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Class In Australia
(Craig McGregor)

Craig McGregor's Class in Australia is a must read for anyone interested in Australian society. This book addresses what is a woefully neglected topic in this country and as such provides a unique insight into the class system that exists in Australia, albeit not as obviously as it may appear in other nations. The fact that the title is so broad is indicative of the lack of academic research in this arena - no other book deals with the subject of class as directly as McGregor does, at least as far as I'm aware. The author is seeking to dispel the egalitarian myth that pervades the Australian consciousness; a myth that has been nurtured in many cases by those who have a political, social or economic agenda for its perpetuation. McGregor is essentially saying that while all Australians are equal as people, we cannot ignore the differentiations in individual social backgrounds.

In this book Craig McGregor adopts an I'm-not-pulling-any-punches approach to his discussion of class in Australia. He takes a frank look at the middle class, the working class, the upper class and the underclass and in so doing is entering ground where most Australians fear to tread. This is social commentary at its best - it deals with both anecdotes and the facts and draws its conclusions on the evidence that is yielded. On reading the text you are struck by how political the whole issue of class actually is, no less in Australia than anywhere else. Having said all that, there is no doubt that Australia is a land of opportunity to an extent that rivals and perhaps surpasses other wealthy nations. However, for one reason or another, the study of class is all but ignored. Craig McGregor has successfully attempted to correct this, and we can only hope that either he or someone else continues research in this important area.

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