Dr Harriet Westcott
Harriet has been employed in academia for a decade, teaching sociology and undertaking research work. Prior to academia Harriet worked for a decade in social and policy research roles for NGOs and government in the UK and Australia.
Harriet’s research interests include: friendships and personal relationships; social media; qualitative methods; and migration. She also has an interest in the scholarship of teaching. Methodologically, Harriet’s work is qualitative and utilises a micro-theory approach to analysing social interaction, with a focus on emotion, ritual, and reflexivity.
Harriet is currently working on research to examine migration intimacies, meaning individuals who are involved in transnational romantic relationships.
Harriet’s PhD research examined friendship after migration using a sample of skilled migrants. Specifically it explored the process of acquainting and maintaining new friendships after arriving in Australia, and, how migrants maintained friendships with people outside Australia over time and geographic distance.
Harriet is also currently contributing to research about the impacts of changes to legislation, policy and funding governance on the operational effectiveness of Non-Government Organisations in NSW.
Harriet teaches Social Science, and is supervising students on the Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy in the School of Counselling.
Harriet’s approach to teaching, including curriculum development and assessment, is practical, applied, and grounded in real world examples and experiences. Her aim is to help students to understand and critically explore the social world around them. Harriet’s teaching is informed by her experience working in a social and policy research, and she regularly draws on local content to make learning meaningful for students.
Prior to joining ACAP, Harriet coordinated and lectured the undergraduate core unit Qualitative Methods; and the following senior elective undergraduate units: Sociological Theory and Practice; Social Policy and Practice; Surveillance and Society; and, Environmental Sociology. In addition, she has considerable experience tutoring a wide range of sociology and social policy units, and introduction to socio-legal studies.
Harriet is a member of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) and the following thematic groups: Families and Relationships; Sociology of Emotions and Affect; Migration, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism; and, Applied Sociology.
Research & Scholarships
- Westcott, Harriet (2013). Migrants’ visits to old friends: An analysis of friendship maintenance work using social ritual. In S. Wray and R. Rae (Ed.), Personal and public lives and relationships in a changing social world (pp.2-17). Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
- Westcott, Harriet and Maggio, Laura Vazquez (2016). Friendship, humour and non-native language: Emotions and experiences of professional migrants to Australia. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 42(3), 503-518.
- Maggio, Laura Vazquez, and Westcott, Harriet (2014). Researcher’s reflections of empathy following interviews with migrants. Qualitative Research Journal, 14(33), 214-227.
- Westcott, Harriet and Owen, Stephen (2013). Friendship and trust in the social surveillance Network. Surveillance and Society, 11(3), 311-323.
- Smith, Gavin, San Roque, Mehera, Marks, Peter and Westcott, Harriet (2013). Surveillance texts and textualism: Truthtelling and trustmaking in an uncertain world. Surveillance and Society, 11(3), 215-221.
- Westcott, Harriet (2012). Imaginary friends: Migrants’ emotional narratives about friends outside Australia. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 47(1), 87-103.
- Westcott, Harriet. An auto-ethnographic reflection of teaching intensive work through a lens of the sociology of emotions. Fifth International Academic Identities Conference, Academic life in the measured university: pleasures, paradoxes and politics. University of Sydney, Sydney, 29th June–1st July 2016.
- Westcott, Harriet. ‘I had no idea that it could be put this way': The language barriers of migrants with non-native English to enacting emotionally intimate relationships. The Australian Sociological Association Conference, Challenging identities, institutions and communities. University of South Australia, Adelaide, 24th – 27th November 2014.
- Westcott, Harriet and Vazquez Maggio, Laura. ‘I’m much more fun in Spanish’: Experiences of skilled migrants to Australia with new friends when using non-native English language and humour. The Australian Sociological Association Conference, Reflections, intersections and aspirations. Monash University, Melbourne, 25th – 28th November 2013.
- Westcott, Harriet. Thea: An investigation of the friendship experiences of an Adult Transnational Child following migration to Australia. The Australian Sociological Association Conference, Local lives/global networks. University of Newcastle, Newcastle, 29th November-1st December 2011.
- Westcott, Harriet. Putting friends in a box: Methodological considerations regarding the technique of mapping migrants’ friendships. The Australian Sociological Association Conference, Local lives/global networks. University of Newcastle, Newcastle, 29th November-1st December 2011.
- Westcott, Harriet. Research insights about the use of observation as a method for investigating skilled-migrants to Australia with their friends. The Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated. University of Sydney, Sydney, 1st – 3rd December 2010.
- Westcott, Harriet. ‘Back to Blighty’: An application of Goffman’s social rituals to English migrants to Australia visiting their old friends in England. Personal and Public Lives: Exploring Relationships, Roles, and Responsibilities: An international and interdisciplinary conference. University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom, 7th- 9th September 2010.
- Westcott, Harriet. The welcome or not so welcome back: An application of Goffman’s social rituals to skilled migrants’ visiting friends outside Australia. The Australian Sociological Association Conference, The Future of Sociology. Australian National University, Canberra, 1st – 4th December 2009.
- Clancey, Garner and Westcott, Harriet. The impacts of funding governance on organisational sustainability of small, local non-government welfare services. Australia and New Zealand third sector research conference 2016, Social justice, social enterprise and the market: challenge or opportunity? University of Sydney, Sydney, 24th–25th November 2016 (abstract accepted 17th August 2016).
- Clancey, Garner and Westcott, Harriet. Reform and Uncertainty: Implications of Funding Reforms on Community Crime Prevention. Crime Prevention and Communities conference: Innovative responses to traditional challenges, Brisbane,3rd-4th November 2016 (abstract accepted 29th July 2016).
- Westcott, Harriet and Vasquez Maggio, Laura. In what way can a researcher respond when faced with empathy? Reflections from interviews with migrants to Australia. Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated. University of Sydney, Sydney, 9th – 13th July 2012.
- Westcott, Harriet. The paradox of less and more distance: Migrants’ uses of technologies to watch over friends outside Australia. Surveillance and/in Everyday Life: Monitoring Pasts, Presents and Futures. University of Sydney, Sydney, 20th-21st February 2012.
- Westcott, Harriet. Narratives of loss: Migrants’ perspectives on friendship outside Australia. Emotions in Social Life: New Advances in Sociological and Policy Research. University of Sydney, Sydney, 26th October 2011.
- Westcott, Harriet and Yi Leung, Mei. Lonely in silence: A discussion paper to explore the role of policy to facilitate friendships as quality social connections for skilled migrants to Australia. Australian Social Policy Conference, Social Policy in a Complex World. University of New South Wales, Sydney, 6th – 8th July 2011.
- Westcott, Harriet. Friendship After the Third Culture: The experiences of adult transnational children migrating to Australia. The Next Generation of Cultural Research:Building new cultural intelligence for 21st century problems. University of Western Sydney, Sydney, 20th-21st September 2010.
- Westcott, Harriet. ‘Can I tell you a secret?’ Family and friendship confiding: a gender comparison using the ABS 2006 General Social Survey. The Australian Sociological Association Conference, The Future of Sociology. Australian National University, Canberra, 1st – 4th December 2009.
- Westcott, Harriet. A comparison of Graduate Migrants’ friendship confiding using the ABS 2006 General Social Survey. The Australian Sociological Association Conference, Reimagining Sociology. The University of Melbourne, Victoria, 2nd - 5th December 2008.