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ABOUT US
ARPA is published with the support of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at The University of Sydney. Access is free for individual and non-profit educational use.
NEW IN SEPTEMBER
 

Symposium: Reform and Rhetoric in Australian Social Policy (19 September)

Social policy is a highly contested field in Australian politics and society. This symposium at The University of Sydney brings together researchers to discuss how contemporary social policy is being talked about, designed and debated. (More papers will be published soon.)

Citizen-workers and Class Politics in Neo-liberal India Elizabeth Hill
Informal workers—mostly women—are among the most disadvantaged and exploited in developing countries. In India, where the state won’t use labour law to ensure they are paid wages that allow them to reproduce themselves, workers claim the state must provide welfare benefits that reduce the cost of reproduction. Capital and the market economy are left free to organise in ways that maximise global competitiveness and growth, while the neo-liberal state secures human development. How this works out for the hundreds of millions of informal workers around the globe is an open question …

Copied Worlds Jane Goodall
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you worry about identity theft? Have you ever bought a designer fake? Could you see forgery as an art form? Have you ever made an illegal download? Have you ever had a nightmare about your evil twin? Do you believe in parallel worlds? These questions open many different lines of speculation, but a recent book is interested in how they are interconnected …

 

Settling Accounts Frank Bongiorno
‘Settler economies’—Australia is one—had their golden age during the century between the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815 and the beginning of the First World War in 1914. Thereafter, they have had to adapt to less propitious circumstances; notably, the Depression of the 1930s, the decline of British financial power, and Britain’s turn to Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War …

The Research Impact Agenda: Defining, Demonstrating and Defending the Value of the Social Sciences Michele Ferguson
There are sound moral, ethical and financial arguments that publicly-funded researchers should use their training and activities for the good of society. However, are governments’ attempts to measure whether researchers working for the good—having an ‘impact’—so well-founded? Narrow, simplistic concepts of academic and external impact fail to capture the foundational, incremental and replicating nature of much research. Measures based on such concepts risk destroying the ecologies of knowledge creation and innovation.

Abstracted Anthropology Gillian Cowlishaw
Field-working anthropologists must navigate the complex relationship between their empirical observations and the representations they create in writing about those observations. In anthropology, the self is an instrument of knowing: incorporating relationships between, for instance, colonised and coloniser can open up valuable comparative questions, but too much emphasis on the researcher’s personal involvement can lead to self-indulgent and superficial writing. What kind of anthropology do we get when the researcher skips fieldwork altogether, to focus on representations, on texts?

Robert Menzies’ Other Forgotten People Don Authur
Talk about ‘lifters’ and ‘leaners’ relies on the belief that our economy offers everyone except people with severe and permanent disabilities the opportunity to contribute. This rhetoric categorises people according to their moral and personal qualities, and positions those who miss out as less worthy than those who do not. But what about people who can’t get ahead because something in the social and economic system blocks their way? These are the perennial ‘forgotten people’, invisible to Menzies, invisible now.

From ‘Yellow Peril’ to ‘Model Minority’: Asian Americans in the 20th Century Christina Ho
Asian immigrants work hard, study hard, pay their taxes and don’t ask for welfare: this is how Asians are seen in the popular imagination in immigrant countries across the Western world. In short, they are the ‘model minority’. It hasn’t always been this way, and this apparently positive perception covers a lot of internal difference within the ‘Asian’ community, and hides continuing discrimination.

Disruptive Technologies, Strategic Plans and the Art of Comparative History Ben Tipton
In January 1961, Dwight Eisenhower’s final televised speech as President of the United States warned of the need to guard against the unwarranted influence of what he called the ‘military industrial complex’. He believed that the dangerous relationships among industrial firms, government agencies and irresponsible technocratic elites were new, a consequence of the Cold War, and most observers since have agreed. Research based on previously sealed archives finds these relationships started much earlier …

State Secrets and Leaks: The Current Debate Dennis Phillips
Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, ‘Wikileaks’: we live in the age of the high profile whistleblower who seems eager to reveal the scope and contents of government secrets. What, then, is the proper role of state secrecy in a democracy? And who—if anyone—can be trusted with assuring state secrecy is not abused?

Same-sex Marriage: The Road to Social Justice? Louise Richardson-Self
The goal of marriage equality should be the social and legal non-discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. But how likely is same-sex marriage to lead to social justice? The same-sex marriage debate concerns which aspects of the marital relationship have intrinsic worth and who can uphold these aspects, not whether marriage has intrinsic worth. Maybe this is precisely what we should be questioning …

Talking Indigenous Politics: The Impact of Teaching Indigenous History Ben Kelly
Advocates for social justice believe that a better understanding of the history of the invasion, marginalisation and resistance of Indigenous peoples will lead to a more just relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. But it seems that knowing this history is not enough to enable people recognise and articulate Indigenous self-determination as a social justice end in itself. The moral and philosophical questions posed by Indigenous affairs are not easy, especially for settler Australians who are—consciously or not—invested in the ongoing occupation and use of Indigenous country.

Capitalist Good Guys: Bankers, Businessmen and the US Political System Ben Tipton
America’s major corporations spend money in record amounts to secure influence, but the influence they seek benefits only themselves. Was it ever thus? No, according to a new book by Mark Mizruchi, who argues that between the turn of the 20th century and the 1970s, significant members of the US business elite advocated surprisingly moderate policies. Is he right? If so, what changed? Ben Tipton also read Susie Pak’s new history of elite bankers, and found much of contemporary relevance.

Stretching Solidarity: Unions, Caring and Organising Merrindahl Andrew
The possibility of unions becoming an engine of widespread social activism by acting in the interests of others may seem remote in the current Australian context. Unions are more often in the public eye for acting against the interests of their own members. But unions remain the strongest protection against a decline into dog-eat-dog industrial relations. So what kinds of leaders, strategies and goals should unions have, to fulfil these instrumental and broader goals?

JOURNAL Volume 12, Number 2: April 2014
 


Got to Get You into My Life: Offspring of Donor Insemination Challenging Confidentiality Rules Anna Kalaitzidis and Paul Jewell
A sperm donor is the biological father but not the social father of a child conceived through donor insemination. What is the significance, if any, of the genetic connection between the donor and donor offspring? How do the various stakeholders perceive the significance and how does the variety of views influence legislation? Initially, donor insemination was an informal arrangement between doctor and patient in which the genetic connection with the donor was downplayed or even concealed. As the practice became formalised through specialist clinics, the anonymity of donors was maintained. As donor-conceived children reached adulthood, however, some of them challenged the policy. The ensuing debate has resulted in significant legislative changes.

 

Relationship Status? It’s Complicated. Heather Brook
Not since the radical reforms to divorce enacted in the heady 1970s has there been so much huffing and puffing and anxiety about the whole institution of marriage being blown down. At the centre of this anxiety is the relationship of marriage and sexuality: is marriage (always, necessarily, naturally) heterosexual? Should it be? Would anxiety dissipate if the focus shifted to the relationship between marriage and love?

War without Asking: US Foreign Policy and the War-Making Power Since 1941 Dennis Phillips
The American Constitution specifies the United States can only declare war by means of a joint declaration by both houses of Congress. Despite fighting wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and elsewhere, the US Congress has not been asked to formally declare war since the day after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December, 1941. So how did the war-making power evolve from Congressional act to presidential decision?


PREVIOUS JOURNAL ARTICLES
Evan Doran and Hans Löfgren on drug promotion in Australia
Merrilyn Walton, Jennifer Smith-Merry, Judith Healy and Fiona McDonald on health care complaints
Paul Jewell and Jennie Louise on (musical) parody
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ARCHIVE
Rod Tiffen on Nelson Mandela and moral capital
Kate Gleeson and Carol Johnson on Tony Abbott’s gender politics
Rob Manwaring on Labor’s ghosts
Ilektra Spandagou on Down syndrome and social change