1st Edition

Creating Unequal Futures?
Rethinking poverty, inequality and disadvantage

Edited By

Peter Saunders

ISBN 9781865083421
Published March 1, 2001 by Routledge
272 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

'This is an important and powerful book because of the rigour of the analysis, the good sense of the innovative strategies for action by government, business and civil society, and the concern throughout for social justice.' - John Langmore, Director, UN Division for Social Policy and Development

One in six Australian kids live below the poverty line. Among the twenty-five leading industrialised countries, Australia has the fifth highest child poverty rate. This is a useful, if stark, indicator of the extent of long-term disadvantage in this country.

Creating Unequal Futures? brings together eight of Australia's leading social scientists to introduce the reader to the processes which create and sustain persistent patterns of poverty and disadvantage. Although the contributors use different approaches, their research leads to a united call for a rethinking away from the prevailing 'gloom and doom' presentations of Australian material life. They signal pathways out of the dilemmas that bind people to poverty and disadvantage. If followed, those pathways will guide us to a future characterised by less inequality. If ignored, we may further entrench patterns of disadvantage and risk creating unequal futures for all Australians.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables



1. The complex contents of Australian inequality - Ruth Fincher and Peter Saunders

2. Understanding poverty and social exclusion: Situating Australia internationally - Peter Whiteford

3. Popular discourses and images of poverty and welfare in the news media - Peter Putnis

4. Inequality and the futures of our children - Peter Travers

5. Tackling poverty among indigenous Australians - Boyd Hunter

6. Moving in and out of disadvantage: population mobility and Australian places - Ruth Fincher and Maryann Wulff

7. Beyond impoverished visions of the labour market - Ian Watson and John Buchanan


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RUTH FINCHER is Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne. In the early 1990s she was a Research Manager in the Bureau of Immigration Research, and has also worked at McGill and McMaster Universities in Canada. She recently co-edited Australian Poverty: Then and Now (1998) and Cities of Difference (1998).

PETER SAUNDERS is the Director of the Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales. He has also worked as a consultant for the OECD, the IMF, the International Social Security Association and the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The contributors are John Buchanan, Dr Boyd Hunter, Peter Putnis, Peter Travers, Ian Watson, Peter Whiteford and Maryann Wulff.