Complex Social Dynamics in Health Promotion

Speakers:
Associate Professor Liaquat Hossain
Associate Professor Michael Dibley
Dr Cynthia Hunter

The presentation will first introduce complex social network dynamics and discuss the theoretical and methodological foundations required to understand different types of networks. Then the importance of complex social network analysis in discovering existing social links, or predicting emerging network structures, which could have an impact on individual, group and organisational outcomes, will be highlighted. In the last section of the presentation, the connection between complex social networks and health promotion will be explored.

When 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Where Norman Gregg Lecture Theatre, Edward Ford Building
Cost FREE

About the Speaker

Liaquat Hossain‘s work aims to explore the effects of different types of social network structures and patterns of information technology use on coordination in a dynamic and complex environment. He is interested in exploring (modeling and empirical investigation) the effects of different types of social network structures on coordination and organisational performance from a theoretical and an applied perspective. In his research he uses methods and analytical techniques from mathematical sociology (i.e., social networks analysis), social anthropology (i.e., interview and field studies) and computer science (i.e., information visualisation, graph theoretic approaches and data mining techniques such as clustering) to explore coordination problems in a dynamic, distributed and complex setting.

Michael Dibley is a nutritional epidemiologist working mainly on international public health nutrition issues. His research focuses on examining the “double burden of under and over nutrition” found in many countries in our region. To prevent child under- or over nutrition requires effective communication interventions with parents and children. Social and cultural norms often influence the behaviours we seek to alter in these public health interventions. A new area of inertest for Prof Dibley is how to harness the power of social networks to make these interventions more effective.

Cynthia Hunter is a medical anthropologist and senior lecturer in the International Public Health team at the University of Sydney. Cynthia teaches in the Masters of International Public Health programme. Her research interests focus on illness and healing ethnography and the delivery and quality of health care, particularly the interface between medicine and culture. She has worked in the Asia-Pacific, including Papua New Guinea and Indonesia where she lived for two years conducting ethnographic research of village folk’s access to health care. More recent research has focused on failed asylum seekers and forced migration, as well as a hospital ethnography of clinicians’ interactions with each other in everyday work activities in Australian tertiary paediatric hospitals. Current research projects include 1) clinicians’ communications in a major teaching hospital in Jakarta; 2) a community response to avian influenza in Bali and Lombok funded by the WHO (Indonesia).

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