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Adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology, Swinburne University of Technology

Adjunct Associate Professor Katharine Betts is with the Sociology Discipline at Swinburne University of Technology. She has been doing research in population studies for over thirty years, beginning with fertility and family planning and then the politics of immigration policy. Her current research focuses on the role of national identity in helping groups cope with the collective action problems posed by population growth and environmental stress. Her major work is an analysis of the politics of Australian immigration published in Ideology and Immigration (MUP, 1988) and in The Great Divide (Duffy and Snellgrove, 1999), as well as in a number of journal articles. Recent articles include studies of public opinion and immigration (2008), the effects of immigration and fertility on demographic ageing (2008), and the politics of changes to Australia?s laws governing citizenship (2007). In 1993 she helped found the quarterly demographic journal People and Place; she and Bob Birrell are the editors. She served on the National Council of the Australian Population Association from 1996 to 2000, and from 2002 to 2006.


  • –present
    Adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2000–2009
    Associate professor, Swiburne University of Technology


  • 1986 
    Monash University, PhD


  • 2010
    Attitudes to immigration and population growth in Australia 1954 to 2010: an overview, People and Place, vol 18 no 3
  • 2010
    A bigger Australia: opinions for and against, People and Place, vol 18 no 2
  • 2004
    Demographic and social research on the population and environment nexus in Australia: explaining the gap, Population and Environment, vol 26 no 2
  • 2003
    Immigration policy under the Howard Government, Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol 38 no 2
  • 1999
    The Great Divide: Immigration Politics in Australia, Duffy and Snellgrove
  • 1996
    Review article: explaining Australian immigration, The Journal of the Australian Population Association, vol 13 no 2
  • 1988
    Ideology and Immigration, Melbourne University Press
  • 1986
    Does Australia’s low fertility matter?, Journal of the Australian Population Association, vol 6 no 2

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Population Association
  • The Australian Sociological Association

Research Areas

  • Australian Government And Politics (160601)
  • Citizenship (160602)
  • Sociology Not Elsewhere Classified (160899)
  • Migration (160303)
  • Population Trends And Policies (160305)