August 15, 2007

Australia and Class Update

Andrew Parker comments:

    The class mobility in Australia is probably derived from the basis of its economy and the relative lack of dialect. The Australian economy is predominantly driven by agriculture and mining. This means that many of the families capable of sending their children to private schools are involved in ‘blue-collar’ industries. This has probably helped ensure that it is only possible to discern that someone has attended a private school by judging their deportment, rather than their accent. The ‘branding’ effect of accent – that nominates region and class – hasn’t been discussed at length so far, perhaps because it is taken for granted in Britain.

    ... Latham lost the election because he was portrayed as an unstable hot-head who would destroy the economy and cause interest rates to rise. Sadly people’s dismay over Australia’s involvement in the Iraq war was subsumed by their concern for their mortgages.

Meanwhile, Emmy Hennings responds to Love and Terrorism's objections...

(I've had a great deal of correspondence recently, so if you've written in and I haven't responded yet, apologies, I'm getting to it...)


Andrew Parker adds:

    Class mobility looks set to continue in Western Australia. The current mining boom – in combination with a culture that promotes the idea that everyone should attend University – has produced a shortage of manual labourers such as plumbers, bricklayers and carpenters. This shortage has dramatically increased the incomes of manual labourers, with many of them earning more than University lecturers. The relative wealth of miners and labourers has led to an increase in house prices as many people choose to invest in property; the house prices in the capital of Western Australia have almost doubled in the last three years. The decision of many people to subdivide their land and build units/apartments has also increased the demand for manual labourers. Unfortunately, this booming economy is leaving many people and professionals behind. For example, there is an ongoing shortage of teachers due to many people either working for the mining companies so they can afford to continue living in the state, or leaving the state altogether.
Posted by mark at August 15, 2007 09:49 AM | TrackBack