School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Theses
Now showing items 1-12 of 1585
Remembering the counterculture: Melbourne’s inner-urban alternative communities of the 1960s and 1970s
In the 1960s and 1970s, a counterculture emerged in Melbourne’s inner-urban suburbs, part of progressive cultural and political shifts that were occurring in Western democracies worldwide. This counterculture sought to enact political and social change through experimenting with the fabric of everyday life in the inner-urban space. They did this in the ways in which they ate, socialised, lived, related to money, work, the community around them, and lived – often in shared or communal housing. The ways in which they lived, loved, related to the community around them, and found social and personal fulfilment was tied up with a countercultural politics. My thesis argues that these inner-urban counterculturalists embodied a progressive politics which articulated and enacted a profoundly personal criticism of post-war conservatism.
History Teaching as Conversation
The thesis uses Greek and Roman historiography to discuss the learning and teaching of history. It offers a synthesis of two leading approaches to historical thinking to present a combined model. The components of this model form part of the syntax that teachers and students can use to speak about the past. Although it is rare for research in education to evoke historians from classical antiquity, Greek and Roman historians address persistent issues for history teaching and teacher education. Drawing on the work of Herodotus and Thucydides, the study underscores the importance of using questions and sources to create opportunities for students to engage in historical thinking. The research adapts a model of the epistemic authority of teachers to capture conversation in the history classroom. In this approach, the source acts as a sign for the past or aspects of historical inquiry. The study explores syntactic elements of history such as causation, significance and change. In each instance, works by classical historians are used as the foundation of discussion. The research also addresses two different, but related concepts: historical narrative and interpretations. The research argues for the teaching of historical method in schools. It advocates a social construction approach in which history teachers and students explore source material, build interpretations and exchange representations to promote understanding.
A reliabilist strategy for solving the problem of induction
In this thesis I develop a two-stage strategy in which a simple reliabilist theory of knowledge and justification can be employed so as to solve David Hume’s famous ‘problem of induction’. In so doing, the key arguments I make include: (i) that justification possesses an externalist character so we do not need to show how we know that we possess inductive knowledge, and (ii) that an inductivist rule-circular justification of induction is defensible if induction is understood in terms of a reliabilist theory of knowledge and justification.
The relationship between law enforcement and power in Islam
The rationale behind this study is the turmoil that has taken place in the Middle East and North Africa as a result of the terrorist acts that have occurred in the region since the late 1990s. The practices of contemporary extremist groups, such as the Islamic State have made this issue more urgent because they have sought to legitimize themselves by proposing a return to the primary sources of Islam. This thesis aims to investigate the relationship between law enforcement and the establishment of political legitimacy that underpinned the early Islamic state. It also aims to understand how contemporary Islamist groups are bound by the terms of that earlier relationship. The thesis argues that after Prophet Muhammad’s death, Islamic law was imposed by the armed military upon people to achieve political aims and to legitimize rulers. In the contemporary world, Islamist movements use the same forms of political repression to extend their sovereignty, and, as such, their conception of authority has not broken away from autocratic forms of government. As the thesis demonstrates, some Islamist theorists use the term sovereignty as a systematic tool in the exercise of their power and the implementation of Islamic law. In practice, most Islamists see the implementation of the government established by Prophet Muhammad and the first four caliphs as necessary...
Vietnamese Child Migrants in Australia and the Historical Use of Facebook in Digital Diaspora
Vietnamese have been a part of Australia’s migrant community since 1975. After more than forty years since the end of the Vietnam War, Vietnamese child migrants, including refugees and adoptees, have grown up with the education and technology to represent themselves in the history of Australian migration. This thesis engages with the memory and experiences of Vietnamese child refugees and adoptees in Australia and of their agency and self-representation in the history of transnational childhood and migration. Accordingly, it examines how Vietnamese have been represented in Australia, how they represent themselves on Facebook, and how their self-representations inform national and transnational histories of migration and childhood. I argue that Vietnamese child migrants embrace their status as refugees and enact their own agency in new ways of national and transnational belonging. These positivistic views of their former refugee status seem implausible in Australia’s contemporary political climate towards asylum seekers and refugees, however, the value of examining their memories, experience, and choices allows us to acknowledge children’s perspectives that enhance the history of lived experiences, childhood, and migration in Australia. Within the body of scholarship about Vietnamese refugees and migrants in Australia, children were not afforded the opportunity of self-representation of their experience or memories of migration. They were too young to remember, or their parents may have spoken on their behalf. It is through this collection and analysis of Vietnamese child refugee, adoptees, and second generation Vietnamese oral histories about childhood, identity, belonging, and community on Facebook that broadens an understanding of their agency and contribution to the history of national and transnational childhood and migration. Within the broader category of history and experience as refugees, these oral histories support the vision of refugees as self-determined subjects of contemporary life and history that provide a critical paradigm for understanding the complexities of national and transnational identity, belonging, and community formation on-line. Furthermore, the thesis seeks to inspire future research about children’s agency and self-representation in history, their contribution to digital citizenship and communities in diaspora, and the use of technology and self-representation about refugee and migrant life and identity.
Red shadow: Malayan Communist Memoirs as Parallel Histories of Malaysia
The Malayan Emergency (1948-60) has long been understood from the perspective of the incumbent British and Malay(si)an governments and is universally regarded as a successful counter-insurgency operation against foreign-inspired communists. To date we still have a very limited understanding of what the struggle meant for members of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) and rarely have their voice voices, those who fought on the other side of this struggle, been considered. However, over the last two decades, in the twilight of their lives, a number of members of the MCP have begun to share their personal stories about what they fought for and why. These new first-hand accounts present different insights into the struggle. This thesis uses a unique and as yet underutilized source for studying the members of the MCP: the Chinese-language memoirs of former MCP members. These memoirs present, in the words of MCP members themselves, their motives for why they joined the movement and what their life in the movement was like. I critically analyze these accounts paying attention to the ideas MCP members had for an independent Malay(si)a and the way in which the authors identify with that ideal. Through closer evaluation of the memoirs, this research gives voice to these largely forgotten revolutionaries.
Marginalised subjects, meaningless naturalizations: the tiers of Australian citizenship
From 1901 until 1966 federal legislation in Australia discriminated against people considered by legislators and the judiciary to be ‘aboriginal’ to Australia, Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands affecting their social, legal, political and cultural rights. The first of these acts deemed that any Commonwealth contract for the carriage of Australian mail could only be made with companies that employed solely white workers; later acts provided for ‘bounties’ to be paid on goods grown and manufactured by that same workforce. Legislation enacted by the Commonwealth deported thousands of Pacific Island labourers, prevented immigrants considered not to be ‘white’ from entering or immigrating to Australia and denied naturalization certificates to those already resident. Aboriginal people from Australia, and residents considered ‘aboriginal’ to Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands were denied the right to vote and access social welfare. This thesis outlines how these pieces of federal legislation were fundamental to the white Australia policy, working to strengthen and extend the policy beyond immigration and border control to a system of racial privilege and control. It argues that this legislation, alongside government policies, resulted in a tiered system of citizenship under which those considered ‘white’ and male could gain access to all social and legal privileges, while Australian Aboriginal people and those born in, or considered ‘aboriginal’ to Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, and sometimes also New Zealand could not. This thesis examines how federal legislation specifically (as opposed to state legislation) created these tiers of citizenship, through legislation privileging the white, male worker, legislation deporting Pacific Island labourers, legislation and policies preventing people from Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands from migrating to and settling in Australia and legislation which curbed access to social, political and economic rights for people considered ‘aboriginal’ to Australia, Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, and sometimes also New Zealand. It also explores the gradual dismantling of Australia’s tiered system of citizenship and how Aboriginal Australians and residents from Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands responded to, and were slowly able to climb the citizenship ladder.
Reconceiving the reasonable probability of success criterion
This thesis examines the Reasonable Probability of Success criterion of jus ad bellum. Chapter One provides an initial explication of this principle. It outlines its historical origins, and explains the rationale for requiring that this criterion is satisfied in order for it to be ethically permissible to wage war. Chapter Two offers some guidance for interpreting and applying the Reasonable Probability of Success criterion. Chapter Three denies the claim that this criterion is redundant because it can be subsumed by the Proportionality criterion. Chapter Four of this thesis denies the assertion that the Reasonable Probability of Success criterion violates a feasibility constraint. Chapter Five denies the claim that this criterion grants the United States a form of hegemonic moral immunity. Chapter Six of this thesis argues that the contemporary understanding of the Reasonable Probability of Success criterion conflicts with widespread intuitions towards historical instances of war. Chapter Seven of this thesis critically evaluates Statman’s so-called Honour Solution, presenting a series of problems with his proposal. Chapter Eight argues that the Reasonable Probability of Success criterion could actually have been satisfied in the historical cases that are seemingly troubling. It maintains that the contemporary understanding of the Reasonable Probability of Success criterion is mistaken, because it erroneously assumes that defence of others requires a state to mitigate or avert the imminent threat that it faces.
Gambling, rationality and public policy
Gambling involves complex social and commercial institutions and practices, large numbers of participants, and vast amounts of money. In this thesis I introduce a philosophical perspective on gambling and its regulation. I develop an account of the rationality of gambling and derive implications for the formation of public policy. The thesis uses methods and theories developed in epistemology, the philosophy of probability, and other branches of philosophy to address conceptual and normative issues about gambling. Along with discussing the concept of gambling the first chapter argues that rational action is tied up with well-informed choice, and that a person can be well-informed relative to choices about gambling in two ways: knowing about the probability of winning both in the short and long-term, or by having relevant skills or information. The second and third chapters aim to show how gambling choices may be irrational because they involve epistemic error, through gamblers forming partial beliefs in ways that fail to be constrained by an adequate understanding of the probable outcomes of events or by basing expectations on ungrounded beliefs about luck. In the fourth chapter I ask whether what I have said so far about the rationality of gambling and its conceptual relationship to autonomous choice raises any ethical issues relevant to public policy. I expand on my claim that the connection between rationality, interests and autonomy forms part of the normative grounds of public policy. I defend the view that public policy concerns practices and institutions which have particular characteristics that suggest the moral principles to be applied in forming policy and argue that the principle of respect for personal autonomy has a central role in good public policy on gambling. The thesis concludes by summarising my arguments for public policy that does not facilitate gambling.
Lives of sports fans: meaning in the face of inconsequence
Spectator sport may seem inconsequential to everyday life, yet ordinary people expend intense emotional energy and devote vast amounts of time and money following (and cheering for) their favourites. Emotional whirlwinds and the inevitable suffering that the fluctuating fortunes of sports teams and athletes bring to the lives of fans are familiar to all and yet remain inexplicable to many. Pleasure seekers, socialised agents, members of tribes and subcultures – are some of the labels ascribed to sports fans in a variety of studies tied up with their own disciplinary norms and fixed theoretical devices. In light of seeming theoretical saturation and contextual breadth, I argue that the scholarly interest in sports fandom has either sidestepped or obscured the first order questions of how and why. To redress this, I explore how and why some people become fans and care about sports despite its apparent irrelevance to their life paths. I posit that these questions can only be meaningfully addressed if contextually situated. To that end, this thesis delves into six life narratives of fans of Australian Rules (footy), cricket and association football (soccer). The narratives produced through a collaborative discourse disturb the hierarchy of the knower and the known and subvert the value-free legacies of dedicated sports fandom scholarship. Therefore, beyond the shared materiality of Melbourne’s geography and Australian sporting culture, the stories of fans and their everyday practices are contextualised in relation to ideological constraints and human possibilities. As the dialogue-based narratives situate the lives of fans at the intersection of individual biography and society, they not only produce a complex picture of diverse ways to engage in spectator sport in a city celebrated for its facilities and a country renowned for its collective passion for sport; but they also illuminate personally meaningful encounters in the face of inconsequential sporting contests. In their collective force, the narratives point to the tensions between the everyday practices of sports fans and their material envelopment; they offer new lenses through which to understand sports fandom and position the phenomenon as a mirror that accentuates the present interplay of social, cultural and political conditions.
Boundaries between individual and communal authorship of Aboriginal art in context of Clifford Possum’s Tjapaltjarri’s art and the case of RvO’Loughlin (2001)
ABSTRACT This research concerns the oeuvre of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri in the context of art fraud. Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri was an Anmatyerr man (c.1932 – 2002). His art was the subject of Australia’s first criminal law prosecution for fraud over Aboriginal art: R v John Douglas O’Loughlin (2001) unreported NSWDC, 23 Feb 2001. The research examines boundaries between individual and communal authorship of Aboriginal art in the context of this case. The case is used to highlight changing boundaries around authorship of Aboriginal art. Communal art practiced in the Papunya region changed with the birth of the Western Desert art movement. Individual authorship became prominent in attribution. Artists such as Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri became famous in their own right. In 2004, at the National Gallery of Victoria, Clifford Possum was celebrated with the first retrospective of a Papunya Tula artist in an Australian public gallery, an exhibition spanning thirty years of his work. This research claims that the cultural tensions for individual artists such as Clifford Possum, raised by this change, have been seldom noted and are highlighted especially by art fraud. The boundaries between individual and communal authorship are measured by looking at representation of those boundaries by the artist, his community, museums, the art market, and the law. With the development of contemporary Aboriginal art, I argue that the art market and also public galleries have insufficiently acknowledged the communal basis of traditional Aboriginal art, at least up until the present decade. Fred Myers’ pivotal text ‘Painting Culture’ (2002) and Vivien Johnson’s art histories on Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri and Western Desert art are central to this project with Myers’ work providing the key intellectual leadership on the topic. I look at recent writing drawn from an Aboriginal perspective, for example by curators Luke Taylor and Hetti Perkins. The work of anthropologists Elizabeth Coleman and Eric Michaels also provides an important topic-specific context on art fraud surrounding Indigenous art in Australia and links concepts of authenticity with critical theory. Literature on authorship, including by Foucault, is consulted although not designed as a key framework for this thesis. The conclusion was that although boundaries around individual and communal authorship of Aboriginal art may have changed, the O’Loughlin case failed to acknowledge the two modes of authorship, and further to this, current Australian law is lacking in protecting Indigenous cultural property and collective authorship around Aboriginal art.