We have identified relevant research effort across the University and grouped these according to five research foci. These foci represent different lenses through which economic and social participation are being examined at UoM.

Esprit Research Themes

Individual: People vary in their capabilities and capacity to engage with social and economic life. A wide range of factors influence individual capability and capacity, such as social and demographic factors including age, gender, racial and ethnic background, socioeconomic factors including education, employability and human capital, and health, well-being and disability

Family: Family both constrains and facilitates social and economic participation. One of the most significant changes to occur in family life over the last few decades is the emergence of dual-earner households. How do families successfully combine paid employment, housework and child rearing? Housing affordability, employment opportunities and household income all influence decisions couples make about when to marry and when to have children.

Populations: Individuals and families can be grouped into populations, for example by gender, ethnicity, or disability. The needs for support of these individuals and families in their social and economic participation may be quite different. 

Built environment: The built environment substantially impacts on social and economic participation, and families’ ability to achieve work-life balance. It influences the liveability of cities and the capacity for people to access good jobs and housing. Planning determines access between affordable housing, schools, childcare centres, and employment precincts via walking, cycling or public transport.

Public Policy: The political system in Australia operates at a local, a state and the federal level, each with their own institutions and policies. The Government at all levels plays a key role in influencing employment and work-family balance.  What should the role of Government be? What legislation is needed? How much legislation is needed? How does Government best enable individuals, families and communities to fully participate in society and in employment? Are there unintended consequences of policy?

Crosscutting these research foci are themes of gender, ethnicity, discrimination, social inclusion, and wellbeing.