Merrilyn Crichton knows that her research touches on economics, hard science, sustainability, psychology and sociology--and she is the first to argue that to examine social isolation and mental health in Australia’s rural communities, all these fields are needed.
In this episode of What’s Sociology Got To Do With It?, Merrilyn speaks about the disparate spread of resources between the city and the country. In her work studying Australia’s rural communities, Merrilyn has realised that rural Australians face a unique set of challenges in building and maintaining their support networks than city Australians do. And while the pandemic has seen telehealth and similar infrastructure become a priority across Australia (and yes, in the bush), she sees the pandemic-triggered lack of social interaction as another stressor for rural Australians.
And it’s this lack of social interaction that, more broadly, Merrilyn sees as dangerous. As social creatures, humans need that interaction--so what happens when that is taken away and we can’t see each other? It’s this human element in her research that Merrilyn attributes to sociology and sees as incredibly valuable.
If you want to contact Merrilyn, she can be reached by phone at 02 6933 2396, or at her e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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