Christopher Sonn

Christopher Conrad Sonn (born 1967) is an Australian social psychologist whose work in the area of community and liberation psychology focuses on intergroup relations, racism, White privilege, and non-dominant group responses to oppression.[1] Sonn is Professor of Psychology at the College of Health and Biomedicine of the Victoria University, Melbourne (VU).[2]

Christopher Sonn
OccupationProfessor of Psychology
Academic background
Alma materChisholm Institute of Technology;

Victoria College;

Victoria University of Technology
Academic work
InstitutionsVictoria University, Melbourne

Sonn is a lead researcher in the VU Community Identity and Displacement Research Network, which studies issues related to indigenous peoples, social justice, racism, refugees, social inclusion, transnationalism and xenophobia. Sonn is the co-author of the textbook Social Psychology of Everyday Life [3] and co-editor of the volumes Psychology of Liberation: Theory and Applications,[4] and Psychological Sense of Community: Research, Applications, and Implications.[5]


Sonn attended the Chisholm Institute of Technology, where he received his Bachelor of Arts. He later obtained a Graduate Diploma of Education from Victoria College and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Psychology from the Victoria University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Sonn completed his PhD in Psychology at Victoria University of Technology in 1995.[6] His dissertation titled "The role of psychological sense of community in the adjustment of 'coloured' South African immigrants" was conducted under the guidance of Adrian Fisher, Professor Emeritus at Victoria University.[7]

He is a lead researcher on the international Apartheid Archive Project.[8][9]


Sonn's research uses qualitative methods to understand and elevate the voices of individuals and groups who are marginalized through forms of racism and sexism.[2] Sonn and his colleagues' work has explored the idea of community resilience and how different communities or people of varying in race and/or gender respond to conditions of adversity and cope with stress and other issues.[10] The researchers argued that oppressed, minority communities are often represented as lacking in resilience and competence, which makes it easy for people in these groups to be underemphasized and misunderstood in society.[10] Sonn's research team uses the concept of whiteness and its associated privileges as a context for thinking about race relations and developing effective forms of anti-racist action.[11]

Representative publicationsEdit

  • Ali, L., & Sonn, C. C. (2010). Constructing identity as a second-generation Cypriot Turkish in Australia: The multi-hyphenated other. Culture & Psychology, 16(3), 416-436.
  • Green, M. J., Sonn, C. C., & Matsebula, J. (2007). Reviewing whiteness: Theory, research, and possibilities. South African Journal of Psychology, 37(3), 389-419.
  • Sonn, C. C., & Fisher, A. T. (1996). Psychological sense of community in a politically constructed group. Journal of Community Psychology, 24(4), 417-430.
  • Sonn, C. C., & Fisher, A. T. (1998). Sense of community: Community resilient responses to oppression and change. Journal of Community Psychology, 26(5), 457-472.
  • Stevens, G., Duncan, N., & Sonn, C. C. (2013). Memory, narrative and voice as liberatory praxis in the apartheid archive. In Race, Memory and the Apartheid Archive (pp. 25–44). Palgrave Macmillan, London.


  1. ^ "RESEARCHERS". Community Identity. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Christopher Sonn". Victoria University | Melbourne Australia. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  3. ^ Hodgetts, D., Drew, M., Sonn, C.C., Stolte, O., Nikora, L.W., & Curtis, C. (2010). Social psychology and everyday life. Houndmillls, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-21795-9. OCLC 473445240.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Psychology of liberation : theory and applications. Montero, Maritza., Sonn, Christopher C., 1967-. New York: Springer. 2009. ISBN 978-0-387-85784-8. OCLC 405547052.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ Psychological sense of community : research, applications, and implications. Fisher, Adrian T., 1954-, Sonn, Christopher C., 1967-, Bishop, Brian J., 1946-. New York. 6 December 2012. ISBN 978-1-4615-0719-2. OCLC 852788571.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ "The role of psychological sense of community in the adjustment of 'coloured' south african immigrants. Doctoral Dissertation. Victoria University of Technology" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Adrian Fisher". Victoria University | Melbourne Australia. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  8. ^ "The Apartheid Archive project". Community Identity. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  9. ^ Sonn, Christopher C.; Stevens, Garth; Duncan, Norman (2013), Stevens, Garth; Duncan, Norman; Hook, Derek (eds.), "Decolonisation, Critical Methodologies and Why Stories Matter", Race, Memory and the Apartheid Archive, London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 295–314, doi:10.1057/9781137263902_15, ISBN 978-1-349-44281-2, retrieved 28 November 2020
  10. ^ a b Sonn, Christopher C.; Fisher, Adrian T. (1998). "Sense of community: Community resilient responses to oppression and change". Journal of Community Psychology. 26 (5): 457–472. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6629(199809)26:5<457::AID-JCOP5>3.0.CO;2-O. ISSN 1520-6629.
  11. ^ Green, Meredith J.; Sonn, Christopher C.; Matsebula, Jabulane (2007). "Reviewing Whiteness: Theory, Research, and Possibilities". South African Journal of Psychology. 37 (3): 389–419. doi:10.1177/008124630703700301. ISSN 0081-2463. S2CID 145373173.

External linksEdit