Posts Tagged ‘citizens’

Disengaged citizens

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The Mellon Media & Citizenship Project at the School of Journalism and Media Studies was recently host to Dr James Arvanitakis, senior lecturer in the Humanities at the University of Western Sydney and member of the University’s Institute for Cultural and Society.Dr Arvanitakis spoke to the School of Journalism and Media Studies about his research on citizenship amongst marginalised Australians, and you can here snippets of that presentation here.

Dr Arvanitakis’ research areas include hope, trust, political theatre, piracy and citizenship. James has worked as a human rights activist throughout the Pacific, Indonesia and Europe. He is currently working with the Whitlam Institute looking at issues confronting Australia’s democracy. His latest book, Contemporary Society: A sociological analysis of everyday life, was launched with Oxford University Press in February 2009 which gave rise to ‘socio-logic’ – a weekly radio show on FBI Radio (94.5fm). A regular media commentator he has published widely including The Punch and New Matilda.

James was a former banker and advocate for free trade, but having witnessed child and indentured labour, has worked  to develop sustainable, socially just and equitable economic policies with organisations such as the Centre for Policy Development, where he is a research fellow. James has worked extensively with a number of non-government organizations, including Oxfam International Youth Partnerships and Youth Engagement Program as well as Aid/Watch, as well as working extensively with a number of other justice-based organisations.
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Whitewash backwash

Ferial Haffajee

Whitewash backwash: a response to the “unbearable boringness of the whiteness debate”

By Anthea Garman

The first conference on whiteness as a research topic was held at the University of Johannesburg in March and while most of its participants were academics with interests in the subject who will probably only publish in academic journals, it has entered the public light of day with a column written by City Press editor Ferial Haffajee in which she proclaimed that as a result of her hour or so at the conference that she has gone from being bored with the discussion of whiteness to being “viscerally opposed” to the time and money it takes up.

It was a bit of a shock for the researchers present to hear Haffajee express herself in these uncompromising terms. She was followed as a key note speaker by Prof Sarah Nuttall, the new director of the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (Wiser), who was also critical of the conference’s aims and intentions, but for slightly different reasons.

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