The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia

By Ian McAllister; Steve Dowrick et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 35
Cultural Studies, Australian
Studies and Cultural Sociology
Philip Smith and Brad West

Over recent years social science has developed leaky boundaries. Nowhere is this permeability more developed than in the study of culture. Ideas that traditionally belonged in arts faculties have seeped into the analysis of social life in decisive ways. This chapter follows one thematic current in this broader stream. It navigates the distinctive intellectual traditions of Australian studies, cultural studies and cultural sociology as these have interpreted Australia. By this we refer to their efforts at the cultural mapping and diagnosis of the Australian way of life, Australian nationalism and national identity, and Australian beliefs, values, priorities, national narratives and cultural codes. We review their historical and theoretical evolution, points of commonality and divergence, and efforts that reflect upon and critique such activities.

The origins of life are to be found in the double helix of DNA, two strands of information held, both together and apart, by interlocking ties. It is useful to think of our three traditions in an analogous way. They are intellectual codes that circle around each other in a dance of similarity and difference. Expressed in the temporal dimension, the result is a pattern of Hegelian familiarity in which progress is marked by a dialectical movement of critique and affirmation from Australian studies, to cultural studies and, most recently, cultural sociology, as these have successively encountered each other and 'the Australian'.


The origins of cultural studies in Britain

We commence the task of this chapter in a distant time and place – 1950s Britain. The birth of British cultural studies is popularly dated to the writings of Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams and their involvement in adult education. In The Uses of Literacy (1957), Hoggart provided an account of working-class life and culture that bordered on the ethnographic. A sometimes nostalgic account of pigeon-fancying, darts and brass bands, this had the merit of placing popular and working-class culture on the map as a legitimate topic of intellectual inquiry. Williams (1958, 1977) offered some theoretical gravitas to this intellectual activity. In a series of books written during the 1960s and 1970s, he engaged in a neo-Marxist literary and historical critique that established a

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The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • Contributors x
  • Preface and Acknowledgements xviii
  • Introduction 1
  • References 13
  • Part 1 - Economics 15
  • Chapter 1 - Privatisation 17
  • References 27
  • Chapter 2 - Competition Policy and Regulation 31
  • References 40
  • Chapter 3 - Economics and the Environment 45
  • References 57
  • Chapter 4 - Health Economics 60
  • References 70
  • Chapter 5 - Immigration 74
  • References 87
  • Chapter 6 - Labour Market and Industrial Relations 94
  • References 113
  • Chapter 7 - Income Distribution and Redistribution 118
  • References 134
  • Chapter 8 - Taxation 138
  • References 148
  • Chapter 9 - Innovation 153
  • References 165
  • Chapter 10 - International Trade and Industry Policies 168
  • References 180
  • Chapter 11 - The Macro Economy 186
  • Notes 199
  • References 200
  • Chapter 12 - Money and Banking 203
  • References 216
  • Part 2 - Political Science 221
  • Chapter 13 - Political Theory 223
  • References 231
  • Chapter 14 - Federalism and the Constitution 234
  • References 246
  • Chapter 15 - Legislative Institutions 249
  • References 260
  • Chapter 16 - Political Parties and Electoral Behaviour 266
  • References 283
  • Chapter 17 - Electoral Systems 287
  • References 302
  • Chapter 18 - Gender Politics 305
  • References 319
  • Chapter 19 - Interest Groups and Social Movements 323
  • References 339
  • Chapter 20 - Environmental Policy and Politics 345
  • References 355
  • Chapter 21 - International Relations 358
  • Notes 368
  • References 369
  • Chapter 22 - Political Economy 374
  • References 391
  • Chapter 23 - Public Policy and Public Administration 406
  • References 422
  • Part 3 - Sociology 431
  • Chapter 24 - Patterns of Social Inequality 433
  • References 457
  • Chapter 25 - Families and Households 462
  • References 477
  • Chapter 26 - Gender Perspectives 480
  • References 493
  • Chapter 27 - Work and Employment 499
  • Notes 511
  • References 512
  • Chapter 28 - Crime and Deviance 518
  • References 531
  • Chapter 29 - Health and Illness 536
  • References 552
  • Chapter 30 - Population 554
  • References 569
  • Chapter 31 - Race, Ethnicity and Immigration 573
  • Notes 585
  • References 586
  • Chapter 32 - Urban and Regional Sociology 590
  • Reference 598
  • Chapter 33 - Rural Sociology 604
  • Reference 619
  • Chapter 34 - Religion and Spirituality 626
  • Reference 632
  • Chapter 35 - Cultural Studies, Australian Studies and Cultural Sociology 638
  • References 651
  • Chapter 36 - Sociological Theory 654
  • References 664
  • Chapter 37 - Social Policy and Social Welfare 666
  • References 674
  • Author Index 678
  • Subject Index 696
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