Sam Keast, Christopher Sonn, David McCallum

Project Overview

This project seeks to bring to light how people and communities are problematised through discourse, policy, institutions and organisations. Through critical and creative methodologies, the project investigates how people are classified, measured, and made ‘problems’ and how assumptions about communities reproduce or maintain marginalisation. Key areas of investigation have been around education and youth programs and the reproduction of neoliberal, colonial forms of subjectivity, and the ways sociopolitical problems are re-constituted as problems of the individual.

The ongoing aim of this work is to generate critical questions for policy-makers, organisations, research and praxis that challenges dominant conceptions and assumptions made about people from marginalised and racialised communities. Through the denaturalisation of categories that problematise people and communities, the project seeks to work collaboratively toward greater self-determination and epistemic justice.

Publications and thesis

Keast, S. P., & Sonn, C. C. (2022). Subjectivities and the Space of Possibilities in Youth Programs: Countering Majoritarian Stories as Social Change in the Australian Context. Anuario de Psicología/The UB Journal of Psychology, 52(1), Article 1.

Keast, S. (2021). On being useful and its problems. Australian Journal of Community Psychology, 30(2), 54–68.Download full article (PDF)

Keast, S. (2021a). Neoliberal Wellbeing: Exploring the Culture of Psychological Meritocracy in Australian Schooling and Education [PhD, Victoria University].

Keast, S. (2020). Psychology education and the neoliberal episteme in Australia: Theory & Psychology, 1–21.

Keast, S., & Sonn, C. (2020). Were We Critical Friends? Working with Values in Research. The Community Psychologist.