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‘‘Hurtling down the track’: the significance of Australian population debates in an era of anxiety’


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Jacobs, K (2013) ‘‘Hurtling down the track’: the significance of Australian population debates in an era of anxiety’. Journal of Sociology, online. pp. 1-13.

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This article focuses on some of the fantasies underpinning contemporary politics and the way that these ‘perform’, in effect, to occlude more complex understandings. To develop my argument, I deploy a critical discourse analysis to consider the narratives used by politicians during the 2010 Australian Federal election campaign to galvanise popular support by raising the ‘threat’ posed by large-scale population growth. I argue that narratives framing ‘population growth as unsustainable’ have a resonance with sections of the electorate because they connect to a sense of unease about the present and the future. The vexed debates surrounding population size are indicative of anxieties that lie beneath the surface of political discourse.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: political forces, population, population policy, sociological theory
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Sociology
Page Range: pp. 1-13
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2013 01:40
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:48
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