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Dr Michael Walsh

Assistant Professor
School of Government & Policy
Highest Qualification - PhD
HDR completions - 0

Contact Details
Phone No.: +61 (0) 2 6201 2697


Michael Walsh is a social researcher with interests in the reception of sound and music, social interaction, the senses and the social impact of technology. His research output has centred on the role of sound and specifically how musical listening frames social life as public and private activity. This research includes empirical investigations that have developed case studies of listening practices in the home, the office, the automobile, public transport situations and shopping environments. Drawing extensively on qualitative methodologies, such as in-depth field interviewing and ethnography his research examines how individuals use sound to construct and maintain their proximity and exposure to others. Since completing his doctorate at Monash University in 2011, Michael has held a number of positions at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In his capacity as a permanent public servant he worked on a large scale public consultation conducted by the ABS as well as managing stakeholder engagement activities for the 2011 and 2016 Census. Michael recently returned to Academia in the permanent role of Assistant Professor in Social Science at the University of Canberra, where he teaches sociology, qualitative research methods and continues to explore sound and the social impacts of technology.

  • de la Fuente, E & Walsh, M (2013) 'Framing Through the Senses: Sight and Sound in the Shaping of Everyday Life' in Kristensen, T, Michelsen, A, & Wiegamd, F (eds.) Transvisuality: The Cultural Dimension of Visuality – Volume 1: Boundaries and Creative Openings (pp.207-222). Liverpool: Liverpool University Press;
  • Walsh, M (2010), 'Musical Listening as Boundary-Work: How Sound is Used to Frame What is Public and Private in Social Life'. In Murphy, P & de la Fuente, E (eds.) Philosophical and Cultural Theories of Music (pp.287-307). Leiden: Brill Publishers;
  • Walsh, M (2010), 'Driving to the Beat of One's Own Hum: Automobility and Musical Listening'. in Norman Denzin (ed.) Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Volume 35 (pp.201-221). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing;
  • Walsh, M (2009), 'Portable Music Device Use on Trains: A "Splendid Isolation"?' Australian Journal of Communication Vol. 36(1): 49-60.

Google Scholar Profile

Michael is available for a HDR supervision consultation to prospective students.

Areas of Research Interest

  • Cultural Sociology
  • Social Research Methods (qualitative)
  • Sociology of music and sound

Research Theories / Models of Interest

  • Symbolic Interaction
  • Sociology of Everyday Life
  • Microsociology

Research Methods of Interest

  • In-depth qualitative interviews
  • Ethnography