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Research Thesis Topic

Growing Up in Growing Cities

Topic ID

Thesis Topic/Title
Growing Up in Growing Cities


Professor Sue Saltmarsh and other members of the supervisory team are leading a new, multi-disciplinary program of research concerned with factors that shape the everyday lives, aspirations, opportunities and perceived futures of children and families living in rapid growth areas of metropolitan and regional cities. An estimated 54.5 per cent of the world's population currently live in urban settlements, a number that is expected to increase to 60 per cent by 2030. This program of research focuses specifically on the ways that families navigate the opportunities, challenges and demands of everyday life in growing metropolitan and regional cities, enabling better understandings about how policy, planning and infrastructure, provision of public and private services, and community building can best facilitate positive outcomes for children growing up in growing cities. The proposed project takes three domains of everyday life as foci of inquiry: 1) health, safety and wellbeing; 2) early childhood education & care, schooling, and other educational opportunities; and 3) recreational, cultural and community activities. Research in Australia and internationally highlights a number of areas within these foci of inquiry that merit in-depth investigation. These include:

- Ways in which living in rapid growth areas impacts on the everyday lives, aspirations and perceived future prospects of children and families, with respect to one of the three foci of inquiry: either 1) health, safety & wellbeing; 2) early childhood education & care, schooling and other educational opportunities; or 3) recreational, cultural and community activities

- Factors that influence the decisions of families to live in or relocate to rapid population growth areas of metropolitan or regional cities

- Experiences of families from specific cultural groups relocating to or living in rapid growth areas of metropolitan or regional cities

- Challenges and opportunities associated with availability of and access to local infrastructure and service provision perceived as impacting on the quality of life for children and families

- Effects of rapid growth on at-risk groups living in or displaced by local development

- Representational and cultural practices that are typically encountered in everyday life in growing cities

- Everyday spatial practices of place, and the ways that these are implicated in subjectivities and social relations

This program of research can accommodate postgraduate students interested in exploring any of the above topics, or other related topics in consultation with Professor Saltmarsh. The research team has expertise in social, cultural, educational and economic theory, and draws on qualitative research methodologies including ethnography, visual ethnography, discourse analysis, social semiotics and case study, and quantitative methods including surveys, questionnaires and statistical analysis.

Principal Supervisor

Associate Supervisors

Research Affiliations
  • School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood

Field of Research
  • Specialist Studies in Education

Available Academic Programs

Application Open Date

Application Close Date

USQ Scholarship Applications

Other Scholarship Funding Details

Pre-approved for Ethics
Not Applicable

Admission Requirements

Please review the admission requirements for the academic program associated with this Thesis Topic

Prospective applicants should contact Professor Saltmarsh at to discuss their research interests and proposed topic for their study prior to submitting their application.

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