New SoundMinds Radio Episode

Super-Rich and Cities: Coming Soon To A Suburb Near You: New SoundMinds Radio Episode

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.

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