violence, rebuild their lives? Lewer, Kelly
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