Social Alternatives

Articles from Vol. 28, No. 3, Third Quarter

'And One Fine Morning': Gatsby, Obama, and the Resurrection of Hope
Hope is a word that has re-emerged in the light of Obama's stunning win in the United States election. In this time of economic gloom and the reality of bleak recession and unprecedented job losses the United States has embraced the hopeful message of...
A Utopic Reflection
There is much truth to the saying that one person's utopia is another's dystopia (Nandy, 1987). This has proved true in many areas touched by modernity's Utopian project1- the paradoxical quest for freedom (freedom from want, from ignorance, from responsibility,...
Back to the Future in Dead Europe
Dead Europe is a phenomenal and terrible act of imaginative writing. Robert Manne (not unjustifiably) has already criticized its use of 'some of the oldest and most consequential anti-Semitic libels' (2005, 53). Briefly, the book tells the story of Isaac...
Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement
Wittner, Lawrence S. 2009, Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009 (xiv + 254) pb. US$21.95. ISBN 978-0-8047-5632-7.In the decade 1993-2003 Wittner published a trilogy...
First Term Labor and the Question of Identity: A Discussion with the Hon Mark Butler MP
In the wake of the culture wars and a clash of ideologies and visions around Australia's national identity, this article examines the Rudd Labor government's position within that debate around social identity and social policy. The article offers a provocation...
Having a Field Day
'It's not fair,' I shouted. Not shouted loud, we were in public after all. More that kind of shouted whisper, enough to make it clear to Mum that I wasn't going to take it without a protest. 'It's not fair and it's not right.' Mum was implacable. I knew...
John Berger's Anti-Utopian Politics of Survivalism
Utopianism in political theory and literature provides a context to a discussion on the Marxist writing of John Berger on politics and literature. The role of aesthetics in John Berger's writing and criticism is considered with special reference to his...
Longing for a Life Less Ordinary: Reading the Banal as Dystopian in Sonya Hartnett's Butterfly
Sonya Hartnett's work aligns with realist literature, however Hartnett's writing for young adults has been referred to as dystopian, with critics highlighting the gritty social settings and bleak outcomes of her novels. Dystopia is sometimes used as...
Revisiting Literary Utopias and Dystopias: Some New Genres
Since Thomas More's first use of the word utopia in 1516 it has conjured multiple and ambiguous connotations. Utopia and its defining antithesis dystopia can be articulations of what we wish to become orto avoid becoming, an investigation of hope and...
The Ambiguous Necessity of Utopia: Post-Colonial Literatures and the Persistence of Hope
This essay hinges on the paradox that becomes increasingly obvious in post-colonial literatures: while all achieved utopias are degenerate, without utopian thinking liberation is impossible. The discussion looks at the ambiguous philosophical relationship...
The Dystopian Mirror and the Female Body
Women's experience of the change room mirror is not a particularly affirmative one. The pleasure in looking at the self is dissipated by the ideal feminine 'I' that hovers in the shadows of their image of self and others constructing dystopian surveillance...
The Utopian Impulse in Ursula le Guin's the New Atlantis
This essay aims to show that texts that shed light on the nature of utopias remain vital to attempts to imagine new social alternatives. Fredric Jameson contends that utopian narratives do not supply people with blue- prints for radical social change:...
Transitioning from State Care to State Prison: A Critical Analysis of the Relationship between Leaving out of Home Care and Involvement in the Criminal Justice System
Young people transitioning from out of home care are a particularly disadvantaged group. Their pre-care experiences of abuse and neglect, their often poor in-care experiences and the lack of ongoing support they receive on leaving care leave them vulnerable...
Where the Road Leads
Calder, J. 2007, Where the Road Leads, Sydney, Australia: Hachette, 326 pp., $35.00, ISBN 978 0 7336 2037 9.There is no question that Jean Calder is an incredible human being. It is impossible to read this account of her work with underprivileged, disabled...
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