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Raewyn Connell

Professor Emerita (social science)
University of Sydney


Raewyn Connell, BA (Melb), PhD (Syd), is Professor Emerita of the University of Sydney, and a Life Member of the NTEU. She retired as University Professor in 2014. She previously held posts at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Macquarie University in Sydney, and Flinders University in Adelaide. She has held visiting appointments at the University of Toronto, Harvard University, and Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

Raewyn is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, a recipient of the American Sociological Association’s award for distinguished contribution to the study of sex and gender, and of the Australian Sociological Association’s award for distinguished service to sociology in Australia. Raewyn’s teaching fields have included general sociology, social theory, sociology of education, gender relations, sexuality, and research methods.

Raewyn’s books, including Masculinities, and papers have been translated into 18 languages. Masculinities alone has been translated into Italian, Swedish, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Slovenian, French and Chinese, and is the most cited research publication in its field. More recently she has opened up questions about the relations between masculinities, globalisation and coloniality.

Raewyn is also a leading figure in other research fields, areas that demonstrate her characteristic concern for combining an understanding of large-scale social structures with recognition of personal experience and collective agency.

Making the Difference (1982) is the most discussed Australian study of social inequalities in education while in Gender and Power (1987) Raewyn developed an influential sociological theory of gender which her current research is reformulating in a world context.

As author of Ruling Class Ruling Culture (1977) and co-author of Class Structure in Australian History (1980), Raewyn has also been a key figure in the development of an Australian sociology of class. Her other research agendas include adolescence, intellectual labour, and sexuality.

Raewyn’s book Southern Theory (2007) discusses theorists unfamiliar in the European canon of social science, and explores the possibility of a genuinely global social science. Across these fields, Raewyn has tried to make social science relevant to social justice, becoming involved with campaigns, teachers and social-movement activists to bring research to bear on public policy and strategies of social change. Raewyn has conducted applied studies and given policy advice to governments about poverty and education, AIDS prevention, gender equity, and other fields.

In the past decade, Raewyn was invited by United Nations agencies to lead international discussions about masculinities, violence and peacemaking, and the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality.

Raewyn’s work is widely cited in social science and humanities publications internationally. Four of her books were listed among the 10 most influential books in Australian sociology. She is frequently invited to give keynote addresses at conferences and seminars, including events recently in Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Senegal, China, Singapore, Brasil and Britain.

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