Herbert Spencer in the suburbs? Class, politics, ideology and the Australian petty-bourgeoisie in the Howard years
Robinson, Geoff 2006, Herbert Spencer in the suburbs? Class, politics, ideology and the Australian petty-bourgeoisie in the Howard years, in Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, University of Newcastle, 25-27 Spetember 2006, Australasian Political Studies Association, Newcastle, N.S.W., pp. 1-26.
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Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, University of Newcastle, 25-27 Spetember 2006
Australasian Political Studies Association Conference
Australasian Political Studies Association
Place of publication
A dominant trope of media commentary after the 2004 federal election was the rise of blue-collar self-employment and small business and its negative impact on Labor electoral support. In this paper I examine the evidence on the growth of self-employment and small business in Australia since the 1980s and the political consequences of this growth. I consider why the growth of self-employment and small business has been overstated by many observers, and the emergence of a right-wing anti-capitalism in the critique of the dependence of wage-labour. Although the growth of self-employment and small business has been overstated it is a real phenomenon. I extract the rational kernel from the largely ill-informed commentary on this issue and place contemporary debates about self-employment in a historical and global context. I consider why the self-employed and small business were once seen as natural allies of the working-class in a populist coalition but why they are now identified by commentators as hostile to class politics.
Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Field of Research
160601 Australian Government and Politics 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
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