Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Rachael Fox

Dr Rachael Fox


I completed a BSc(Hons first class) in Psychology at the University of Stirling, UK, before going on to complete a PhD in Community Psychology, also at the University of Stirling.  The title of the PhD was 'Scottish secondary education from a critical community psychological perspective: power, control and exclusion'.  This research involved extended ethnography in a number of secondary educational settings and participatory research with young people who have experienced school exclusion.  The work examined education from a standpoint with these young people using Foucauldian discourse approaches to reveal problematic power relations in education.  I then went on to work as a Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, UK, on an ESRC funded project entitled "At Home Abroad: The Life Experiences of Children of Eastern European Migrant Workers in Scotland". On completing this project I joined the School of Psychology at Charles Sturt University (CSU) as a Lecturer on the Wagga Campus. I teach qualitative methods and critical community psychology and my current primary research interests include the social exclusion experiences of young people and collaborative, ethnographic methodologies. I am a member of the Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE).

ResearchGate Profile

CSU Research Output

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    My research fields and the subjects I am primarily involved in teaching simultaneously engage in issues which relate directly to learning and teaching practice in Higher Education (critical psychology; discourse theory; research on education).  It is therefore possible and in addition highly desirable for my teaching and learning philosophy to be informed by the content of my teaching (and research) and vice versa.  Much theory in critical community psychology is concerned with ways of engaging meaningfully with people and concerns about institutional structures: these relate directly to working with students within Higher Education.  My research in secondary schools has focused on philosophical theory relating to education and I am beginning research in Higher Education which explores social inclusion in universities.  I am therefore actively engaged in developing a philosophy of teaching practice which reflects the theories about the social world which I am teaching on. 

    I co-ordinate the following subjects:

  • Foundations of Psychology for Health and Human Services (PSY111). This subject introduces the general field of psychology, its scientific and professional development. It examines some important areas of psychology including learning, developmental psychology, social psychology, personality, health psychology and psychological disorders. The subject is specifically designed for students who contemplate careers in health and human services.
  • Social Psychology (PSY203). This subject looks at the influences of society, groups and interpersonal relationships on the individual, and the individual's location within society. It provides the framework for analyses of the processes and forces we experience in our daily existence as individuals in society. This subject highlights the classic studies that have had a formative impact on social psychology and considers the growing body of work which critiques many of these classic studies. It also engages with the continuing debate within social psychology about how relevant social psychological theories are to an understanding of, and solution for, modern social problems and issues.
  • Qualitative Methods in Psychology (PSY309). This compulsory third year undergraduate subject aims to facilitate students' understanding of the differing philosophical, ontological and epistemological assumptions underpinning different approaches to qualitative research. Qualitative research spans a broad range of historical, philosophical and contextual assumptions and in this subject students are exposed to the various paradigms in qualitative research. By the end of the subject, students should be able critically to evaluate a broad range of approaches to qualitative research and published material. The subject also engages students in a range of qualitative methods and methods of analysis, giving students practical experience in carrying out qualitative research.
  • I currently supervise a number of postgraduate research students:

    Lester Watson (principle supervisor, PhD). Rural young people who care for a family member with physical or mental health problems: An exploration from a Critical Psychology perspective. Lester's research was very well received at the Revaluing Care international conference in Adelaide in 2013 – the program and details can be found here.

    Jasmine MacDonald (co-supervisor, PhD). A focus on exposure: The psychological implications for news camera-operators.  Jasmine succeeded in making it to the 2013 CSU Grand Final of the Three Minute Thesis competition – see her entry here.

    Rachel Hogg (co-supervisor, PhD). Equestrian partnerships: A qualitative investigation of the relationship between horse and rider in elite equestrian sports.

    Liz Kernahan (co-supervisor, DClin). Marte Meo to enhance parenting efficacy.

    Katrina Andrews (co-supervisor, Masters). What is the relationship between stressful or potentially traumatic life events and hoarding behaviour? An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

    I am keen to supervise postgraduate research and am happy for prospective students to contact me – take a look at my research page for an idea of my research interests.

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I am currently completing research from a CSU Scholarship in Teaching grant titled "A participatory exploration into distance students' participation and engagement in Higher Education". I am developing a number of research projects that involve the inclusion of students in Higher Education. I am also the consulting researcher on a Headspace (mental health service for young people) project titled  "Training for change: Improving the mental health outcomes for LGBTIQ youth".

I am keen to be involved in new research projects or postgraduate supervisory work, particularly along the following research interests.  Please contact me if you would like to know more.

Research interests include:

  • The rights of children and young people and their experiences of social exclusion and marginalisation
  • Critical, Community and Social Psychology
  • Methodologies involving praxis, participatory, collaborative and transformative approaches, qualitative methods, ethnography and critical approaches to discourse
  • School exclusion and relationships between adults and young people in education; Students' experiences of exclusion in Higher Education

Projects I am currently involved in or have completed:

Headspace funded project titled  "Training for change: Improving the mental health outcomes for LGBTIQ youth". You can link to a survey for the project here.�w[w��w[w�

CSU Scholarship in Teaching grant titled "A participatory exploration into distance students' participation and engagement in Higher Education"

Completed PhD work carried out at the University of Stirling, UK: 'Scottish secondary education from a critical community psychological perspective: power, control and exclusion' .
( ESRC funded research carried out at the University of Strathclyde, UK: 'At Home Abroad: The Life Experiences of Children of Eastern European Migrant Workers in Scotland'.(


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Recent Publications

Book Chapters

Fryer, D. & Fox, R. (2015). Community psychology: Subjectivity, power, collectivity. In I. Parker (Ed), Handbook of Critical Psychology (pp145-154). London: Routledge.

Journal Articles

Fox, R. (2014). Constructing critical thinking with psychology students in higher education: Opportunities and barriers. Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling, and Psychotherapy, 14(4), 238-247.

Fox R. (2014) Book Review: A critical psychology of the postcolonial: The mind of apartheid by Derek Hook.  Power and Education, 6(2), 223-224.

Fryer, D. & Fox, R. (2014). Swampscott: A critical commentary. The Community Psychologist, 47(3), 1-10.

Sime, D. & Fox, R. (2014). Home abroad: Eastern European children's family and peer relationships after migration. Childhood, 1-17.

Sime, D. & Fox, R. (2014). Migrant children, social capital and access to services post-migration: Transitions, negotiations and complex agencies. Children and Society, 1-12.

Watson, L. & Fox, R. (2014). An examination of the experiences of young people who care for a family member experiencing physical or mental health problems in Australia.  Australian Community Psychologist, 26(2), 22-37.

Fox, R. (2013). Resisting participation: Critiquing participatory research methodologies with young people. Journal of Youth Studies, 16(8), 986-999. Doi:10.1080/13676261.2013.815698

Fox, R.  (2007). Research with Young People: Methodologies, Challenges and Implications.  The Community Psychologist, 40(2), 11-16.

Fryer, D., Laing, A., & Fox, R.  (2007). Book Review: Qualitative Psychology: Introducing Radical Research by Ian Parker (2005).  The Australian Community Psychologist, 19 (1), 175-176.

Fox, R.  (2004). To be academic or not to be academic.  Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 14(4), 302-304.

Conference Papers

Fox, R., Sime, D., Baron, S., & Pietka, E. (2009).  Eastern European children's family and peer relationships after migration: Implications for policy and practice.  Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, Manchester, UK. 2-5 September 2009.

Sime, D., Fox, R. & Baron, S. (2008).  Ethical aspects of conducting research with migrant children.  Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Gothenburg, Sweden. 10-12 September, 2008.

Fox, R. (2008). Young People Experiencing School Exclusion: Resisting Institutional Educational Power. Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Gothenburg, Sweden. 10-12 September, 2008.

Fox, R., Sime, D., & Baron, S. (2008). Using Visual Methodologies in Research with Migrant Children. Paper presented at the UK Community Psychology Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland.  18-19 September, 2008.

Fox, R. (2007). Education and Young People: A Critical, Community Psychological Approach. Paper presented at the Community, Work & Family II International Conference, Lisbon, Portugal.  12-14 April, 2007.

Fox, R. (2006). Education and young people: A critical community psychological approach.  Paper presented at Sixth European Conference on Community Psychology, Opole, Poland. 6-8 October, 2006.

Fox, R. (2005). Young People Experiencing Social Exclusion: Action Research and Praxis.  Paper presented at Community Work and Family Conference, Manchester. 16-18 March, 2005.


Sime, D., Fox, R., & Pietka, E. (2010). At home abroad: The life experiences of Eastern European migrant children in Scotland.  Report from project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.


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