Bowden girls

These are the girls  being left behind by the  process of deindustrialization that started in the 1970s in South Australia.The process of deindustrialization took place behind the recessions in the mid-1970s, the early 1980s and the early 1990s that destroyed much of Australia’s manufacturing base the oldest inner city-based plants where little new investment had occurred.

 The future  of south Australia looked to be one of working class job losses, economic stagnation,  poor job prospects for the working-class youth,   poor educational qualifications, high illiteracy and innumeracy rates,  increasing unemployment and poverty,  and young people leaving the state for work in Melbourne and Sydney.
Bowden girls

Bowden girls

In the 1980s deindustrialization in South Australia  looked as if it was going to be  a protracted and painful experience.There was a sense  that these  working class girls  were going to be  left behind and forgotten amidst the economic decay.

Deindustrialization in South Australia  looked as if it was going to be  a protracted and painful experience. First the white goods industry goes offshore then the automobile industry. There  was a sense of a failure to transition away from the decliing manufacturing economy  to knowledge industries and the service sector even though the options for South Australia  were stark: change or decay.

There is a resentment they feel toward a government that doesn’t seem to care about them or have the will to address economic inequality; a  resentment toward a public discourse that denigrates and blames working-class people for not being more like the middle class. There was a sense in the 1980s that the industrial era was coming to end in Adelaide and wrking-class people had a  sense of being left behind by the economy and put down by the mass  media as the market was left to sort out the winners and losers from the process of deindustrialization  and the emerging information economy.

By the second decade of the 21st century  an inner suburb like Bowden has been de-industrialized, and the economic decay  of the 1980s has been replaced by urban re-development.  Gentrification has seen the replacement of poor and low-skilled residents with affluent white collar workers who for  now seek to live in proximity to the CBD.

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