Neoliberalism and the de-politicising of motherhood: reflections on the Australian experience

Baker, Joanne (2014) Neoliberalism and the de-politicising of motherhood: reflections on the Australian experience. In: Vandenbeld Giles, Melinda, (ed.) Mothering in the Age of Neoliberalism. Demeter Press, Ontario, Canada, pp. 169-183.

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[Extract] This chapter considers mothering in Australia, where neoliberalism has exerted an increasingly pervasive influence over the past three decades. Neoliberalism here refers to the dismantling of the welfare state, the privatization of publicly owned resources and state-run services, and the expansion of global free trade. Since the early 1980s, successive Labor and Conservative Australian governments have adopted neoliberal economic and social policies, primarily in a quest for increased international competitiveness. The traditionally protectionist approach to trade and industrial relations has receded in favour of a minimalist state and the expansion of private markets. The scale and scope of this ideological shift has had profound implications for many areas of social protection. Specifically, this essay will consider the policy areas of child care, parenting payments, and paid maternity leave under the Howard Coalition Government of 1996-2007. While these areas of policy bear the imprint of neoliberal ideology, they are also marked, somewhat contradictorily, by socially conservative understandings of mothering.

Item ID: 38928
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-927335-28-4
Date Deposited: 28 May 2015 06:14
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940113 Gender and Sexualities @ 100%
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