Monday, 14 November 2016

EQUITY & DIVERSITY SERIES: presentation on social cohesion and workshop on research & industry engagement

Join us for a research presentation and a research-industry workshop by Prof Kate Reynolds, Australian National University, on Thursday 24th of November.

RESEARCH PRESENTATION: From alienation to contact and inclusivity norms: Building social cohesion in ethnically diverse communities 
by Katherine J. Reynolds, Benjamin M. Jones, Kathleen Klik & Sarah McKenna (The Australian National University); Luisa Batalha (Australian Catholic University) & Emina Subasic (University of Newcastle)

Thursday 24th November, 10-11am: Keats reading room, Aviation building, Callaghan (video conferenced to Humanities room: HO1.43, Ourimbah)

With communities becoming increasingly diverse, governments are focused on the need to strengthen social cohesion. Recent "home-grown" terrorist events have re-energised debates about the consequences of discrimination, alienation and beliefs that the system is illegitimate (not working for "us" or "we" do not belong here). Social and political psychology have progressed our understanding of the dynamics of intergroup conflict and co-operation and its consequences for (il)legitimacy, prejudice, violence and social cohesion. Drawing on these insights an Australian Research Council Linkage grant in partnership with the Australian Department of Social Services investigated the predictors of social cohesion (e.g., community ethnic diversity, positive contact, sense of threat) and the impact of community-based interventions on social cohesion. Key findings are that (i) contact and threat mediate the relationship between neighbourhood ethnic diversity and social cohesion (offering an extension to Putnam, 2007) and (ii) inclusivity norms and social identity processes play an important role in explaining the impact of community programs. Implications of the findings for theory, research and community and national-level efforts to build social cohesion will be outlined.

WORKSHOP: Research and industry engagement: Psychology, behaviour and public policy
by Katherine J. Reynolds

Thursday 24th November, 12-2.30pm: Keats reading room, Aviation building, Callaghan (video conferenced to Humanities room: HO1.43, Ourimbah)

In this workshop new developments at the interface between psychology and public policy will be outlined such as increasing use by governments of behavioural insights or "nudge" units. The strengths, limitations and challenges of such developments will be examined. The implications for researchers who are increasingly being encouraged to consider the wider impact of their work will also be discussed.

Kate Reynolds is a Professor of Psychology at ANU with over 20 years experience in teaching and research supervision in social and organisational psychology. The broad research question that frames her work concerns the impact of groups and group norms on individual’s attitudes, well-being and behaviour. A group could be a team at work, an organisation such as a business or school, or an ethnic or national group so this research is relevant to many areas of psychology (education, organisational, political and social). 

Kate's research increasingly involves naturalistic settings such as organisations and community groups and she has lead several projects with Government in areas of ongoing school improvement through staff and student school climate and school identification (ARC Linkage with ACT Education Directorate), building community cohesion (ARC Linkage with Department of Social Services and formerly Department of Immigration and Citizenship) and the role of community norms in Cape York Welfare reform (Advisory role with Indigenous Affairs). 

She has experience in a number of leadership roles including as Associate Director (Engagement) in the Research School of Psychology (2015-2017), President of the International Society of Political Psychology (2016-2017), a member of journal Editorial Boards (e.g. Associate Editor, 2010-2012, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Co-editor Political Psychology, 2013-2015), and Chair of the ACT Education and Training Directorate Safe Schools Roundtable (2012-ongoing). She is also the incoming President of the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists (SASP 2017-2019).