February 2nd, 2017
A Land of Milk and Honey? Making Sense of Aotearoa New Zealand
Edited by Avril Bell, Vivienne Elizabeth, Tracey McIntosh & Matt Wynyard
Since colonisation, New Zealand has been mythologised as a ‘land of milk and honey’ – a promised land of natural abundance and endless opportunity. In the twenty-first century, the country has become literally a land of milk and honey as agricultural exports from such commodities dominate the national economy. But does New Zealand live up to its promise?
In this introductory textbook for first year sociology students, some of this country’s leading social scientists help us to make sense of contemporary New Zealand. In 21 chapters, the authors examine New Zealand’s political identity and constitution; our Māori, Pākehā, Pacific and Asian peoples; problems of class, poverty and inequality; gender and sexualities; and contemporary debates around ageing, incarceration and the environment. The authors find a complex society where thirty years of neoliberal economics and globalising politics have exacerbated inequalities that are differentially experienced by class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and age. These social divides and problems are at the heart of this text.
For sociology students and for a wider audience of New Zealanders, A Land of Milk and Honey? is a lively introduction to where we have come from, where we are now, and where New Zealand society might be headed.