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Sociology: People


Jennifer Peet, Ph.D.

Jennifer Peet, Ph.D.
Jennifer Peet, Ph.D.
Research Interests
Social Organisation of Knowledge, Institutional Ethnography, Archival Research and Document Analyses, Historical Sociology, Narrative, Texts and Discourse, United Nations Processes

My Thesis empirically interrogates, through an institutional ethnography, how knowledge is organised and produced and becomes part of ruling relations. I do this in the context of explicating the construction of a public history concerning Aboriginal Australian child separations over the 20th century, and in particular as it arose in the 1990s as a social problem. Particular attention is given to knowledge construction practices around the Australian National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal Children from Their Families (1996-1997) and the related Bringing Them Home Oral History Project (1998-2002). The once separated children have come to be known as The Stolen Generation(s) in public discourse.

Through an institutional ethnography grounded in explicating the social organising activities which produced the Bringing Them Home Oral History Project, I examine how institutional relations coordinate the multiplicity and variability of people’s experiences through a textually-mediated project with a focused concern on the knowing subject, ideology, accounts, texts and analytical mapping. Through this I show how ruling relations are implicated in constructing what is known about the Aboriginal Australian child separation histories, and more generally how experience, memory, the telling of a life and the making of public history are embedded in social organising practices.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of Edinburgh

MSc, Socio-Cultural Studies, University of Edinburgh

B.A. Social Science, Chapman University

Academic Teaching

Adjunct Faculty, Chapman University, Peace and Conflict Studies

Tutor, University of Edinburgh, School of Social and Political Science

Funding/ Awards

Moray Endowment Award, University of Edinburgh                               

College of Humanities and Social Science Bursary, University of Edinburgh              

School of Social and Political Science Bursary, University of Edinburgh                    

American Friends of the University of Edinburgh Award    


Liz Stanley, Professor of Sociology

Lynn Jamieson, Professor of Sociology

Viva Examiners

Professor Stevi Jackson (University of York)

Dr. Julie Brownlie (University of Edinburgh)