‘Racist Friend: Consequences of Privatization Creep in Australia'

Monday, July 14, 2014: 6:15 PM
Room: 418
Oral Presentation
Rock CHUGG , Freelance, Mooroolbark, Victoria, Australia
In this paper, the privatization of Australian Federal, State and Local utilities is juxtaposed to the classics of aboriginal literature (Pritchard’s Coonardoo, Gere’s Fringe Dwellers, and Mudrooroo’s Wild Cat Falling), and an evolving sociological canon (Goldmann’s Sociology of the Novel, Green’s Literary Methods and Sociological Theory, and Bourdieu’s Rules of Art). For instance, Local participation in political decision-making has dried up like the well in Coonardoo, since the Council amalgamations from Australia's three tiered government paradigm. An abolition of Federal run Job Networks generates the dual labour market of Fringe Dwellers. And lastly, the State suburban Rail grid sell-off imposes a Northern Ireland style paramilitary regime upon an anonymous commuter population, like the protagonist of Wild Cat Falling. In contrast to official views of friendly Reconciliation during the age of indigenous Land Rights, Mabo, and a Stolen Generation apology, in an opposition that includes the UN some see the Northern Territory Intervention as the low point of a newly established Apartheid system in Australia. I argue that the plight of aboriginal peoples is becoming a model for wider repression of Australian citizens in general, exemplified in these three case studies of privatized essential public services. While a sociology of literature can point to the fetishistic (Goldmann), semiotic (Green), and capital (Bourdieu) factors in a theoretical discussion, in practice this new White Australia Policy, just as covert and unjustly inserted as the 20th Century original, suggests an increasing return of institutional racism.