Post-print of: Hase, S, Phelps, R, Saenger, H & Gordon-Thompson, J 2004, 'Sun, surf and scrub: social disadvantage in communities in the Northern Rivers region of NSW', The Australasian Journal of Business and Social Inquiry, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1-15.
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This study describes an investigation of social capital and social disadvantage in five communities on the north coast of New South Wales. Using a qualitative approach based on grounded theory enables our understanding of these phenomena to go beyond statistics and tap the rich sources of data to be found in community members and community workers. A perception is described of growing disadvantage and neglect at a governmental level fuelled by the rise of neo-liberalism and a growing imbalance between the market, government and community. Against this ‘big picture socio-economic causation, a number of key community problems and potential solutions are also discussed.