- Producer: Dallas Rogers
- Super-Rich and Cities: Coming Soon To A Suburb Near You
We’re becoming increasingly fascinated with the super-rich. But how different are the super-rich from us? You might have seen the US television series Secret Lives of the Super Rich? It’s a voyeuristic exploration into the lives of wealthy people; shot against a backdrop of expensive mansions, luxury cars and private jets.
The emergence of new groups of super-rich is not just a local phenomenon. The Canadian online documentary series Ultra Rich Girls features the daughters of super-rich Chinese Canadians who are living in Vancouver. It’s broadcast in Mandarin and English, and it provides a pop-culture snapshot of the changing geopolitics and the global emergence of new groups of super-rich from Asia. But what do we mean we talk about “the super-rich”?
In this episode, Dallas talks to Ray Forrest and Ilan Wiesel about the super-rich in Australia, Asia and beyond. Ilan is interested in wealthy groups in Sydney and Melbourne. He’s been looking at the social and cultural networks that wealthy people create in Australian cities. Drawing on the work of the French philosopher Pierre Bourdieu – and two of his ideas in particular: Social Capital and Cultural Capital – he discusses the role elite people and places are playing in the politics of infrastructure provision in Australia.
Ray starts with Thomas Piketty’s best-selling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century to take a more global look at the super-rich. He suggests the changing nationalities of the super-rich, and the changing forms and sources of their wealth, are creating new dilemmas for academics. Ray rethinks the super-rich and their wealth, and explores how and why countries like Australia, UK and Canada are making their countries super-rich friendly.
Professor Ray Forrest is Chair Professor of Housing and Urban Studies and Head of the Department of Public Policy, City University of Hong Kong. He has worked at the University of Birmingham (UK) and the University of Bristol, where he was appointed to a Chair in Urban Studies in 1994. At Bristol he was Head of the School for Policy Studies (2001-2004), Associate Director/Director of the Centre for East Asian Studies (2004-2008) and co-director of the ESRC Centre for Neighbourhood Research (2001-2005).
Dr Ilan Wiesel’s research investigates sustainable housing and urban policy through detailed analysis of the housing experiences, needs and aspirations of diverse social groups. He is also interested in the policies and practices of city builders and policy makers. Before joining University of Melbourne in May 2016 he was as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales (2009-2016).
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