Justin Canty

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Justin Canty

Lecturer in Social Work, Graduate Research Coordinator
School of Social Sciences

Room L-238 , Arts Building

+61 3 6324 3367 (phone)

Dr Justin Canty is a Lecturer in Social Work with the School of Social Sciences in the College of Arts, Law, and Education. He is interested in the study of social interaction and practice ethnographies of social work.


Justin was born and grew up in Adelaide on the lands of the Kaurna people. Prior to joining the University of Tasmania in 2019, Justin has lectured in social work at Western Sydney University and in New Zealand (Open Polytechnic of New Zealand and Massey University). He co-developed and taught on skills for managing sensitive topics in primary care/GP consultations as part of undergraduate medical education at University of Otago, Wellington, and on children and social interaction for a discursive psychology unit at Victoria University of Wellington.

Justin’s PhD research engaged with 11-13 year-old young people in classroom settings, investigating how they made sense of their experiences of using social media in talk. He used constructivist grounded theory and membership categorisation analysis to analyse how participants developed definitions of bullying in peer interactions within their accounts of using social media. The motivation for his PhD project grew out of his professional experience working in child adolescent mental health. His professional background also includes adult inpatient mental health, health promotion in rural communities, and working with the volunteer sector.

Justin’s current research focuses on interactional analysis and collaboration with social work practitioners and human services organisations. His current research interests include practice ethnographies, social worker-client interactions, and the experiences of people of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).

Career summary


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Otago, New   Zealand, 2016. Thesis title: Children, Social Media and the Trouble with   “Bullying”: a child-centred investigation of definitions
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences   (Child Adolescent Mental Health), University of Auckland, New Zealand, 2012.
  • Graduate Diploma in Mental Health, University   of South Australia, Australia, 2009.
  • Bachelor of Social Work (Graduate Entry), Flinders   University of South Australia, 2005.


Professional practice

  • Australian Association of Social Workers
  • Australasian Institute for Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis
  • International Society for Conversation Analysis
  • Australian Professionals Association for Transgender Health
  • Australian & New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research


Teaching expertise

  • Social work, undergraduate and postgraduate.
  • Social work practice skills, communications skills, intersectionality, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, sex characteristics (SOGIESC) experiences and communities.

Teaching responsibility

HGW327 Communication and assessment skills in Social Work

HGW527 Communication and assessment skills in Social Work

HGW431 Trauma and Justice

HGW631 Trauma and Justice

View more on Dr Justin Canty in WARP


Justin uses ethnographic and inductive approaches to researching social work practice and human services organisations to build our knowledge of social work practice and settings as social interactions, creating foundations for articulating and improving practice. Specific methodologies he draws on include constructivist grounded theory, ethnomethodology, membership categorisation analysis, and conversation analysis.

His current research interests include practice ethnographies, social worker-client interactions, and the experiences of people of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).

Current projects

  • Social Work Encounters: demonstrating practice skills in a videorecorded interview assessment task
  • Social Work Encounters: engendering empathy in social work interactions with trans and gender diverse people

Fields of Research

  • Health and community services (420305)
  • Counselling, wellbeing and community services (440902)
  • Intersectional studies (440505)

Research Objectives

  • Health status (incl. wellbeing) (200407)
  • Gender and sexualities (230108)
  • Health protection and disaster response (200406)


Total publications


Journal Article

(6 outputs)
2021Canty J, 'Social work and public health - Logical collaborators', Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 33, (1) pp. 94-98. ISSN 1178-5527 (2021) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

[eCite] [Details]

2021Canty J, McBain L, Gray L, 'Simulating that jaw drop moment': challenging heteronormative assumptions in a novel clinical consultation skills session with undergraduate medical students', MedEdPublish pp. 1-12. ISSN 2312-7996 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.15694/mep.2021.000034.2 [eCite] [Details]


2021Prehn J, A Baltra-Ulloa, Canty J, Williamson M, 'What is the best thing about being an Indigenous father in Australia?', Australian Social Work pp. 1-14. ISSN 1447-0748 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/0312407X.2021.2004180 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Prehn J; A Baltra-Ulloa; Williamson M


2019Jenkins G, Canty J, Ernst S, Collings S, 'Investigating suspected suicides: New Zealand coroners' experiences', Death Studies pp. 1-9. ISSN 0748-1187 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/07481187.2019.1699205 [eCite] [Details]


2019Rushton A, Gray L, Canty J, Blanchard K, 'Beyond binary: (re)defining 'gender' for 21st century disaster risk reduction research, policy, and practice', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, (20) pp. 1-14. ISSN 1661-7827 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16203984 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 12Web of Science - 10


2016Canty J, Stubbe M, Steers D, Collings S, 'The trouble with bullying: deconstructing the conventional definition of bullying for a child-centred investigation into children's use of social media', Children & Society, 30 pp. 48-58. ISSN 0951-0605 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/chso.12103 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 25Web of Science - 23


Chapter in Book

(1 outputs)
2017Canty J, ''You Can Get Cyberbullied by Your Friends': Claiming Authority to Categorise a Past Event as Bullying', Children's Knowledge-in-Interaction: Studies in Conversation Analysis, Springer Nature, A Bateman and A Church (ed), Singapore, pp. 333-350. ISBN 9789811017018 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-1703-2_18 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2


Conference Publication

(7 outputs)
2020Williamson M, Stanford S, Canty J, '34 | The benefits of a disrupted 'place' for a placement: the potential of virtual student units during a global pandemic', 2020 virtual Australian and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research (ANZSWWER) & National Field Education Network (NFEN) Workshop: 'Social Work in a Climate of Change', 18-20 November 2020, Virtual Conference, Online (Sydney, Australia), pp. 43-43. (2020) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Williamson M; Stanford S

2018Canty J, 'Sense and ethnomethodological sensibility - an experiment in multiple qualitative methods', 11th Australasian Institute of Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis Conference, 27-29 November, University of Macau (2018) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]


2017Canty JB, 'Action is necessary but not sufficient: the significance of relational context for children in defining bullying', World Anti-Bullying Forum 2017, 7-9 May, Stockholm, Sweden (2017) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]


2017Canty JB, Gray L, 'The Last Taboo? Teaching skills for clinical consultations with sex/gender diverse people in medical education', 4th ANZPATH Biennial Conference Australian and New Zealand Transgender Health Finding a New Narrative, 30 September - 1 October, The Pullman (2017) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]


2015Canty J, 'Children, social media and the trouble with defining bullying: pre-conference workshop', 19th Conference of the Australasian Human Development Association, 8 July, Wellington, New Zealand (2015) [Plenary Presentation]

[eCite] [Details]


2015Canty J, Stubbe M, Steers D, Collings S, ''This person only shares certain information with everyone': Dealing with challenges of access in designing research for investigating online bullying in children's accounts of using social media', IIEMCA Conference 2015 - Living the material world, 4-7 August, University of Southern Denmark (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]


2014Canty J, ''If they're your friend then it's not bullying': investigating the usefulness of membership categorisation analysis for analysing children's accounts of online bullying', The 9th Australasian Institute of Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis Conference, 20-21 November, The University of Waikato (2014) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]


Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Ya pulingina Social Work (2021)$25,000
The ya pulingina social work learning and teaching project aims to graduate social work students highly proficient when collaborating with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, and Aboriginal people more broadly across Australia. Building upon the Indigenising curricula work the Social Work Discipline, in conjunction with the School of Social Sciences, and CALE have been undertaking, the project will begin by creating a series of place-based encounters on each campus embedded in the local Indigenous worldview of welcoming people. This will be led in partnerships with Tasmanian Aboriginal Elders and community members. During these place-based welcomes, social work students, staff, and community members will generate stories and artefacts that document their welcome experience. These in turn become elements of an interactive lutruwita (Tasmania) map, that is both a record of experience, and a learning and teaching tool that can be added to each year as students progress their studies.
University of Tasmania ($25,000)
Grant-Indigenous Student Success Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Prehn J; Baltra-Ulloa AJ; Vreugdenhil AJ; Canty JB; Roberts JK; Williamson M; Warren K; Hay JK; Wilkinson BM

Research Supervision




MastersA Robust Collective Professional Identity: The role of social work practice frameworks2020