Griffith University logo
Professor Sarah Baker


Sarah Baker

School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science
+61 (0)7 5552 9113 (Work)
G30 4.15, Gold Coast Campus

Are you Sarah Baker?

Edit your profile


Sarah Baker is a Professor in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, Griffith University, and a member of the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research. She previously held research fellowships at The Open University and University of Leeds (UK) and the University of South Australia. Sarah's research expertise is in the areas of popular music studies, youth studies, heritage studies and creative labour. She has published extensively on the popular music practices of young people. This body of work emerged from her PhD on pre-teen girls' negotiations of music and identity and also from the Australian Research Council funded project 'Playing for Life: the everyday music practices of marginalised youth as strategic pathways to agency, employment and socio-economic inclusion' (DP0345917, 2003-5). From 2006-7, Sarah worked with Professor David Hesmondhalgh on a project exploring work in the contemporary UK media and cultural industries. The results of this project can be found in the book, 'Creative Labour: Media Work in Three Cultural Industries' (Routledge, 2011), as well as in various articles and book chapters based on that research. Following the completion of that project, Sarah has traveled to Reykjavik as part of an Australian Academy of the Humanities ISL-HCA International Research Fellowship (2010) to explore conditions of creative labour in the Icelandic music industry. Her study of pay conditions for Icelandic musicians following the economic collapse can be found in the book 'Popular Music Matters' (Ashgate, 2014). Sarah was a Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council funded project 'Popular Music and Cultural Memory: localised popular music histories and their significance for national music industries' (DP109210, 2010-12). This project was concerned with the range of ways that popular music appears in cultural memory, across the spectrum of national and official discourse through to the small-scale and personal recollections of individuals. Sarah worked closely with the project's research fellow, Alison Huber, during this research and articles resulting from this collaboration appear in the journals 'Popular Music History' and 'European Journal of Cultural Studies'. Their study of canonisation in Australia's 'country music capital' appears in the journal 'Popular Music' and was awarded the International Association for the Study of Popular Music Australia-New Zealand branch Rebecca Coyle Prize for the best paper on popular music in the Australia-New Zealand region in 2014. Sarah was then Chief Investigator on the project 'Do-it-Yourself Popular Music Archives: an international comparative study of volunteer-run institutions that preserve popular music's material culture' (DP130100317, 2013-15). This research explored the contributions of volunteer communities and enthusiast expertise to the preservation of popular music artefacts. It sought to understand the communities of practice that form around the project of archiving popular music's material heritage; the affective connections between volunteer labour and popular music artefacts; and the democratising effects of the DIY approach to archiving popular music. The project website can be found at Sarah teaches into the Sociology major in the Bachelor of Arts at Griffith University. In 2012 Sarah held the role of First Year Advisor, assisting commencing students in their transition to university life, and from November 2012 to July 2013 she was the Bachelor of Arts Program Convenor. From July to November 2013 she was the Deputy Convenor of Higher Degree Research Students for Humanities on the Gold Coast campus and from December 2013 - December 2014 was the Higher Degree Research Convenor. From January 2015 - April 2016 Sarah was the Arts, Education and Law Group Higher Degree Research Programme Director and currently holds the position of Arts, Education and Law Group Higher Degree Research Advocate for the Gold Coast campus. These roles were followed by the joint appointment as Deputy Head of School (Research) in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science as well as the Deputy Director of the Centre for Social and Cultural Research. In January 2019, she resumed the role of Arts, Education and Law Group Higher Degree Programme Director. In her teaching scholarship, Sarah has published on the use of Digital Narratives in a first year youth studies course; an outcome of a Griffith University Blended Learning Fellowship (2008). She has also published on the use of karaoke as a first year enhancement strategy. Sarah is the lead Australian author on the first year sociology textbook, 'Think Sociology' (Pearson, 2011), and is the co-author with Brady Robards of 'Teaching Youth Studies Through Popular Culture' (ACYS Publishing, 2014). In 2012, she received the Vice Chancellor's Award for Griffith University Teacher of the Year. A national award followed with an Office for Learning and Teaching 2013 Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.


  • Member
    Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research2008


  • Bachelor of Arts
    University of South Australia1 Jan 1995 - 1 Jan 1998
  • Doctor Of Philosophy
    University of South Australia1 Jan 1999 - 1 Jan 2003
  • Bachelor Of Arts With Honours
    University of South Australia1 Jan 1998 - 1 Jan 1999
  • Graduate Certificate of Higher Education
    Griffith University, Australia2012 - 2012