Andrew Singleton

Staff member

Andrew Singleton is Professor of Sociology and Social Research in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin. His work explores the interconnections between social and religious change, with a specific focus on Australia and the Global South. Recent research has explored teen religion and spirituality, and the history and current expressions of Spiritualism in Australia (the religion that contacts the dead). A social research practitioner, Andrew incorporates survey research, ethnography, in-depth interviews, focus groups, and archival research into his work. He is particularly interested in the application of mixed methods and deals in the dark arts of statistics. Before joining Deakin in 2015, Andrew taught in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University.

  • Research

    Andrew is the recipient of ARC funding (Discovery; Linkage) and industry funding. Recent selected highlights include:

    • 2019-2023. ARC LINKAGE PROJECT: Discovering a ‘Good Read’: Pathways to Reading for Australian Teens. LP180100258 ($346,097). CIs: Dr Leonie Rutherford (Deakin); A/Prof Michael Dezuanni (QUT); A/Prof Katya Johanson (Deakin); Prof Andrew Singleton (Deakin).
      • This project employs mixed methods to discover how teens choose books to read for pleasure. This project aims to support the school, library, and book industries to increase teenagers’ recreational reading.
    •  2017-2020. ARC DISCOVERY PROJECT: DP170100563. Social Engagement in Spiritualism ($144,000). CIs:  Prof Andrew Singleton (Deakin); A/Prof Matt Tomlinson (University of Oslo/ANU).
      • This is a unique, four-year investigation of the sociological, anthropological, and historical dimensions of Spiritualism in Australia, a small but highly influential religious movement. The sociological component demonstrates how Spiritualism articulates with the wider Australian religious context. Anthropologically, the project examines ritual forms in which Spiritualists aim to speak with the dead. Taken together, we are mapping the production and effect of belief on family, civic participation, and ethics.
    • 2016-19. ARC DISCOVERY PROJECT: DP160102367 ($460,000). Australian Young People’s Perspectives on Religions and Non-religious Worldviews. CIs:  A/Prof Mary Louise Rasmussen (ANU); Prof Andrew Singleton (Deakin); Dr Anna Halafoff (Deakin); Prof Gary Bouma (Monash).
      • The Australia’s Generation Z study (AGZ Study) was a national survey of Australian adolescents’ experiences and understandings of religious, spiritual, gender, and sexual diversity. It found that young Australians are generally very tolerant of religious and sexual diversity. Additionally, the study developed a new way of conceptualising the worldviews of Australian teens. Reflecting their diverse commitments to religious, spiritual, and nonreligious beliefs, it identified and named six different ‘worldview types’ of Australian Gen Z’s (Religiously Committed, Nominally Religious, Spiritual but Not Religious, Seekers, Indifferent and This Worldly). Results support inclusion of sexual and cultural differences in the school curriculum.
    • 2015-16. Industry-sponsored research project Outcome Evaluation of the Phunktional Regional Performance Program ($66,000) Research team: A/Prof. Andrew Singleton and Prof. Ruth Webber. Industry partner: Phunktional Theatre Company.
  • Selected publications



    Chapters in books


    Articles in refereed academic journal

  • Teaching

    Andrew teaches: social research methods (qualitative and quantitative); statistics; introduction to sociology; the sociology of religion; and gender studies.

  • Supervision

    Andrewhas successfully supervised 20 HDR candidates to completion. He supervises projects on a wide range of topics including:

    • sociology of religion: spirituality, youth religion, new religious movements, global Christianity, secularisation, non-religion, religious change, religious movements in the Global South
    • gender: men, masculinity, gender and the media
    • research methods: quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.


  • Media

    Andrew wrote and narrated the Australia’s Generation Z podcast, a short podcast series describing the AGZ study, a national study of teenagers, religion, and spirituality. It is available on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Pocketcast:



Australian Policy
 and History

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