UC SPARK - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Associate Professor Rosemary Du Plessis

School of Language, Social and Political Sciences; Sociology


Phone: +64 3 364 2987 ext. 94320

Office: Sociology 208

Fields of Research

  • Science, technology and health politics
  • Gender politics and feminist analysis
  • State policy and political change
  • Politics, participation and biotechnologies
  • Auto/biography and social practice
  • Families, sexualities and domestic life

Researcher Summary

Rosemary Du Plessis has long term interests in gender, family, work and embodiment. She has edited two collections of feminist writing and contributed to a variety of studies relating to women's paid and unpaid work. Between 2003 and 2005 she led the Constructive Conversations/ Korero Whakaaetanga research programme which focused on genetic testing and biobanking. This multi-disciplinary, multi-sited research programme was funded by the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology to explore the social, cultural, ethical and spiritual implications of new health biotechnologies. Her involvement in research relating to public participation in debates about new technologies is a component of a long term interest in citizenship, inclusion and the development of public policy. She was a member of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO 2004-9 and has a strong interest in national and international developments with respect to the ethics of knowledge production and use. During 2009 and 2010 she worked part-time for the Ministry for Culture and Heritage as Theme Editor for 'Social Connections' - a set of entries Te Ara: the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. These entries include information about families, community organisations, religion, health and crime as well as inequalities associated with ethnicity, gender and class.

Subject Area: Disciplines

Research Projects

Research Groups

Future Research

  • Networks in action - cross-disciplinary research collaboration
  • Risk, uncertainty and the politics of (social) scientific knowledge
  • Gender and natural disasters - women's experiences of the Canterbury quakes

Research/Scholarly/Creative Works

  • Cooper, A., Shaw, R., Beres, M., du Plessis, R. and Germon, J. (2012) Author Meets Critics: A panel discussion of Jennifer Germon's 'Gender: A Geneology of an Idea' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) held at the Sociological Association of Aotearoa/New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, 9 December 2011. New Zealand Sociology 27(1): 112-131. (Journal articles)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2011) Love and romance. Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Social Connections: Sexuality and Reproduction Wellington: Ministry for Culture and Heritage. (Chapters)
  • Du Plessis, R. and Diggelman, C. (2011) Diverse families. Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Social Connections: Family, Whānau and Households Wellington: Ministry for Culture and Heritage. (Chapters)
  • McManus, R. and Du Plessis, R. (2011) Death and dying. Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Social Connections: Life Stages and Population Wellington: Ministry for Culture and Heritage. (Chapters)
  • Pool, I. and Du Plessis, R. (2011) Families: A history. Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Social Connections: Family, Whānau and Households Wellington: Ministry for Culture and Heritage. (Chapters)
  • Stanley, T., Plessis, RD. and Austrin, T. (2011) Making Networks Work: Social Work Action and Children 'At Risk'. Qualitative Social Work 10(1): 49-65. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1473325010379629. (Journal articles)
  • Hindmarsh, R., Du Plessis, R. and Cronin, K. (Ed.) (2010) EASTS - East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal, 4(4). Special issue: Engaging Publics /Engaging Science in Australia, Japan and New Zealand. Taiwan: Springer. (Edited Volumes)
  • Plessis, Rosemary., Hindmarsh, Richard. and Cronin, Karen. (2010) Engaging Across Boundaries—Emerging Practices in ‘Technical Democracy’. East Asian Science, Technology and Society: an International Journal 4(4): 475-482. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12280-010-9157-7. (Journal articles)
  • Thorns, DC., Fairbairn-Dunlop, TP. and Du Plessis, R. (2010) Biculturalism, Cultural Diversity and Globalisation: Issues for Aotearoa New Zealand. Korean Social Science Journal 37(1): 93-122. (Journal articles)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2009) Constructing social connections. Sociological Association of Aoteroa New Zealand (SAANZ) Conference 2009, 22/11/2009. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2009) Practising Bioethics: The Challenges of Facilitating Public Discussion about Controversial Biotechnologies. The Science in Society Conference 2009, 5/8/2009. (Conference - Other)
  • Stehr, N., Du Plessis, R. and Fairbairn-Dunlop, P. (Ed.) (2009) International Social Science Journal, 60(195). Special issue: Global Knowledge/Ethics of Global Knowledge in the Pacific. Paris: Blackwell Publishing. (Edited Volumes)
  • Thorns, DC., Fairbairn-Dunlop, TP. and Du Plessis, R. (2009) Biculturalism, Cultural Identities and Globalisation: Issues for Aotearoa New Zealand. AASSREC 2009, 26/8/2009. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2008) Practising Participation: Deliberation about Pre-Birth Testing in Aotearoa, New Zealand. 1st ISA Forum of Sociology, 5/9/2008. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. and Daellenbach, R. (2008) Contested Testing: Embryos, fetuses, pregnant bodies and technologies. Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (SAANZ) Conference 2008, 26/11/2008. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R., Hindmarsh, R. and Cronin, K. (2008) Towards 'Social Scientific Citizenship'. Towards STS Networking in the Asia-Pacific, 1/12/2008. (Conference - Other)
  • Hindmarsh, R. and Du Plessis, R. (Ed.) (2008) New Genetics and Society, 27(3). Special issue: Life Sciences Governance: Civic Transitions and Trajectories. Abingdon: Routledge. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14636770802326851. (Edited Volumes)
  • Hindmarsh, Richard. and Du Plessis, Rosemary. (2008) GMO regulation and civic participation at the “edge of the world”: the case of Australia and New Zealand. New Genetics and Society 27(3): 181-199. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14636770802326869. (Journal articles)
  • Hindmarsh, Richard. and Du Plessis, Rosemary. (2008) The new civic geography of life sciences governance: transitions and trajectories in Australia and New Zealand. New Genetics and Society 27(3): 175-180. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14636770802326851. (Journal articles)
  • Scott, Anne. and Du Plessis, Rosemary. (2008) Redefining a technology: public and private genetic testing in Aotearoa New Zealand. Sociology of Health & Illness 30(3): 364-379. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9566.2007.01068.x. (Journal articles)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2007) Biobanking in Aotearoa New Zealand: A Case Study of the New Zealand Rare Disease Biobank Operated by the NZ Institute for Rare Disease Research Ltd. (Reports)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2007) Cultural Differences and Public Engagement. Engineering European Bodies: When Biomedical Technologies Challenge European Governance, Bioethics and Identities, 14/6/2007. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2007) Just Sex? The Cultural Scaffolding of Rape', by Nicola Gavey. London and New York: Routledge, 280pp. New Zealand Journal of Psychology 36(2): 109-110. Book Review. (Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2007) Participatory practices in the governance of GMOs in Aotearoa/New Zealand: A critical assessment. The New Governance of Life: Challenges, Transformations, Innovations, 11/6/2007. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2007) What happened to the 'F' word? Feminisms and Public Sociologies. TASA & SAANZ Joint Conference 2007, 4/12/2007. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. and Fougere, G. (2007) Practising Public Sociologies? Possibilities, Pragmatics and Policy. TASA & SAANZ Joint Conference 2007, 4/12/2008. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, RA. (2007) Brains, People and Politics: Future directions in neuroscience. Unfolding the Mind: prospects and perils in neuroscience, 9/3/2007. (Conference - Other)
  • Downard, AJ. and Du Plessis, R. (2005) Nanotechnologies in New Zealand: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue. Foundations for Success Symposium (FRST): Nanotechnologies in New Zealand: Opportunities and Challenges, 10/2/2005. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2005) Response to Judith Green's Professions and Community keynote address to the Sociological Association of Aoteoroa NZ Conference. New Zealand Sociology 20(1): 142-147. (Journal articles)
  • Du Plessis, R., Phillips, H., Cram, F., Tipene-Matua, B., Parsons, M. and Taupo, K. (2005) The Social, Cultural, Ethical and Spiritual Implications of Genetic Testing and the Storage of Genetic Information. Talking Biotechnology Conference, 29/11/2005. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R., Scott, A., Phillips, H., Cram, F., Tipene-Matua, B., Parsons, M. and Taupo, K. (2005) The Social, Cultural, Ethical and Spiritual Implications of Genetic Testing and the Storage of Genetic Information. (Reports)
  • Project, KWR. (2005) Talking About Genetic Testing: Information for Participants. Constructive Conversations/Kōrero Whakaaetanga Research Project. (Discussion/Working Papers)
  • Scott, A. and Du Plessis, R. (2005) Redefining a Technology: Public and Private Genetic Testing in Aotearoa/New Zealand. (Discussion/Working Papers)
  • Scott, A., Phillips, H., Moore, A. and Du Plessis, R. (2005) Ethics in practice: Conversations about biobanks. Critical Public Health 15(4): 359-368. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09581590500523954. (Journal articles)
  • Winstanley, A., Tipene-Matua, B., Kilvington, M., Allen, W. and Du Plessis, R. (2005) From 'dialogue' to 'engagement'? Learning beyond cases. (Reports)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2004) Queer, Queerer, Queerest? Feminisms, Heterosexualities and Queer Theory. Queer in Aotearoa New Zealand: 103-114. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press. (Chapters)
  • Du Plessis, R., Higgins, J. and Mortlock, B. (2004) Narratives, community organisations and pedagogy. Biographical Methods and Professional Practice: An International Perspective: 285-298. University of Bristol: The Policy Press. (Chapters)
  • Du Plessis, R., Phillips, H. and Hipkins, R. (2004) Constructing Constructive Conversations. Aotearoa/New Zealand Research on Biotechnology and Society (AROBAS), 29/11/2004. (Conference - Other)
  • Hipkins, R. and Du Plessis, R. (2004) Research Strategies to Facilitate Public Participation in Discussion of Genetic Testing and Biobanking: A Summary Research Report No. 2. (Reports)
  • Scott, A. and Du Plessis, R. (2004) Multiple publics, situated knowledges and participatory technology assessment. Public Proofs - Science, Technology and Democracy: Joint Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) Conference, 25/8/2004. (Conference - Other)
  • Allen, W., Du Plessis, R., Kilvington, M., Tipene-Matua, B. and Winstanley, A. (2003) Involving the public in science and technology decision-making: A review of national and international initiatives. (Reports)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2003) Democracy, participation and 'scientific citizenship': New Zealand Initiatives. Policy and Politics in a Globalising World Conference, 24/7/2003. (Conference - Other)
  • Scott, A. and Du Plessis, R. (2003) Biotechnologies, public participation and social research. Knowledge, Capitalism and Critique: SAANZ Conference, 9/12/2003. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2002) Briefing, rebriefing, debriefing - 'Learning to labour' in a policy ministry. Social Science in the 21st Century: Sociological Association of Aotearoa (NZ) Conference, 5/12/2002. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R., Good, R., Rangiheuea, T., Warren, J., Jackson, P., Laing, T. and Thorns, D. (2002) Embracing Plurality: Challenges of Research on Social Issues. Embracing Plurality Workshop of the Royal Society of New Zealand's Social Science Advisory Committee, 27/8/2002. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2001) Accomplishing Innovation: Developing Early Childhood Intervention Services for Children with Special Needs. A social history of the development of the Christchurch Early Intervention Programme. (Reports)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2001) Embracing Diversity, Challenging Exclusion: The Christchurch Early Intervention Centre. Sociological Association of Aotearoa (NZ), 11/2001. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2001) Changing Times, Shifting Contexts: Variations on cultural politics and 'the turn to culture'. New Zealand Sociology 16(2): 91-100. (Journal articles)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2001) Knowledge, Politics and Education (Editorial). Women's Studies Journal 17(2): 5-19. (Journal articles)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2001) The fathering debate. Forum: The Journal of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists 7(July 2001): 81-89. (Journal articles)
  • Du Plessis, R. (Ed.) (2001) Women's Studies Journal (Theme Issue - Knowledge, Politics and Education), 17, 2. Wellington: New Zealand Women's Studies Association. (Edited Volumes)
  • Matthews, J., Du Plessis, R., Locke, A., Plumridge, L. and Moss, G. (2001) Elsie Locke: A Tribute. Women's Studies Journal 17(2): 100-109. (Journal articles)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2000) Teaching, Research and Gender: The Possibilities of Scholarship. AUS Status of Women Committee Conference, 8/2000. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. (2000) Work: Feminist Theories. The Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women's Issues and Knowledge: 2137-2143. London and New York: Routledge. (Chapters)
  • Du Plessis, R., Higgins, J. and Mortlock, B. (2000) Narratives, community organisations and pedagogy. ISA Biography and Society Conference: Biographical Methods and Professional Practice, 10/2000. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. (1999) Engendering Change in the new South Africa: The Construction of Gender Activism in the New South Africa. (Oral Presentations)
  • Du Plessis, R. (1999) Feminisms, Fathering and Fatherlessness: Antipodean Initiatives? Sociological Association of Aotearoa (NZ), 12/1999. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. (1999) Queer, queerer, queerest? Feminists, heterosexualities and queer theory. Queer in New Zealand Symposium, 12/1999. (Conference - Other)
  • Armstrong, N. and Du Plessis, R. (1998) Shifting certainties, complex practices: Reflections on feminist research. Feminist Thought in Aoteoroa/New Zealand: Connections and Differences: 104-110. Auckland: Oxford University Press. (Chapters)
  • Du Plessis, R. (1998) (Hetero)sexualities and postheterosexuality: Reflections on feminist theorising in the 1990s and beyond. Women's Studies Association NZ Conference, 19/6/1998. In Women's Studies Association Conference Papers 1997 44-49. (Conference - Other)
  • Du Plessis, R. and Alice, L. (1998) Feminisms, Connections, and Differences. Feminist Thought in Aotearoa/New Zealand Auckland: Oxford University Press. (Chapters)
  • Du Plessis, R. and Alice, L. (Ed.) (1998) Feminist Thought in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Connections and Differences. Auckland: Oxford University Press. (Edited Volumes)
  • Du Plessis, R. and Fougere, G. (1998) Practising Sociologies/Sociological Practices: An Introduction. He Pounamu Korero: Politics, Policy & Practice Christchurch: Sociology Department, University of Canterbury. (Chapters)
  • Du Plessis, R. and Fougere, G. (Ed.) (1998) He Pounamu Korero: Politics, Policy & Practice. Essays in honour of Bill Willmott. Christchurch: University of Canterbury, Sociology Dept. (Edited Volumes)
  • Du Plessis, R. (1997) Women, Feminism and the State. The Political Economy of New Zealand: 220-236. Auckland: Oxford University Press. (Chapters)
  • Du Plessis, R. and Higgins, J. (1997) Feminism. New Zealand Politics in Transition: 328-340. Auckland: Oxford University Press. (Chapters)