Phil Harington



With a background in sociology and some experience as a psychologist on an alcoholism treatment programme Phil began teaching sociology, social policy, research methods in the social work qualification and now has a wider role in the curriculum, research and administration of the School. He has worked in the School for most of his career during which time the School has reformed to include the qualifications in human services and counselling. He has previously worked with organisations with an interest in mental health, alcohol research and more recently through membership of the Lotteries Grants Board in grant making for community development. Phil recently completed three year as Head of School and now teaches courses on the Treaty of Waitangi in Human Services, Introduction to Human Services, Social Policy at UG and PG levels, social work discourse and community development. He also works on the Auckland Fabians programme for new narratives in NZ politics.  His work is focused on the value of practitioner education and research to be effective and responsive to the many communities and agencies who rely on great practitioners and innovation to enhance the civic wellbeing of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Research | Current

Phil's interests include the role of sociology in professional education, education to enhance civic society and the development of practitioner scholarship in social work settings. He is interested in the construction of a professional identity amongst those engaged in ‘civic practice’ – or the emergent occupation of building community capacity and civic participation and the development of the Human Services degree. A major project for Phil is a collaborative programme: Growing Research in Practice (GRIP).

Two growing areas of interest:

  • the significance of civic literacy in professional behaviour and the development of practitioner skills in ‘civic practice’ as a site of practitioner/career development
  • the role of evaluation and outcomes analysis as a feature of grant making and philanthropy.

Teaching | Current

Phil teaches social policy, community development in the Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Human Services programmes. He also has a hand in courses on professional development, responding to families, social work in health care, the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in the work of social services and postgraduate social policy.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Harington, P. (2016). Constructs of professionalism in civic practice: Asking people at the front line. Paper presented at 3rd International Sociological Association (ISA) Forum of Sociology, Vienna, Austria. 10 July - 14 July 2016. 3rd ISA Forum of Sociology: The Futures we want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World.
  • Harington, P. R., & Beddoe, L. (2014). Civic practice: A new professional paradigm for social work. Journal of Social Work, 14 (2), 147-164. 10.1177/1468017313477316
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Liz Beddoe
  • Beddoe, L., & Harington, P. (2012). One step in a thousand-mile journey: Can civic practice be nurtured in practitioner research? reporting on an innovative project. British Journal of Social Work, 42 (1), 74-93. 10.1093/bjsw/bcr035
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Liz Beddoe
  • Harington, P. R. J. (2008). [Book Review] New Zealand, New Welfare, Lunt, N., O'Brien, M., Stephens, R. (ed.) Cengage Learning Australia. Melbourne. New Zealand Sociology, 23 (1), 52-59.
  • Harington, P. R. J. (2007). [Book Review] Policy, People and the New Professional: De-Professionalisation and Re-Professionalisation in Care and Welfare, Jan Willem Duyvendak and others (eds.) Amsterdam: University Press, 2006. British Journal of Social Work, 37 (5), 961-963. 10.1093/bjsw/bcm084
  • Harington, P. R. J. (2005). Response to Judith Green. New Zealand Sociology, 20 (1), 148-153. Related URL.
  • Harington, P. R. J., & Crothers, C. (2005). The social work occupational category: The 2001 census data. Social Work Review, 18 (4), 3-14.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 407
New Zealand