Australians Like You

Rebecca Huntley

 
Australians Like You
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Australians Like You

Rebecca Huntley

‘The essential work on the Australian people in the twenty-first century.‘ George Megalogenis

At a time when politics seems increasingly negative and our society increasingly divided, Still Lucky shows that we are more fortunate than we think, and have more in common than we know.

Rebecca Huntley, one of Australia’s most experienced and knowledgeable social researchers, wants to break through all the noise and make you feel better about this country and the people around you. Our politicians are becoming more conservative, both in their policies and their ambitions for the country, but the Australian people - almost all of us - want to see real social change. We are more generous and more progressive, and more alike, than we think we are - and we are better than our day-today political discourse would suggest.

Huntley has spent years travelling the country, getting to know what’s in our hearts and minds. Here she tackles the biggest social questions facing Australia now: Why do we fear asylum seekers? Why are women still underpaid and overworked? Why do we over-parent? Why do we worry even though we are lucky?

Still Lucky
is a broad-ranging, wise and compelling look at who we are now and where we are heading in the future, from someone who knows what Australians are really thinking.

'Here it is: Australia, with all our dreams and fears laid bare. A lucid and intimate portrait of the nation today.’ David Marr

‘It turns out that if you actually sit and listen, as Huntley does for a living, Australians remain a fascinating, open, perceptive and pragmatic lot.‘ Laura Tingle

Review

Lately, the main conversation that I’ve been having at social gatherings is about how we are all living in a left-leaning ‘bubble’ that is not reflected in politics in Australia or elsewhere in the world. To be honest, it seems we are all down in the dumps as our world seemingly splits. This book is a wake-up call and it’s timely for many reasons. Mainly, and this is important, this book is full of stories of good people and good news. Secondly, this book, which reflects conversations Dr Rebecca Huntley has been having over the last ten years across Australia, is optimistic. While reading it, I realised I hadn’t read a good-news story for quite some time and this was influencing my view of where Australia is heading.

Huntley takes the eleven most oft-discussed issues raised at her social-research discussions and expands on them with a clarity and energy that renders them accessible to the reader. While informed by her research, this is not an academic work. The top topics for me included: Why do we still want houses? (the Australian Dream is not over); Why do we spend so much money on parenting? (guilt); and How racist are we? (not as bad as you think: more ill-informed). The book goes on to tackle subjects such as the changing concerns over home, work, life, and our kids’ future. All in all, it’s a practical guide to what Australians are thinking.

Huntley is one of Australia’s most respected canvassers of social trends and her skills of observation and analysis are more than evident in this insightful and honest compilation of essays. This seems to me the perfect book to start this particular year. It’s a pretty solid kickstart to feeling good about where you live, and, indeed, why you live here.


Chris Gordon is the Events Manager for Readings.

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