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'Hurtling down the track': The significance of Australian population debates in an era of anxiety


Jacobs, K, 'Hurtling down the track': The significance of Australian population debates in an era of anxiety, Journal of Sociology, 51, (4) pp. 799-811. ISSN 1440-7833 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 SAGE Publications

DOI: doi:10.1177/1440783312473670


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Jacobs, K (Professor Keith Jacobs)
ID Code:82753
Year Published:2015 (online first 2013)
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2013-02-15
Last Modified:2017-12-14

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