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About the centre

Research students

Postgraduate research student members of CCS come from the participating faculties of Arts and Social Sciences and Business and their research reflects the interdisciplinary focus of the Centre, drawing on expertise from across the University.

Postgraduate research students undertake research in disciplinary areas that include sociology, cultural studies, media and communication studies, ethnography, economics, management including change management, community management, environmental management, human resource management and leadership studies, politics, social policy, women’s studies, entrepreneurship, social enterprise, education, events, leisure, sport and tourism management, international relations, globalisation studies, and corporate-social responsibility.

Their research is undertaken within the context of the Centre’s focus on issues relating to civil society in a global context, community capacity building, migration and cultural studies, human rights and governance, and education and social action.

On this page we would like to feature the work of students from boths faculties, focussing on two students, one from Arts and Social Sciences and one from Business.

Focus On ...

Sarah Cobourn Image

Sarah Cobourn – PhD Candidate, UTS Business School

“Responsibility Revolution: Corporate Social Responsibility in Professional Sport”

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) in professional sport is no longer as simple as donating money to a favourite cause or sending players to a charity event. Across many industries over the past several decades, there has been a progressive shift from philanthropy (donations of time and money) and responsibility (corporate citizenship and compliance with community standards), towards the more strategic concept of shared value (societal improvement integrated into economic value creation).

Given its unique power to bring people and business together, professional sport is an ideal nexus to examine the notion of shared value. With the recent proliferation of CSR, both theoretically and practically, there is a need to re-examine professional sport organisations’ policies and practices with a more strategic outlook. Moreover, there is an increasing expectation and subsequent opportunity for professional sport organisations to move beyond philanthropy towards shared economic and societal value.

This study investigates corporate social responsibility practices in professional sport using the tenet of shared value. The purpose is to identify opportunities for shared value in professional sport, specifically examining the current ways in which best practice professional sport organisations innovatively design and employ CSR initiatives to strategically integrate social, environmental and financial performance. To achieve this, an in-depth exploratory case study was undertaken with 12 professional sport organisations from major North American, European, and Australian sport leagues.

By improving the implementation and integration CSR initiatives, professional sport organisations may experience increased strategic beneficial impact for both the professional sport organisation themselves and the communities in which they operate.



Karen Connelly - PhD Candidate Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Primary Supervisor – Andrew Jakubowicz

Start Date - Feb 2014

"Cyber-Racism and Community Resilience"

In a time when the internet spreads race hatred and vilification with ever greater speed and impact, over 5000 submissions have been made to the Australian Federal Government on proposed reductions of restrictions in the racial vilification laws : it is a defining issue of our age. It is also widely recognised that online-racism undermines community cohesion and causes significant social stress.

My PhD is part of the Cyber-Racism and Community Resilience (CRaCR) project which is looking at ways to identify, neutralise and build public awareness and responses to online racism. Team members will be exploring perpetrators’ creation of racist content, internet users’ exposure to cyber-racism, the capacity of regulation to manage the impact, and how social media can help communities to resist cyber-racism.

As an anthropologist I am exploring how ethnography can complement and extend the research being undertaken by the multidisciplinary team at six universities.  Working with partner organisations such as the Human Rights Commission, The Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia and the Online Hate Prevention Institute, my aim is to expand the understanding of the impact of cyber-racism on Australian communities, in their online and offline worlds. I will also be helping to develop anti-racist social media strategies that help build community resilience.