Hage grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, as part of a Maronite Catholic family. He moved to Sydney in 1976, aged 20. His maternal grandparents and mother had previously lived in, and were citizens of, Australia. Hage completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at Macquarie University in 1982, a Diplome de 3eme Cycle (Universite de Nice, 1983) and a PhD in anthropology (a study of communal identification among Christian Lebanese during the Lebanese civil war - Macquarie University, 1989). From 1987-88 he was a part-time lecturer at UTS, then until 1994 a lecturer in Social Sciences at the University of Western Sydney. He was at the University of Sydney from 1994-2008 before moving to the University of Melbourne. He has also held a post-doctoral research position and a visiting professorship at Pierre Bourdieu’s research centre in Paris at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.
He has held a number of visiting professorships including at the American University of Beirut, University of Nanterre – Paris X, the University of Copenhagen and Harvard.
He divides his time between Melbourne, Sydney and Paris, and is fluent in French, Arabic and English. He suffers from hearing loss, possibly due to a bomb explosion in Beirut in his teenage years, and had one cochlear implant in 2004 and another in 2012.
Hage works on the comparative anthropology of racism, nationalism and multiculturalism, particularly in Australia and the Middle East. He has written and conducted fieldwork on the Lebanese transnational diaspora in Australia, the US, Europe, Canada and Venezuela. He also researches and writes in social theory, particularly the work of Pierre Bourdieu.
He has been a high-profile contributor to debates on multiculturalism in Australia and has published widely on the topic. His most influential work is White Nation, which draws on theory from Whiteness studies, Jacques Lacan and Pierre Bourdieu to interpret ethnographic work undertaken in Australia. The book has been widely debated in Australia, with many of its themes picked up by anti-racism activists in other countries. The follow-up Against Paranoid Nationalism is an analysis of certain themes in Australian politics that became prominent under the government of John Howard.
He has also written on the political dimensions of critical anthropology (His work in this area appears in the volume Alter-Politics: Critical Thought and the Radical Imagination (Melbourne University Press 2015)). His current writing is concerned with the intersection between racism and the ecological crisis. Is Racism an Environmental Threat? is forthcoming with Polity Press in May 2017.
- Ghassan Hage SBS World View hosted on SoundCloud
- Member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
- President of the Australian Anthropological Society
- 2004 winner, Community Relations Commission Award, New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, for Against Paranoid nationalism.
- Hage, G, with Grace, H, Johnson, L, Langworth, J, and Symonds, M. (1997) Home/World: Space, community and marginality in Sydney's west, Annandale, NSW: Pluto Press
- Hage, G and Couch, R (Eds)(1999) The future of Australian multiculturalism : reflections on the twentieth anniversary of Jean Martin's The Migrant Presence, Sydney, N.S.W. : Research Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sydney (ISBN 0-9585973-1-6)
- Hage, G (2000) White Nation: fantasies of White supremacy in a multicultural society, New York: Routledge (ISBN 1-86403-056-9)
- Hage, G (Ed)(2002) Arab-Australians today : citizenship and belonging, Carlton South, Vic. : Melbourne University Press (ISBN 0522849792)
- Hage, G (2003) Against Paranoid Nationalism: searching for hope in a shrinking society, Annandale, NSW: Pluto Press (ISBN 1864031964)
- Hage, G., Worpole K, and Scruton R. (2004). What Would You Die For?. The British Council.
- Hage, G (2009) Waiting. Carlton South, Vic. : Melbourne University Press (ISBN 978-0-522-85693-4)
- Hage, G. and E. Kowal (eds.) (2011) Force, Movement, Intensity: The Newtonian Imagination in the Social Sciences, Carlton South, Vic.: Melbourne University Press (ISBN 978-0-522-86081-8)
- Hage, G. and R. Eckersley (eds.) 2012. Responsibility. Carlton South, Vic. : Melbourne University Press.
- Hage, G. (2015), Alter-Politics: Critical anthropology and the Radical Imagination. Carlton South, Vic.: Melbourne University Press.
- Hage, G. (forthcoming 2017), Is Racism an Environmental threat?. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
- Racism is not simply black and white, opinion, Sydney Morning Herald, 12/6/06
- Stevenson, A 'Open eyes to ethnic crime', Sydney Morning Herald, 13/7/06
- http://www.academia.edu/1924759/Eavesdropping_on_Bourdieus_philosophers Article by Hage
- Tseen Khoo. "Polemic Publication: Ghassan Hage's 'White Nation'." M/C Reviews 16 Oct. 1999. http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/reviews/words/white.html