Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Still Lucky, by Rebecca Huntley

Staff review by Chris Saliba

Rebecca Huntley takes the pulse of the nation in this fascinating work of research.

Dr. Rebecca Huntley is one of Australia’s leading social researchers. Huntley visits the homes of Australians from all over the continent, sits with them in groups and then simply listens. In Still Lucky: Why You Should Feel Optimistic about Australia and its People, Huntley paints a nuanced picture of the nation’s mood.  What do we fear, what are we optimistic about, where do we think the country is going?

The results make for fascinating reading.  Despite the way we are reflected in the media as mad-as-hell  voters who’ve had it up to here, in research groups we’re a nervy, anxious, pessimistic lot, worried about where technology, increased population growth and competition from China is taking us. Interestingly, for a country where the economy is thought to be everything, we feel more emphasis needs to be put on social values. We grumble about difficult changes that need to be made, but would prefer that our loathed politicians implement unpopular laws to force us to meet the challenges we face.

Still Lucky is valuable reading. It shows that underneath the griping and perennial worrying, we value fairness and community.  If our politics seems stuck at the moment, it’s because we need to give our politicians some more leeway.

Still Lucky: Why You Should Feel Optimistic about Australia and its People, by Rebecca Huntley. Published by Viking. ISBN: 9780670079230 RRP $35

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