Patrick O’Keeffe

Dr Patrick O'Keeffe

Lecturer

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Patrick is a critical, creative and innovative educator and researcher, who is focused on working towards a more equitable society.

Overview

Patrick is a lecturer in the Social Work and Human Services Cluster at RMIT University. Patrick works in multidisciplinary fields including political sociology, critical human geography and political economy. Patrick is a very active researcher, as an associate member of the Social and Global Studies Centre. Patrick mentors emerging academics, provides PhD supervision and supervises undergraduate social work students completing internal placements at RMIT. In addition, Patrick has previously worked closely with key student support services at RMIT, including the Compass Drop-In Centre and RUSU.

Patrick’s work also explores the potential for critical approaches to human centred design to be developed and practiced in fields such as social work and youth work. In addition to his research in this area, Patrick has worked with colleagues at RMIT to develop an innovative social work course which is focused on teaching social work students to apply human centred design in program management.

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Research

Patrick's research analyses processes of marketisation, privatisation and financialisation and the impacts of these processes on young people who experience social, spatial and economic marginalisation. This research has centred on policy and discourse, in diverse areas such as social services, work and employment activation, identity and citizenship, rurality and agriculture. Patrick also explores young peoples’ resistances to marginalisation, particularly the ways in which young people develop and express agency through place making.

Patrick’s recent research has studied young peoples’ experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic, in connection to key policy decisions implemented by state and federal governments throughout this period. This work analyses restructuring in key sectors and services, including employment, welfare and education, while contributing to the development of alternate approaches which better support young people. This research has been published in numerous high ranking journals, and has been featured by The Conversation, ABC radio and The Australian.

Research keywords

Neoliberalism, Social Policy, Social Services, Future of Work, Economic Inequality, Sociology of Youth, Human Centred Design

Research output summary

28

Publications

1

Projects

271

Citations

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Supervisor interest areas

  • Social Policy
  • Social Services
  • Employment Activation
  • Neoliberalism
  • Sociology of Youth
  • Social Work

Feature publications

Tracing the construction of a business-friendly future: A critical discourse analysis of the Australian Government’s employment responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

Economic and Labour Relations Review, 32(3): 453-471

O’Keeffe, P., and Papadopoulos, A. (2021).

Continuing the precedent: Financially disadvantaging young people in ‘unprecedented’ Covid-19 times

Australian Journal of Social Issues, 0(0): 1-18

O’Keeffe, P., Johnson, B., and Daley, K. (2021).

Out of Place, in a Hostile Space: ‘Australian Values’ and the Politics of Belonging

Ethics and Social Welfare, 15(1): 100-115

O’Keeffe, P., and Nipperess, S. (2021)

Key publications by year

  • Bessant, J., Collin, P., and O'Keeffe, P., (ed.)(forthcoming), Research handbook on the sociology of youth, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • O’Keeffe, P., and Daley, K., (in press), ‘This is our home’: Young residents’ representations of Melbourne’s public housing towers during ‘hard lockdown’, Journal of Youth Studies.
  • O’Keeffe, P. and Fawdon Jenkins, L., (in press), ‘Keep your wheels off the furniture’: The marginalisation of street skateboarding in the City of Melbourne’s ‘Skate Melbourne Plan’, Space and Culture.
  • O’Keeffe, P., and Papadopoulos, A., (in press), Social security conditionality as a corrective to ‘flawed consumption’: the use of the Cashless Debit Card to reframe Australian norms of social protection, Critical Policy Studies.
  • O’Keeffe, P. (2019), Making markets in Australian agriculture: Shifting knowledge, values, identities and emerging corporate power, London: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • O’Keeffe, P., (2016), Supply chain management strategies of agricultural corporations: A resource dependency approach, Competition and Change, 20(4): 255-274.
  • O’Keeffe, P., (2016), Responding to the productivist paradigm: Experiences of farmers in Victoria’s western Wimmera, in M. Chou (ed.) Proceedings of the Australian Sociological Association (TASA) 2016 Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 28 November - 1 December 2016, pp. 263-269.
  • O’Keeffe, P., (2016), Towards deregulation: Shifting discourses in the Australian wheat industry, in 2016 Asia Pacific Economic and Business History Conference Papers, Adelaide, Australia, 11-13 February 2016, pp. 1-25.
  • O’Keeffe, P., (2015), Efficiency, productivity and…fairness: An analysis of the Harper Review into Australia’s competition policy, in Theresa Petray and Anne Stephenson (ed.), Proceedings of the 2015 TASA Conference, Hawthorn, Australia, 23-26 November 2015, pp.169-176.
  • O’Keeffe, P., (2014), Putting locals first? The role of civil society in Victorian Government policy. in Brad West (ed.) Proceedings of the 2014 TASA conference, Hawthorn, Australia, 24-27 November 2014, pp.1-15.
  • O’Keeffe, P., (2014), The impact of wheat export market deregulation upon growers in Victoria’s western Wimmera, in Proceedings of the 58th National Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Annual Conference (AARES 2014), Canberra, Australia, 4-7 February 2014, pp. 1-38.
  • O’Keeffe, P., (2013), A Sense of Belonging: Improving student retention. College Student Journal, 47(3), pp.593-601.
  • O’Keeffe, P., (2013), Mental illness in higher education: Risk factors, barriers to help seeking and pressures on counselling centres, Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association, 41, pp.12-20.
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Public and media engagements

2021

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.