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Thursday, December 5 • 1:30pm - 3:30pm

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Session Chair: Luke Oldfield

Piper Rodd: The end of the social contract: Public perceptions of post-school options in two disadvantaged communities

Australia’s enthusiastic embrace of neoliberalism, privileging profit-making to the exclusion of all else, has significantly eroded the social contract and radically diminished equality of opportunity and wealth distribution in society. The changed nature of work, characterised increasingly by precariousness and the imperative of business to place demands on the individual to be agile, adapting to the whims of capital, requires that young people remain circumspect and ever vigilant about their skills and education. The notion that a collective society might be responsible for young people has shifted to one that dictates narrow individual responsibility in all things. Individuals service the economy, rather than society ensuring that all of its members are provided for on the basis of their need. This paper discusses select aspects of recent research undertaken in two communities popularly characterised by their human diversity and class disadvantage, examining community members’ perceptions of post-school pathways for higher education, training and work. This research contributes to the growing body of literature that documents the especial precarity of young people in an insecure world of work, for it is young workers who ‘experience labour market insecurity most directly and forcefully’ (Carney & Stanford, 2018, p. 1), arguing that the social contract has disappeared, unknown to a generation for whom society has vanished.

Lara Greaves: How Low Can We Go? Declining Survey Response Rates over Time

Survey research relies on having a reasonable response rate, but survey response rates appear to be decreasing over time. This paper explores response rate data from several national probability sample surveys, drawn from the electoral roll, that have taken place over the past 30 years, including the New Zealand Election Study, the International Social Survey Programme, the New Zealand edition of the World Values Study, and the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study. The aim of the work is to document the scale of the response rate decline problem. We find that response rates in the early 1990s were as high as 73%, before dropping to around 60% at the turn of the century. The downward trend intensified with time, as response rates effectively halved from their early 90s rates by 2015 (the 30% range). We compare the results to internal equivalent studies, the general decline in New Zealand voter enrolment, voter turnout, and national census response rates. The paper demonstrates that there has been a consistent downward trend and leaves us with the question of how long this will be able to continue until we turn to alternative methods.

Ludger Benighaus: Public participation at an early stage in Finland, Germany and Spain

The authors will present the project INFACT on innovative exploration technologies that started in 2017, and will focus on the integrated part of stakeholder process which has taken place Europe-wide and at three reference sites in South of Spain, East of Germany and in North of Finland. The process of stakeholder involvement aimed at informing and engaging with public about the research on mineral exploration and the data acquisition campaign with helicopter and ground geophysics. Results show that this intense information and feedback process led to high acceptance and positive attitude in the reference regions, and a huge interest among the population for upcoming research activities. In 2019, as part of another data acquisition campaign with drones and ground geophysics, the researchers will conduct a new dialogue with the stakeholders and interact with locals. The authors will show “lessons learned” when engaging with society and discuss how important information, active involvement and an intensive feedback is at an early stage of mineral exploration and mining. This presentation will contribute to the academic debate in sociology concerning the topics of public perception, public acceptance and their factors, as well as public participation in the area of resources.

Duncan Law & Nicole Pepperell: Lesser Leviathans: Elinor Ostrom and the limits of communitarianism

Elinor Ostrom’s work has established an influential research programme in the study of local, polycentric, self-organising commons governance communities. This research programme has both an analytic and a normative dimension - for some scholars, the appeal of Ostrom’s approach lies in the emancipatory political possibilities suggested by communitarian ‘Ostromian’ institutions. In this paper we argue that Ostrom’s work offers crucial insights and resources in this area - but that Ostrom’s analytic framework also has two significant shortcomings. First, Ostrom’s game-theoretic toolkit is unable easily to accommodate institutions that do not exhibit consensus about their structuring rules. Second, Ostrom’s framework is for this reason poorly suited to the normative study of discord and oppression within commons governance institutions. We argue that the Ostromian research programme would benefit from more systematic study of conflict and coercion within the commons, and we offer a note of caution about concluding too quickly that emancipatory outcomes are the most likely result of enacting Ostromian institutions.

Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.

avatar for Ludger Benighaus

Ludger Benighaus

Researcher and project manager, Dialogik
Kia Ora,would love to talk with conference attendees about a research project I am working for: www.infactproject.eu. It is about Mineral exploration and mining with an approach of public engagement (Europe).My two presentations at the SAANZ Conference:1. Citizens’ survey on reputation... Read More →
avatar for Luke Oldfield

Luke Oldfield

PhD Candidate, University of Auckland

Piper Rodd

Lecturer, Deakin University

Thursday December 5, 2019 1:30pm - 3:30pm NZDT
206-215 - Seminar Room 5