Dr Julia Cook
School of Humanities and Social Science
- Phone:(02) 4055 3018
Loans, housing and young people
Dr Julia Cook is a youth sociologist whose research is revealing how housing and family finance impacts the lives of young people.
Dr Julia Cook is passionate about amplifying the voices of young people through her research. Her qualitative and mixed methods research allows her to convey young people’s experiences to the world, highlighting issues and areas where policy changes are needed, particularly in regard to housing, loans and family assistance.
Her work is producing impactful results with immediate implications for the creation of policies that are fit for purpose. She is the chief investigator on a project funded by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education which seeks to understand the housing experiences of undergraduate regional and remote students living away from the family home.
“Lately we are seeing reports recommending funding for purpose-built student accommodation on campus as a means of trying to increase university participation among regional and remote students,” Julia said. “However, there isn’t much evidence around the impact purpose-built on-campus housing has on this group compared to, for instance, living in the private rental sector. This project fills that gap in the literature.”
The project has surveyed 550 regional and remote university students who have relocated for their studies to see how their housing has impacted their experience of university.
“The aim of the project is to develop an evidence base that can feed into policy that is fit for purpose and recommendations that target the resources available for housing for regional and remote students into outcomes that are equitable and beneficial.”
“The project investigates the impact of different living arrangements on the student’s studies. Do those who are in purpose-built student accommodation fare better than those renting elsewhere? What challenges are presented in both those scenarios? Are any negative experiences caused or mediated by working part time? We want to understand some of the determinants of positive experiences at university and find evidence to see what students actually need and what will have a positive impact so we know where resources are best targeted,” Julia said.
Understanding intergenerational loans
In 2019 Julia was awarded a prestigious international research fellowship with the University of Birmingham’s Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM), where she furthered her research into the impact of intergenerational financial transfers to enable entry into the property market.
“I have also researched this topic in Australia and had some data on the prevalence of intergenerational loans but wanted to know more about the mechanisms behind how this happens,” Julia said.
Parents lending their children money to buy a house seems a straight forward transaction, but Julia is interested in the micro-social factors that make that possible.
“I enjoy engaging with participants in interviews and going into homes and talking to them about how this happens. I’m interested in the social norms that underpin these larger financial gifts.”
“The aim of this project is to try and understand the mechanisms through which intergenerational advantage and disadvantage are produced. Passing on money to buy a house is a direct way that home ownership is reproduced. We know if your parents are home owners, you’re more likely to be a home owner – that is the reproduction of advantage. In order to understand the wider agenda of disadvantage it’s necessary to understand the mechanisms through which advantage is reproduced.”
Regional youth and work, wellbeing and debt
Julia is also part of a project called ‘Regional youth in precarious times – work wellbeing and debt’ that aims to understand the debt and employment nexus for young people in the Hunter region. The project will begin with a policy analysis around debt and young people. Secondly, the project team will interview young people in the Hunter region to hear about their lived experiences with unsecured debt. Then they will use creative research methods, such as body mapping in workshops, to endeavour to further clarify young people’s relationship between debt, employment and wellbeing. The final step of the project will be to create a digital map of the various financial lenders in the Hunter with categories of lenders and the types of loans they offer.
“We’ll overlay this information on the map meaning we’ll be able to see the income of specific suburb and youth unemployment while also seeing the type of lenders in the area,” Julia said.
“With this information we are aiming to put together an intervention to make the financial aspects of life better for young people in the Hunter. We are partnering with the Greater Bank Financial Literacy Laboratory who are running financial literacy programs in secondary schools. The findings from our project will feed into those financial literacy programs as well as inform evidence-based policies.”
- Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Melbourne
- residential mobility
- sociology of time
- young adulthood
Fields of Research
|160807||Sociological Methodology and Research Methods||10|
|Title||Organisation / Department|
|Lecturer||University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Book (1 outputs)
|2018||Cook J, Imagined Futures Hope, Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, Cham, Switzerland, 141 (2018)|
Chapter (2 outputs)
Cook J, Woodman D, 'Digital Modes of Data Collection in Mixed-Methods Longitudinal Youth Research', Complexities of Researching with Young People, Routledge, Abingdon, UK 74-86 (2020) [B1]
Wyn J, Cuervo H, Cook J, 'Expanding theoretical boundaries from youth transitions to belonging and new materiality', Youth, Place and Theories of Belonging 12-24 (2019)
© 2020 selection and editorial matter, Sadia Habib and Michael R. M. Ward. This chapter draws on a longitudinal study of young Australians to analyse the spatial dimensions of you... [more]
© 2020 selection and editorial matter, Sadia Habib and Michael R. M. Ward. This chapter draws on a longitudinal study of young Australians to analyse the spatial dimensions of youth transitions through the concept of belonging. It argues that new materialist approaches provide a useful resource for moving beyond transitions frameworks. Focussing on the materiality of everyday events in young adults¿ lives, the authors show how young people¿s transitions are formed over time within networks of relationships with people, places and objects. They conclude that, when understood in this way, the concept of belonging becomes a useful tool for gaining insight into the relationship between biography and history in young people¿s lives.
Journal article (16 outputs)
Cook J, 'Keeping it in the family: understanding the negotiation of intergenerational transfers for entry into homeownership', HOUSING STUDIES, (2020)
Cahill H, Cook J, 'From Life-course Expectations to Societal Concerns: Seeking Young Adults Perspectives on Generational Narratives', YOUNG, 110330881982569-110330881982569 (2019)
Cook J, Cuervo H, 'Agency, futurity and representation: Conceptualising hope in recent sociological work', The Sociological Review, 67 1102-1117 (2019) [C1]
Cook J, Woodman D, 'Belonging and the Self as Enterprise: Place, Relationships and the Formation of Occupation-Based Identities', SOCIOLOGIA RURALIS, 60 375-393 (2019)
Woodman D, Cook J, 'The new gendered labour of synchronisation: Temporal labour in the new world of work', Journal of Sociology, 55 762-777 (2019) [C1]
© The Author(s) 2019. Research considering how time is organised has shown that women tend to carry a disproportionate burden of coordinating the schedules of their households. Ho... [more]
© The Author(s) 2019. Research considering how time is organised has shown that women tend to carry a disproportionate burden of coordinating the schedules of their households. However, little research has considered how these gendered inequalities may manifest in the context of the shift away from ¿standard¿ work patterns and towards variable and non-standard hours. We address this question by using interview and digital data to consider how a selection of ¿ordinary¿ Australian young adults in heterosexual partnerships manage and coordinate their time. We contend that even for middle-class young adults with relatively high employment security, increasingly complex working arrangements are shifting existing inequalities in gendered divisions of temporal labour in ways that heighten feelings of temporal insecurity. We conceptualise our findings as part of an intensification of the existing need to schedule and manage lives that is widely felt in the so-called ¿gig economy era¿, even by those removed from gig work proper.
Fu J, Cook J, 'Browsing for Cunzaigan on WeChat: Young People's Social Media Presence in Accelerated Urban China', YOUNG, (2019)
Kosovac A, Davidson B, Malano H, Cook J, 'The varied nature of risk and considerations for the water industry: A review of the literature', Environment and Natural Resources Research, 7 80-86 (2017)
Cook J, ' How much do I want the apocalypse to happen and just wipe this all clean? : The use of apocalyptic narratives by non-religious youth', Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 30 52-72 (2017)
Cook J, 'Young people's strategies for coping with parallel imaginings of the future', TIME & SOCIETY, 25 700-717 (2016)
Cook J, 'Young adults' hopes for the long-term future: from re-enchantment with technology to faith in humanity', JOURNAL OF YOUTH STUDIES, 19 517-532 (2016)
Cook J, Hasmath R, 'The discursive construction and performance of gendered identity on social media', CURRENT SOCIOLOGY, 62 975-993 (2014)
|Show 13 more journal articles|
Grants and Funding
|Number of grants||2|
Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.
20201 grants / $12,353
Funding body: Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle
|Funding body||Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle|
Dr David Farrugia (Lead), Prof Penny Burke, Dr Julia Cook, Dr Steven Threadgold and Prof Pam Nilan
|Scheme||Strategic Network and Pilot Project Grants Scheme|
|Type Of Funding||Internal|
20191 grants / $35,120
Housing matters: understanding the housing experiences of undergraduate regional and remote students living outside the family home$35,120
Funding body: National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)
|Funding body||National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)|
|Project Team||Doctor Julia Cook, Doctor Matthew Bunn, Professor Penny Jane Burke|
|Scheme||Research Grants Program|
|Type Of Funding||C2120 - Aust Commonwealth - Other|
Number of supervisions
|Commenced||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2019||PhD||Sport and Social Change: A Class Analysis of Gentrification, Displacement and Activism in Newcastle, Australia||PhD (Sociology & Anthropology), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle||Principal Supervisor|
February 8, 2019