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Centre for Research on Social Inclusion

Critical Theory

The "Critical Theory" cluster focuses on issues of social inclusion and exclusion from a perspective broadly inspired by the key concepts and methods developed at the Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt, and the New School for Social Research, New York. This tradition of critical social theory is characterised by its attempt to study social phenomena via a substantial dialogue between the social sciences and philosophy. One of the main purposes of the Critical Theory cluster is to establish productive interactions and collaborations between the philosophy department and the social sciences departments working within the CRSI.

In previous years, the cluster has worked mainly on the topics of:

  • social hope
  • recognition and the social bond

In the last two years, we have focused on work, its impact on individual well-being and its place within contemporary society, especially Australian society.The cluster has a regular reading group and frequently organises workshops related to the yearly topics.This semester's reading group is dedicated to "Work in Australia".

If you would like to attend, or be informed of the list of readings, please contact the cluster director:

Readings in Semester 1:

- Chapter 3 of E. Povinelli, "Labour's Lot" (proposed by JP Deranty)
- Lorraine Gibson, "Making a Life: Getting Ahead, and Getting a Living in Aboriginal New South Wales" (proposed and presented by Lorraine Gibson)
- Glenn Patmore, Happiness as an Objective of Labour Law" (proposed and presented by James Hazelton)

Forthcoming topics:

- Precarious work (Sharni Chan and Dale Tweedie)
- "The Division of Labour in Society" (Nick Smith)
- The ILO Decent Work campaign (Craig McMillan)
- Workplace Research Centre reports (Shaun Wilson)