Through its engaged, interdisciplinary research into transformations in culture and society, the Institute contributes to the understanding and shaping of contemporary local and global life.

Regularly published authored books, edited collections, refereed journals and reports share the knowledge needed to bring about positive change in the world. In addition to frequently publishing their research through these works, our members contribute to the sharing of knowledge as the editors of journals including Journal of Cultural Economy, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space and Journal of Australian Studies.

Issues is a multilingual journal of short essays on topics of historical and contemporary relevance, housed at the Institute.


The cover of the Older Women in the Private Rental Sector report featuring an image of a woman holding a boxFields, Capitals, Habitus: Australian Culture, Inequalities and Social Divisions

Edited by Tony Bennett, David Carter, Modesto Gayo, Michelle Kelly, Greg Noble

This book (opens in a new window)provides an insightful analysis of the relations between culture and society in contemporary Australia. Presenting the findings of a detailed national survey (opens in a new window)of Australian cultural tastes and practices, it demonstrates the pivotal significance of the role culture plays at the intersections of a range of social divisions and inequalities: between classes, age cohorts, ethnicities, genders, city and country, and the relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The book looks first at how social divisions inform the ways in which Australians from different social backgrounds and positions engage with the genres, institutions and particular works of culture and cultural figures across six cultural fields: the visual arts, literature, music, heritage, television and sport. It then examines how Australians’ cultural preferences across these fields interact within the Australian ‘space of lifestyles’. The close attention paid to class here includes an engagement with role of ‘middlebrow’ cultures in Australia and the role played by new forms of Indigenous cultural capital in the emergence of an Indigenous middle class.

The cover of the book Indigenous Self-Determination in Australia: Histories and Historiography featuring cover artwork: ‘Lightning’ (2017), by Noŋgirrŋa Marawili. Indigenous Self-Determination in Australia: Histories and Historiography

Edited by Laura Rademaker, Tim Rowse

Histories of the colonisation of Australia have recognised distinct periods or eras in the colonial relationship: ‘protection’ and ‘assimilation’. It is widely understood that, in 1973, the Whitlam Government initiated a new policy era: ‘self-determination’. Yet, the defining features of this era, as well as how, why and when it ended, are far from clear.

In this collection (opens in a new window)we ask: how shall we write the history of self-determination? How should we bring together, in the one narrative, innovations in public policy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander initiatives? How (dis)continuous has ‘self-determination’ been with ‘assimilation’ or with what came after? Among the contributions to this book there are different views about whether Australia is still practising ‘self-determination’ and even whether it ever did or could.

The cover of the Older Women in the Private Rental Sector report featuring an image of a woman holding a boxOlder Women in the Private Rental Sector: Unaffordable, Substandard and Insecure Housing

By Dr Emma Power

This report (opens in a new window)shares the experiences of single older women living on low incomes in the private rental sector within and around the Greater Sydney region, Australia. It presents their efforts to make home and meet their essential needs in a segment of the housing market where rising rents and short lease terms of six to twelve months are the norm. It highlights the impacts of unaffordable housing and housing insecurity, and the interconnected financial, physical and emotional costs.


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