Australian Economy and Society 2001

Australian Economy and Society 2001

Education, Work, Welfare

By M D R Evans and Jonathan Kelley


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This book considers education, work, and welfare in Australia over the last decades of the 20th century. The authors provide thoughtful analysis and authoritative data on the attitudes of Australians, and to absorbing questions of opportunity. The findings are clear, concise, and often surprising.

  • The strongest bastion of trade-union support is not among factory workers, but among upper-level governmental employees.
  • Australians may feel considerable sympathy for sufferers of life-style related diseases, but hold them responsible for their suffering.
  • Large numbers of Australians find strong attractions in mutually contradictory industrial relations arrangements - often both valuing centralised bargaining and seeing important attractions in local negotiations and individualised contracts.
  • Conflict over unemployment increases more in periods of high economic growth rather than in times of increased unemployment.
  • Parents' participation in literary culture confers distinctive advantages on their children, above and beyond those stemming from the parents' education, wealth, and status.
  • Government attacks on union power in the past decade have been accompanied by a parallel decline in union unpopularity. Australians would not support any further reduction in union power.
  • A worker in a secure job would be as contented earning $10 an hour as a worker in an insecure job earning $14 an hour.
  • Australians are hugely in favour of equal opportunities but strongly polarised over the desirability of equal outcomes.

The book is a major work on contemporary Australia, which should be part of the reference collection in all libraries.


Published October 2002
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862873889
Australian RRP $75.00