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HACRU Symposium: Problematic populations: past, present and future


A symposium for researchers, practitioners and policy-makers

Start Date

14th Jun 2018 9:00am

End Date

15th Jun 2018 5:00pm


Alan Bray Room, Staff Club, Dobson Rd, University of Tasmania Sandy Bay campus

RSVP / Contact Information

Phone 03 6226 6262 | Email Kathleen Flanagan
Cost: $75 registration (students $50)

Register now for this two-day symposium. $75 ($50 students)

Problematic populations: past, present and future

Hosted by: Housing and Community Research Unit, University of Tasmania
Convenor: Dr Kathleen Flanagan, Housing and Community Research Unit, University of Tasmania
Enquiries: Phone 03 6226 6262 or email

Keynote: Assoc Prof Kylie Valentine, Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales

This research symposium will look critically at the notion of the ‘problem’ population as it manifests in housing, welfare and social policy.

‘Problematic populations’ refers to those groups of people who are seen as different, ‘abnormal’, deviant, challenging, threatening or out-of-control.

How are such groups defined, labelled and managed?

What does this tell us about the way we think about difference?

What are other ways of seeing, thinking and understanding ‘problem’ groups?

How can we respond to evident social need while avoiding causing harm?

Large portions of such policy and practice over the last 100 years have been about managing problem populations, and although over time, who or what constitutes a ‘problem’ has changed, the same concern to regulate and control continues today with policies such as Australia’s compulsory income management, removal of homeless people from public spaces, or the UK’s Troubled Families Programme. With this symposium, we want to encourage interdisciplinary conversations and collaborations about how we might think differently about social difference and how we might respond accordingly to evident social need within our community.

Institute for the Study of Social Change


Institute for Study of Social Change
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 22


Media enquiries

Tahnia Creedon
Engagement Manager
T: +61 3 6324 3927


Sandy Bay Campus
Social Sciences Building
Level 4, Room 418
View Campus Map (AX17 26)