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Media Release

March 15 2006

Work and life on UniSA’s research agenda

Professor Barbara PocockProfessor Barbara Pocock has been appointed to head up UniSA’s new national Centre for Work and Life operating within the Hawke Research Institute for Sustainable Societies.

Professor Pocock has been a leading researcher in the field of work, employment and industrial relations for more than 20 years and has key research strengths in the area of gender, vocational education, trade unions, pay equity and employment.

A trained economist, she brings these skills to a new research focus on modern families and what factors effect work and life – from working hours to childcare availability and social stereotypes to economic and environmental realities.

“We live in complicated times - a faster, more fractured society and one in which life, work and family can be an abrasive combination,” Professor Pocock says.

“Healthier and more sustainable communities will only develop if we understand the enormous cultural, sociological and economic shifts that have occurred in the past 30 years and set about making some important adjustments.”

Key issues on the agenda for the Centre include an analysis of the effect of work on Australian women, men, children and households and communities and the implications for social policy and theory. The Centre is also researching low paid service industry workers such as cleaners and child carers and the impact of work on their families and their communities. Another new project is the examination of the impact of casualisation on young workers and how that relates to their skills development, training and long-term employment.

Professor Pocock is the author of The Work/Life Collision published in 2003, which examines the points of conflict and stress in modern Australian communities. This year she will publish a new work examining young people’s views about parental work and the links between jobs, consumption and household relations. Provisionally titled The Labour Market Ate my Babies – Arguments for a new familism it is due for publication in the next few months.


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