Dr Barrie Shannon

Dr Barrie Shannon

Course Coordinator

Learning and Teaching (Sociology and Anthropology)

Career Summary

Biography

I am a casual teacher and interdisciplinary researcher in sociology and anthropology.

I was awarded my PhD in 2020, and my research focuses primarily on young trans and gender diverse Australians and school-based sex education. In broad consensus with the extant literature, my research revealed that sex education in Australia is lacking due to a variety of influences including moral panics and culture wars, teacher preparedness and homophobia and transphobia.

What was novel about my research on sex education was its focus on the resilience and ingenuity of trans and gender diverse young people, who are forging their own pathways to access and enact knowledge surrounding sex, sexuality and identity. One of my main arguments is that we must take seriously the labour of young people as it relates to their participation in online spaces. Young trans and gender diverse people are using these spaces to teach and learn through posting, sharing and connecting with others around the world. The quality and personal relevance of the information young trans youth can absorb and circulate online arguably goes far beyond what institutionalised sex education can provide.

My PhD thesis won the 2021 Research Excellence Award for Best Thesis in the School of Humanities and Social Science.

I am currently contracted with Palgrave Macmillan to publish my PhD research as a monograph.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Sociolgy and Anthropology, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Psychological Science, University of South Australia
  • Bachelor of Social Science, University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • education
  • gender
  • sexuality
  • sociology
  • transgender

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
Casual Lecturer University of Newcastle
Learning and Teaching
Australia
Course Coordinator University of Newcastle
Learning and Teaching
Australia

Awards

Prize

Year Award
2021 UON HASS Research Excellence Award for Best Thesis
School of Humanities and Social Science | University of Newcastle
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2020 Sharp M, Shannon B, Shannon B, 'Becoming Non-binary: An Exploration of Gender Work in Tumblr', Gender, Sexuality and Race in the Digital Age, Springer Nature, Cham, Switzerland 137-150 (2020) [B1]
DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-29855-5_8
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors Megan Sharp
2018 Shannon B, Smith S, 'Dogma before diversity: the contradictory rhetoric of controversy and diversity in the politicisation of Australian queer-affirming learning materials', Gender and Sexuality in Education and Health Advocating for Equity and Social Justice, Routledge, London (2018)

Journal article (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Shannon B, 'Sexual Citizenship and Queer Post-feminism: Young Women's Health and Identity Politics', JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY, (2021)
DOI 10.1177/14407833211042425
2017 Shannon B, Smith SJ, 'Dogma before diversity: the contradictory rhetoric of controversy and diversity in the politicisation of Australian queer-affirming learning materials', Sex Education, 17 242-255 (2017) [C1]

This paper discusses contradictory imperatives in contemporary Australian pedagogy¿the notions of ¿controversy¿ and ¿diversity¿ as they relate the subjects of genders and sexualit... [more]

This paper discusses contradictory imperatives in contemporary Australian pedagogy¿the notions of ¿controversy¿ and ¿diversity¿ as they relate the subjects of genders and sexualities. It is a common view that both gender and sexuality are important organising features of identity, society and politics. Consistent effort is made in the Australian educational context to combat discrimination, prejudice against sexually, and gender ¿diverse¿ people. However, the state¿s commitment to diversity policies must be balanced with a secondary focus on appeasing those who are hostile to non-heteronormative expression, or who view such expression as inherently ¿political¿ in nature and therefore inappropriate for the school setting. Australia has arguably demonstrated this dilemma recently in two notable controversies: an intervention in planned school screenings of Gayby Baby, a documentary exploring the experience of children in same-sex families, and media furore over the trans-positive All of Us teaching kit. Using these case studies, this paper explores the competing imperatives of controversy and diversity, commenting on the tendency for the lives and experiences of LGBTIQ people becoming consequently politicised. To do so, is arguably detrimental to the meaningful participation of LGBTIQ people as social citizens.

DOI 10.1080/14681811.2017.1302325
Citations Scopus - 18Web of Science - 18
2016 Shannon B, 'Comprehensive for who? Neoliberal directives in Australian comprehensive sexuality education and the erasure of GLBTIQ identity', Sex Education, 16 573-585 (2016) [C1]

At present, Australian sex(uality) education curricula aim to equip students with information which facilitates ¿healthy¿ sexual choices as they develop. However, this is not neut... [more]

At present, Australian sex(uality) education curricula aim to equip students with information which facilitates ¿healthy¿ sexual choices as they develop. However, this is not neutral information, but rather socially and culturally regulated discourse which encodes a normative binary of sexuality. The largely US-focused sexuality education literature tends to categorise curricula as belonging to either ¿comprehensive¿ or ¿conservative¿ factions, consisting of progressive, secular approaches or religious- or abstinence-based programmes, respectively. Neither of these factions, however, appear to be able to cater for the integration of issues relevant to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) students nor does this binary conceptualisation represent the reality of Australian sexuality education policy and practice. This paper argues that contemporary sexuality education has a fundamentally neoliberal focus, which aims to assimilate GLBTIQ people into existing normative frameworks (economic and social), rather than challenge them. Such an approach does not foster critical student understandings of oppression, power or morality. The development of critical literacy around sexuality is regarded as essential to meaningfully address the complex needs of GLBTIQ students. The paper explores missing queer discourses within Australian teaching resources. The inclusion of these would benefit GLBTIQ students by bringing previously silenced issues to the fore.

DOI 10.1080/14681811.2016.1141090
Citations Scopus - 23Web of Science - 22
2015 Shannon B, Smith SJ, ' A lot more to learn than where babies come from : controversy, language and agenda setting in the framing of school-based sexuality education curricula in Australia', Sex Education, 15 641-654 (2015) [C1]

Sexuality education in Australian schools continues to struggle in its ability and willingness to address many of the broader social issues associated with sexuality, such as the ... [more]

Sexuality education in Australian schools continues to struggle in its ability and willingness to address many of the broader social issues associated with sexuality, such as the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) students. Studies involving teachers have demonstrated that a reticence on their part to teach GLBTIQ-inclusive sexuality education is driven by a lack of training in handling ¿sensitive¿ issues, a fear of backlash and confusion over their obligations under relevant departmental policies. This reticence may, in part at least, stem from a commonly held inference that the inclusion of queer sexualities is inherently ¿controversial¿. There appears to be a tendency for curricula and government directives to ¿juggle¿ principles of social justice for marginalised sexualities with ¿risk management¿ policies, which seek to screen course content for potential ¿controversy¿. Much of this controversy has its roots in the language and rhetoric used to describe and discuss issues dealt with in sexuality education curricula. The paper demonstrates, through the process of ¿languaging¿, how the language and rhetoric of controversy and sexuality can be exposed so that they may be better addressed through policy and government directives.

DOI 10.1080/14681811.2015.1055721
Citations Scopus - 32Web of Science - 32
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Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Smith SJ, Shannon B, 'Dogma before diversity: The contradictory rhetoric of controversy and diversity and the development of sexual literacy in Australian schools.', Western Sydney University, Parramatta Campus (2015) [O1]
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Dr Barrie Shannon

Positions

Course Coordinator
Learning and Teaching
Academic Division

Casual Academic
School of Humanities and Social Science
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Lecturer
Learning and Teaching
Academic Division

Casual Research Assistant
School of Humanities and Social Science
College of Human and Social Futures

Focus area

Sociology and Anthropology

Contact Details

Email barrie.shannon@newcastle.edu.au
Links Research Networks
Twitter

Office

Room W326A.
Building Behavioural Science Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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