Craft has an increasing role in the modern marketplace because of its connection to the skills of makers and producers and the shift towards championing handmade rather than mass-produced products.
Craft Economies, a new collection edited by Professor Susan Luckman and Nicola Thomas, explores contemporary craft production, positioning amateur to professional making within a wider creative economy.
The collection investigates diverse forms of craft in an international context, from floristry to ceramics and from crochet to coding.
With essays from more than 25 leading researchers and creatives, the collection reveals the complexity of the craft economy and takes a scholarly look at the pluralistic expressions of craft.
Prof Luckman says the book explores the social and material practice of craft as well as the impact of a globalised world on its practice.
“Traditional selling methods such as shop-based retail and commission are now complemented by online trade,” Prof Luckman says.
“The enormous growth in online craft retail sites has resulted in creative producers increasingly marketing their work via social media.
“While this opens a new micro-entrepreneurial pathway, it also demands a multi-faceted skillset not limited to creative expertise, including entrepreneurial skills in both the technical and personal realm.
“For example, effective social media use is key to the online craft marketplace – establishing a maker’s identity as part of the packaged value in the product.
“But growth in online marketplaces also raises questions about retaining authenticity and localism – for example, what does ‘Made in Adelaide’ really mean?”
These and many more issues are explored in the collection, which is designed for the creatively inclined and those concerned with material-making and the prospects for sustaining the future of the craft economy.
Craft Economies is available in hardback and online.
As the practice of healthcare continues to evolve, so does understanding of the relationship between people’s behaviour and how this affects their health.
In Health Psychology in Australia, Assoc Prof Jill Dorrian and Dr Amanda Hutchinson along with five other contributing authors, analyse the role of health psychologists with a primary focus on preventing illness and promoting good health through managed behaviour.
Key behavioural patterns and support for change addressed in the book include the importance of sleep, the outcomes of drug and alcohol use disorders, the impacts of nutrition and exercise, and pain and its management.
Assoc Prof Dorrian says clear changes in the way health has been understood are evident over history, culminating in the knowledge we have today.
“The idea of the mind-body relationship is continually revisited through changing definitions of health and illness,” she says.
“The way we have viewed health has evolved through the lenses of superstition and religion, to the biomedical model, through to our current biopsychosocial understanding – that health involves the physical, the psychological, and the social. Health is not a static concept, and the debate continues.
“Chronic illness represents the largest proportion of the healthcare burden in Australia. Such illnesses are often referred to as ‘lifestyle diseases’ because the primary risk factors are behavioural. There has never been a more important time to be a health psychologist.
“The book encourages students to examine their own ideas about health and illness, responsibility and advocacy, behaviour change and health promotion, and how they view these issues through their own cultural lens. We want to inspire students to move from observer to participant in the ever evolving debate about how we understand health and what we can do to promote health for all.”
The book includes case studies and reflection questions, along with critical thinking activities and a detailed summary of each chapter to ensure students gain a strong understanding of key concepts and their application to the field.
Published by Cambridge University Press, Health Psychology in Australia is available online.
Reuse is often associated with its many and obvious environmental benefits, while its aesthetic, creative and cultural dimensions remain largely unacknowledged.
From vintage clothes to repurposed warehouses, reuse has become a valued social currency in a world increasingly threatened by the environmental impacts of overconsumption and waste.
In Subverting Consumerism: Reuse in an Accelerated World, edited by Dr Robert Crocker and Keri Chiveralls, reuse is presented in terms of its contemporary application in art, design, architecture, building, landscape and policy or governance.
Dr Crocker says reuse can represent a new form of resistance to our dominant consumer culture, in which “we are encouraged to pursue the latest and the best, and to discard what seems out of date, whether this is working or not”.
“Reusing or repurposing things can be a conscious rebellion against this consumerism, a way of engaging with the past, providing us with a sense of continuity and place in a world of continuous, and sometimes destructive change,” Dr Crocker says.
The book explores some key theories around the culture, meaning, and value of reuse in a series of case studies on its creative application. Repurposing, repair and reuse are becoming increasingly important ways of designing and making in a world of resource scarcity and climate change.
Published by Routledge, the book is available online.