Making sense of working lives and working choices : the role of satirical cartoons

Townsend, Keith J., McDonald, Paula K., & Esders, Linda P. (2009) Making sense of working lives and working choices : the role of satirical cartoons. In Drucker, Jan (Ed.) Proceedings of the 15th International Employment Relations Association Conference: Working Lives, Working Choices, 9–13 July 2007, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury.

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This study examined the tone and content of 107 political, satirical cartoons images published in the popular culture forum of mainstream newspapers. The cartoons illustrated the reform of the industrial relations system in Australia in 2005 and 2006. The images were conveyed in a moderate tone. That is, they were more about poking fun at and questioning authority and power, rather than simply describing the issues on one hand, or demonstrating any revolutionary fervor on the other. The cartoons’ content represented many of the concerns and issues being voiced by employer groups, government, opposition, unions and the media at the time. Themes likely to evoke a strong response from the readership included the importance of a collective response in voicing opposition to the legislation and enacting change, the risks to fundamental working conditions, the stealth and dogma associated with the rollout of the changes and the increasing disparity in wealth and power between employers and workers. The images were an important part of the wider discourse and a mechanism which helped place industrial relations squarely in the minds of working Australians.

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ID Code: 27686
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Working Lives, Working Choices, Cartoons, Industrial Relations
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Industrial Relations (150306)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 01 Oct 2009 23:14
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:55

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