Profile image for Catherine Hartung

Dr Catherine Hartung

Senior Lecturer


Dr Catherine Hartung's teaching and research focuses on children and young people's citizenship, rights, wellbeing, and diversity. Her research is interdisciplinary – a mix of sociology, education, political science, cultural studies, community development, and geography – but at its core is a concern with how various educational, cultural, and political institutions reproduce and/or challenge inequalities, as well as the ways that children and young people negotiate and resist institutional governance.

Catherine is the author of two books: Conditional Citizens: Rethinking Children and Young People's Participation (Springer) and Young People, Citizenship, and Political Participation: Combatting Civic Deficit? (Rowman & Littlefield, with Chou, Gagnon, and Pruitt). She has been an active researcher on a number of major national grants totalling more than $840,000 and involving hundreds of children, families, and educators. Most notably, Catherine was a research fellow and project coordinator on an ARC Linkage Grant examining the factors enhancing intercultural understanding in primary and secondary schools in Victoria, and an ARC Discovery Grant examining the socio-cultural dimensions of children's health and wellbeing. She has coordinated large teams of academic staff to conduct qualitative and quantitative research in partnership with industry, government, and other tertiary institutions.

Her current research activities are aligned with two key projects:

    1. representations of young people's activism and resistance in popular culture and curriculum; and 
    2. the politics and pedagogy of young people's engagements with social media (incl. young teachers).
Over the last ten years, Catherine has taught hundreds of undergraduate and postgraduate students across a diverse array of Education units in four universities in Australia and New Zealand and was nominated by students for an OUSA Teaching Excellence Award in 2018. She currently convenes and teaches a number of core units in Swinburne's Primary and Secondary Education degrees (undergraduate and postgraduate) with a focus on equipping pre-service teachers with fuller understandings of the political, social, and cultural dimensions of equitable and socially-just education in the 21st Century. Her units cover both the 'how' of teaching, as well as broader questions about the 'why'; especially why some students are excluded or marginalised through education systems while others are mobilised. Catherine is the Stream Leader for the Department of Education's Education Theory Stream, which includes all education units that provide a strong theoretical base for practice. In addition to teaching at the tertiary level, Catherine also has a background in classroom teaching and regularly visits schools to observe and mentor pre-service teachers.

Regarding supervision, Catherine is keen to hear from prospective research students (Honours, Masters, or PhD), especially those interested in one or more of the following areas:

  • children and young people's participation and citizenship
  • global citizenship education
  • student voice and activism
  • sociology of education
  • intercultural and anti-racist education
  • social justice and education
  • social media and young people
  • poststructural theory and methodologies
  • childhood and youth studies
  • public pedagogy and pop culture

Research interests

Education; Sociology

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Sociology Of Education - 160809

Teaching areas



Also published as: Hartung, Catherine; Hartung, C.
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