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Australian Identity

Does Australia Need a National Identity?


The Australia Day controversy

Australian values
Australian Values

Australian LanguageLanguage and Identity

Iconic Australians
Iconic Australians

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Australian StereotypesAustralian Stereotypes

Aboriginal RightsAboriginal Rights

Racism in AustraliaRacism and Egalitarianism

Australian mythsAustralian Myths
Fact or fables?

 

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Australian Identity Across Time

An Australian Identity - Is it needed?

Looking at the history of Australia, it would be reasonable to expect that Australia should have grown into a society of human misery characterised by violence, conflict, selfishness and a general lack of national pride. Instead, Australia is a socially minded nation with the highest rates of pride in the western world. For example, the 2011-12 the World Values Survey indicated that 70% of Australians were ‘very proud’ of their nationality, compared with 56% of Americans, 40% of Swedes, 24% of Germans, and 21% of Dutch. Likewise, the 2015 Scanlon Foundation survey found that 93% of respondents have a ‘sense of belonging in Australia’ either to a ‘great extent’ or ‘some extent. (1)

That pride in country stems from, or has contributed to, a culture of wanting to give something back. Specifically, at beaches all over Australia, volunteer life guards keep a look out in case anyone is at risk of drowning. After houses are damaged in storms, volunteers in the SES (state emergency service) offer repairs. When houses are threatened in bushfires, volunteers in bush fire brigades risk their lives to fight the fires. In cities and towns around Australia, people donate goods and time to organisations like the Salvation Army or Saint Vincent De Paul so that they can help others in need. In 2006, almost a third of the adult population participated in voluntary work. (2) Politically, Australians have supported the creation of a welfare safety net and the provision of universal education. In short, Australia has an identity of belonging characterised by helping others.

Looking at its history, the contemporary pride and social mindedness of Australia is counter-intuitive. With the history that it has, it would have been more reasonble to expect Australians to respond to chaos of disaster by going on looting sprees or responding to the hardship of others by taking advantage of their weakness. After all, urban society commenced with Britain establishing penal colonies amongst nomadic people in the driest and harshest inhabited continent on earth. Such a beginning was akin to taking brutalised pit bull terriers and throwing them in the cages of Rottweilers that were trained in territorial defence. It would be reasonable to expect the dogs would tear themselves apart or fight until the other was dead. Although conflict did in fact occur, there was also a great deal of friendship and positive intent that found expression in the celebration of Aboriginal culture in fledging Australian identities.

William Buckley

Australia never developed Stockmen and Aboriginal fighting stories in the way America did with the Cowboys and Indians. Instead, there was a fusion of Aboriginal and colonial culture to create a "bushman" identity. The painting on the right depicts escaped Convict William Buckley returning to colonial society after decades living with Aborigines. Buckely was pardoned, became a civil servant and inspired the saying "Buckley's chance."

 

Joy Hester’s Man in Cork Hat (1957) Today, the cork hat is used as an Australian stereotype. It was believed to have been invented by Aboriginal droving hands. Like the song, "Waltzing Matilda", it was one of the many aspects of Aboriginal culture that fused with colonial cultures to create a bush "Australian" identity in the 1850s.

Placing Convicts, British settlers and Aborigines in close proximity wasn’t the only expected flashpoint of conflict. Once transportation came to an end, British corporate interests used indentured labour from China and India as a substitute for slavery. The labour was intended to break the picket lines of the fledging union movement and undermine workers pushing for wage rises and safety. Exploited labour also came in the form of ‘black birding’ in which British companies kidnapped Pacific Islanders in a practice that was almost identical to slavery. Just as it would be reasonable to expect that the forced labourers from China, India and the Pacific would be bitter and hostile, it would be reasonable to expect workers fighting for a better deal would want to eliminate any obstacles in their way - even if the obstacles were being exploited themselves. The conflict between the bitter "slaves" and workers wanting a better deal would inevitably lead to violence. In what is somewhat consistent with expectations, an Australian identity based on white racial pride emerged, however, it was a weak identity that also included any migrant, coloured or otherwise, that was likely to join a union. For example, people of African descent were not only invited to join unions but also were celebrated as representatives of Australia. Likewise the Immigration Restriction Act (informally known as the white Australia policy) avoided racial labels as it devised policies to stop non-white immigration simply because being racist offended the identities of many Australians. Furthermore, the Act was implemented in such a way that Black Americans and New Zealand Maori would be able to bypass the restrictions and enter Australia.

William Cuffay

The son of a West Indian slave, William Cuffay was transported to Australia in 1849. He was soon freed and became widely respected in Australia as a campaigner for civil rights. He died in 1870 and was honoured with obituaries in numerous Australian newspapers.

Blackbirds

Blackbirding was a process in which Pacific Islanders were stolen to work as slave labourers. The slave label was avoided because they were mixed with free Pacific Islanders that were coming to Australia by choice. The Queensland government initially tried to stop the kidnappings with patrolling gun boats and later by regulating the trade with a customs supervisor that ensured the Islanders were entering Australia of their own free will. Neither was effective. The Immigration Restriction Act eventually stopped the practice but did the end justify the means?

 

Walls of China, Lake Mungo
Walls of China, Lake Mungo; named by Chinese migrant workers in the 19th century as the landscape reminded them of China's Great Wall.

From 1900 to the end of World War 2, Australia didn't receive significant migration in a manner that would be expected to cause conflict. Furthermore, it didn't receive migrations from regions that could be expected have a significant cultural clash with groups in Australia. Nevertheless, Australians fought in two world wars where they were exposed to propaganda that was very derogatory to the nations that Australia was at war with. After World War 2, Australia opened its doors to many of the very people that the propaganda had been targeting.

In addition to opening its doors to the former enemy, Australia opened its doors to to millions of European refugees who had spent centuries trying to kill other groups of Europeans who were also on their way to Australia. This was followed up with Asian refugees fleeing political ideologies that were being promoted in Australian universities and by Australian political parties. Once more, there was far less conflict than would be reasonably expected from putting such groups in close proximity to each other. Examples of the thought processes could be seen in the words of German migrant Hein Bergerhausen:

“For the first few days I was worried (about hostility towards Germans) … but you could see almost straight away there was nothing to worry about. Everyone just seemed to be glad to be here…It was a happy time…. The war was behind us… we were all starting again.”

Likewise, in the words of Australian Tom Little,

“I’d four years in the (Australian) army- I could have hated those German chaps as much as anyone, but I couldn’t see the sense in it. We were there to do a job. The war was over and they were there to kick off again and start a new life.”

anti-refuggee protests

In the 1970s, it would be reasonable to expect the Vietnamese refugees would have been in significant conflict with numerous groups in Australia. Aside from anti-Vietnamese protests from Marxist students who believed any one who fought Communism was evil and criticisms from politicians like Pauline Hanson who didn't like Vietnamese signage, there was very little conflict.

To put Australia's peaceful migration into perspective, by 2006, migrants constituted 22.8 per cent of the Australian population and almost 50% of the population were either born overseas, or had one or both parents born overseas. Despite this diversity, very little conflict has occured. Of the little that has occured, the biggest conflict seems to have been some fists thrown and derogatory banners unveiled at the 2005 Cronulla “riots”. This was a day in which drunk bogans expressed hostility to all Lebonese Australians after some Lebonese had beaten up a life guard and made rape jokes to offend sun baking women. Certainly, the one-off Cronulla “riot” was tame in comparison to the situation in France and England where migrants only comprise around 5 per cent of the population but on-going "ethnic" riots are a feature of the social landscape.

Aussie Pride

In many countries, ethnic conflict comes in the form of dissidents arming themselves assault rifles or burning cars. In Australia, one of the worst of the last 50 years has been a group of bogans throwing punches and drink bottles at Lebonese Australians after a life guard was beaten up. By world standards, it was very minor.

French riots

As the French would say, that's not a riot, this is a riot! In Australia, a riot is a couple of drinks and insults thrown in a one-off event. In Europe, it is looting, fighting, burning and on-going. Among the neverending ethnic riots in Europe, the 2005 riots in France led to around 9000 cars being burnt over 3 weeks.

Even though Australia is remarkably successful considering the backgrounds of the groups that have come together in its history, it would be fair to say that Australia is not a country that celebrates or acknowledges its success story. Furthermore, it would be fair to say that there is little-to-no celebration of an Australian identity in academia or the media. To the contrary, academic discussions of Australia generally caricatures Australians with the negative stereotypes. In other words, Australian academia defines Australians using stereotypes that match the expected outcome of Australia's history rather than the surprising reality of it.

Perhaps the lack of official or academic celebration of Australia's social success is a positive thing. Once an identity is defined and prescribed, there is scope for it being exploited by people saying the group should join a specific cause, wave a certain banner, think a certain way, refrain from a certain criticism or vote for a specific party. With time, instead of identities being chosen, they are imposed, and instead of people volunteering to help each other, they are compelled to work for the powerful. In short, a culture is created that is nothing like the culture of Australia and identities are created that are alien to the identities so many social minded Australians have chosen for themselves.

Timeline of the Australian identity

Prehistory

Aboriginal tribes

Aboriginal tribal identities were based around an animal or plant totem. Each Aboriginal person believed they had three forms which gave them a continuous life form. The totem was the form after human and then to spirit. As the cycle continued, so did the Aboriginal cultures.

There was no concept of an Aboriginal identity or Australia as one land. Each tribe was very much its own unit and reserved hostility to other tribes. This hostility to an outgroup helped maintain a strong ingroup identity.

Because Aboriginal identities were not defined along racial lines, there was more hostility between different Aboriginal tribes that there was towards the colonists that arrived in 1788. Furthermore, the prestige of the tribe was not defined according to size of land ownership, but according to the number of people in a tribe. For this reason, the tribe was both open to new inductees, but also intent on destroying all rivals.

"Whenever he recounted his battles, "poised his lance, and showed how fields were won", the most violent exclamations of rage and vengeance against his competitors in arms, those of the tribe called Cameeragal in particular, would burst from him. And he never failed at such times to solicit the governor to accompany him, with a body of soldiers, in order that he might exterminate this hated name. " From Watkin Tench – 1791

Expression -Paintings, customs, songs, myths, stories , war

Colonial era

Convicts, Legitimates and Emancipists

After gaining their ticket of leave, Convicts started referring to themselves as Legitimates. Their thinking was that since they had been "chosen" by the finest judges in England, they were of the few Europeans with a legitimate reason to be in Australia. Later they referred to themselves as Emancipists because it implied they had attained liberty and strove for the liberty of others. The Legitimate/Emancipist identity was maintained with hostility to the Exclusives.

Expression - Songs, flash language, tattoos, convict women mooning wowsers or 'exposing her person.'

"From distant climes, o'er wide-spread seas we come, 
Though not with much eclat, or beat of drum,
True patriots all, for it be understood, 
We left our country for our country's good:
No private views disgraced our generous zeal,
What urged our travels was our country's weal:
And none will doubt that our emigration
Had prov'd most useful to the British Nation."

George Barrington

The Landlord
W.B Gould
The Landlord

The Landlord, by Convict artist W.B Gould, shows an early expression of Australian egalitarianism. It depicts a suited man with a toothless grin. Strict convention amongst noble man of the time was a deadpan expression; especially if one's teeth were missing. Without doubt, Gould had painted an ex-convict whose desire to conform to social prestige had been surpassed by a self-effacing personality.

Note - Identity not defined along racial lines. As a consequence, hostility to Exclusives was far greater than any hostility to Aboriginal tribes.

The Exclusives

The Exclusives were free British settlers, or military officers who had left the service. The Exclusives advocated confining all offices and civic honours to Emigrants with the total exclusion of Emancipists and their offspring.

The Exclusives were extremely pro-British and maintained their identity with a strong hostility to the Legitimates/Emancipists.

Unique class system keeps the colony divided against itself.

Jan 31 Deep divisions exist within New South Wales, greatly adding to the burden of being a people isolated at the bottom of the world, and therefore needing more than ever to live together in harmony.

Historically, the greatest rift has been between the "exclusives" and the "emancipists". The first group believe that anyone who has come to the colony in penal servitude is never capable of complete redemption. These people, who tend to be among the wealthy landowners, thus see themselves as a superior class. For their part, the emancipists, who are all ex-convicts, are concerned with equality of human rights. 
Governor Macquarie, much to his peril, supported the emancipist cause, despite opposition from the forces which believed it would end respect for the law by allowing ex-convicts the normal rights of British citizens.

Since the Bigge inquiry, though, the colony has been re-established much more firmly as a prison rather than for reform, which has only worsened the tension. As well, the emancipists are divided, between those who committed crimes at home, and in Australia. This reflects a third division, being "Sterling", a name for the British-born, and the "Currency", the home-grown population. – Colonial newspaper report

Expression - English flag, English clothes, formal English speech

Note - The Exclusives saw the Aborigines as 'noble savages.' Their thinking was that Aborigines were without sin as they have never learnt it. For this reason, they wanted to prevent Aborigines mixing with Convicts.

1800 – 1850 – Convicts have children

The Native Born - Currency lads and lasses

The first native born in Australia were taunted as the 'wretched' and the lowest class because their parents had been Convicts. This discrimination was institutionalised when it came to the distribution of land grants. Whereas free immigrants were frequently given grants running in thousands of acres, the native born of Convict stock were only allowed sixty acres. 

The bush pioneer became the icon for the native born. Out in the bush, no laws ran and people were free to sing folk songs or live in equality. There was no room for elitism because people on the land needed to rely upon one another in the tough conditions. The identity was maintained with hostility to English immigrants and authority figures.

Expression - Bushranger songs, bush poetry

"Come all you young Australians and everyone besides
I'll sing to you a ditty that will fill you with surprise
Concerning of a ranger bold whose name it was Ben Hall
But cruelly murdered was this day which proved his downfall"

Ballad of Ben Hall

Aboriginal identities

As the colony expanded out from Sydney, the Europeans came into conflict with Aborigines over land. Although tribal identities remained, the Europeans started to take the place of rival tribes as the principle enemy.

Although there was hostility, there was also friendship. Some Aborigines left their tribes and formed good relations with the native born. They worked as droving hands and sang songs with the other drovers. Aside from being admired for their lyrical ability, they were admired for their bush skills. In a sense, their knowledge of the land had them admired as the protypical bushman. Reflecting the admiration for the Aborigines is the use of Aboriginal place names for rural Australia.

1850 - 1900 The gold rush years

Eureka Massacre

The Digger (Miner)

In 1853, the discovery of gold sparked massive waves of immigration. Miners from all over the world descended upon Australia and brought with them ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity. Although they valued self-reliance, independence and resourcefulness, they were also fiercely loyal to their mates.

Egalitarian sentiments were solidified with a dislike of the ruling colonial authorities that were deemed to be corrupt and elitist. This gave rise to a union movement. As the authorities tried to break unions via the importation of Chinese labour, the Chinese became another enemy to solidify the Digger's identity.

"The maiden appearance of our standard, in the midst of armed men, sturdy, self-overworking diggers of all languages and colours, was a fascinating object to behold." Raffaelo Carboni writing about the raising of the Eureka Stocake flag in 1854

' Australia began her political history as a crouching serf kept in subjection by the whip of a ruffian gaoler, and her progress, so far, consists merely in a change of masters. Instead of a foreign slave-driver, she has a foreign admiral; the loud-mouthed tyrant has given place to the suave hireling in uniform; but when the day comes to claim their independence the new ruler will probably prove more dangerous and more formidable that the old.' Rather than 'the day we were lagged', said the Bulletin, Australia's national day should be December 3, the anniversary of the Eureka rebellion, 'the day that Australia set her teeth in the face of the British Lion'. Bulletin, 21 Jan 1888

Expression - Eureka Stockade Flag. No songs were written to glorify the Eureka Stockade. 

The Chinese

At the height of the gold rush, there were up to 100,000 Chinese people in Australia. Chinese newspapers of the time depicted the Chinese as hardworking and the other miners as lazy. Although such stories may have indeed been a reflection upon how the Chinese saw themselves, they may have also been a form of propaganda designed to persuade the Chinese not to complain about being exploited by mining companies.

When the Chinese weren't working for a company, they worked together in teams. It was said that they were very efficient at extracting gold and often went to the mine sites deserted by other Diggers, and found gold that had been missed. This was said to have infuriated the other miners.

Although most of the Chinese returned to China, some stayed and established businesses. Unlike most expat Chinese populations around the world, these Chinese seem to have integrated into the other emerging Australian identities.

Expression - Newspaper articles calling other miners lazy.

Cultural Fusion or Multiculturalism?

The Wowser (activist)

By the turn of the century, the anti-transportation activists of the 1850s had evolved into anti-Chinese activists. The wowsers were very loyal to the English empire and saw themselves as British rather than Australians.


Melbourne Punch, 3 May1888

The picture shows Chinese immigrants trying to get in though a door that ‘YOUNG AUSTRALIA’ is stopping with his arm. Beside the Chinese people is a poster saying ‘PLAGUE SHIP’. The bar for the gate labelled ‘COLONIAL OFFICE’ lies on the ground. ‘OLD AUSTRALIA’ points to a ship labelled ‘CONVICTS’.
The captions on the cartoon say:

"SERVE YOURSELF IF YOU’D BE WELL SERVED."

OLD AUSTRALIA – "RIGHT, MY BOY, YOU’RE WORTHY OF YOUR SIRE. IN THE OLD DAYS I STOPPED THE CONVICTS IN THE BAY AND NOW YOU MUST BAR OUT THE YELLOW PLAGUE WITH YOUR OWN ARM."

 

Expression - Protest marches and posters likening the 'yellow peril' with Convicts. 

Capitalist and outcasts

Words of racial superiority probably did not wash with any Australian of mixed blood or those descedended from Convicts. To the contrary, the stigmisation of the Chinese probably fostered a sense of empathy. The Kelly Gang seemed to be one such group that had time for the Chinese. They were rumoured to have been helped by Chinese (although this might have been propaganda to win the public relations war against the gang.) One member of the gang, Joe Byrne, was on good terms because he could speak fluent Cantonese.

Some sections of the business community could also see the positive side of the Chinese. Perhaps due to the language barrier, Chinese were less likely to join the union movement, and so allowed businesses to pay low wages.

"No one who has paid any attention to the question of the coloured races will attempt for one moment to despise either the Japanese or the Chinese. " William Higgs, Labour Party

"I look upon the whole of the inhabitants of Asia as my friends. I am perfectly willing that they should be called my friends, and I hope so long as God gives me breath that I shall have the courage to stand up for what I consider to be right for them." Edward Pulsford, Free Trade Party

 

Federated nation – 1900- 1950

Arthur Streeton Fire On

Arthur Streeton
Fires On

The Pioneer

The pioneer continued on the bush tradition laid by the previous generations. 

Expression - Paintings by the likes of Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts. Poetry by Banjo Pattern and Henry Lawson.

"But still so slight and weedy, one would doubt his power to stay,
And the old man said, `That horse will never do
For a long and tiring gallop lad, you'd better stop away,
Those hills are far too rough for such as you.'
So he waited sad and wistful only Clancy stood his friend
`I think we ought to let him come,' he said;
`I warrant he'll be with us when he's wanted at the end," Man from Snowy River

Simpson and His Donkey

Digger (soldier)

The Digger had his baptism of fire in the Gallipoli campaign. Rather than hate the enemy, the Diggers seemed to hate the English. The Poms were seen as filthy cowards whose incompetence had resulted in the loss of life of countless Australians.

Perhaps the dislike of Poms made the Diggers better soldiers. It seems as if they felt that they had to prove their superiority over the English on the battlefield.

'Italians with whom I talked found it hard to believe that the Australians were volunteers. They understood their own position. They had been sent to Libya to win glory for Mussolini. They presumed that the Tommies were there merely to defend British Imperial interests. But why were the Australian volunteers there?

The ordinary Digger would have found it difficult to tell you. If you ever persuaded him to talk he would not have spoken of defending freedom, or removing injustice, or of saving the Empire. He might have said, "Oh, I wanted a bit of fun;" or else, "I dunno, I was fed up with my job;" or perhaps, "well, all my cobbers were joining up and so I went along too." Not much more than that. These would not be the real answers. Men may join up for fun or for a change, but if these are the only reasons, they would not go into action and fight through with bayonet and grenade when machine gun bullets kick the dust around their feet and they see the man next to them go down. If you could get the ordinary Australian to say what he really feels, it might be something like this:

"Well, I came away because I believe in a fair go and I wanted to be with my mates; because I like being able to say to a copper, 'That's all right, copper, you got nothin' on me;' because I want to say what I like when we're having a beer at the pub; because I want to do what I like with the few quid I've got in the bank; and because women and kids are being bombed in London and shot in Prague, and someday this might happen at home if we don't do something about it."

It was because they felt the battle was being fought for things like these, which mattered directly to them, that the Mallee farmer and the Kalgoorlie miner, the Bendigo bank clerk and the Sydney solicitor made the soldiers of Tobruk just as they made those at Gallipoli.' Chester Wilmont

Expression - War poetry, Anzac Day, courage on the battlefield

The Wowser (Englishman)

Once the threat of Convicts and Chinese had ended, the Wowsers found themselves somewhat aimless. Some directed their attention to campaigning against frivolous pastimes like gambling and drinking. Others found it immoral for people to jump into the ocean wearing small bathing suits.

With a dislike of these great Australian pastimes, the Wowsers remained obsessive in their support for English values, and moral empowerment.

'Wowsers and gloom-merchants are always saying that we spend too much of our time in sport.' Aussie: the cheerful monthly (Sydney, 1922)

"Yet even today, the act of jumping into the Pacific with as little as possible on the body is regarded with gloomy suspicion by the wowsers." Surf: All about It (1930)

'But members of this odd body of wowsers want the right to force their opinions on to others'. Bulletin (Sydney, 1975)

1950 - 2000- The larrikins, post-modernists

Russel Drysdale The Ruins

Russell Drysdale
The Ruins

The Aboriginal Victim

By the end of World War II, Aboriginal tribal identities had eroded to the extent that white people stopped seeing differences between Aboriginal tribes and instead began viewing them as a homogenous out-group. Names for individual tribes faded away and instead Aborigines, the generic word for an indigenous population, came into use by default.

Aborigines also stopped thinking in cultural terms and instead began to think of themselves in racial terms. Blacks were part of their in-group while all whites were the out-group invaders. Asians were in an undefined category.

Many Aborigines developed a strong identification with black power movements from America. They assimilated rap music, and the baggy style of clothes. Oddly, many Aborigines became Rastarian; except they dropped the green from the colour coding. (Rastafarism is a pseudo-Christian based religion developed by the descendents of slaves wanting to show pride in their African heritage. Its name comes from Prince Rastafari of Ethiopia. It is not possible to be Rastarian without African heritage.)

Perhaps assessments of Aborigines also went downhill in mainstream society. When the bush was held up as the "true Australia", the Aborigines were celebrated as the prototypical bushmen. As the bush lost its iconic status, so too did the Aborigines that lived in it.

Expression - Aboriginal flag, protest marches, music, Aboriginal tent embassy, defiance of white authority

"Our world was shattered by the violence of the Invasion which began when the First Fleet of British Boat people arrived in 1788. Our people were decimated, as the invaders stole our country, imposed their own laws and systems of government on our peoples, forcing our people into concentration camps called "missions". " Aboriginal activist

The Larrikin

Although Larrikins have always been popular in Australia, it wasn't until after World War II that larrikins also became national heroes. The likes of Dawn Fraser and John Newcombe commanded respect across the classes, which made their rule indiscretions difficult to criticise. The result was a change in the meaning of the world larrikin. Instead of conjuring images of street criminals, it conjured images of good-hearted risk takers.

The larrikin identity was maintained by mocking the wowser and subsequently taking delight in their displeasure. 

"Well, I'm [ever | rather] upper class high society
God's gift to ballroom notoriety
I always fill my ballroom
The event is never small
The social pages say I've got
The biggest balls of all" - AC/DC Big Balls

Expression: Praise for icons such as Dawn Fraser, Ned Kelly, John Newcombe. The music of AC/DC and Skyhooks.

 

Expatriate/ global swagman

While the multiculturalists tended to avoid new experiences, the expatriate went searching for them. Some went as backpackers to pull beers in a London pub. Others went as actors to America to make their fortune. Some went to Japan to establish television shows.

The global swagman's desire for new experiences gave rise to the expression that "there is nothing more Australian than spending time in someone elses' country."

Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six foot four and full of muscles
I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
Men at Work

I've been to cities that never close down,
from New York to Rio and old London town,
but no matter how far or how wide I roam,
I still call Australia home.
Peter Allen

Expression - Songs such as Downunder, movies like Crocadile Dundee and iconic expatriates like Nicole Kidman, Russel Crowe, Kylie Minogue, taking a jar of vegemite overseas, Qantas theme: "I Still Call Australia Home."

2000 onwards - Bogans and anti-bogans

Bogans

The word 'bogan' originated in the 1980s in reference to teenagers that listened to heavy metal. Over the following three decades, the category was expanded. The book, "Things Bogans Like" suggests that bogan and Australian are interchangeable terms.

Traditionally, bogan was a term that was negatively applied to people rather than a term people chose to embrace.

Expression - Southern Cross Tattoos, bumper stickers,

Anti-bogans

Anti-bogans are by far the largest social group in Australia and hold most of the power. They do not have a clear idea about what they are, but they know they don't like bogans and are not bogans.

 

Area-7 - Nobody Likes a Bogan

Expression - Songs like "Nobody Likes a Bogan", books such as "Things Bogans Like", the "comedy" of the Chaser and Catherine Deveny

1)https://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1189188/mapping-social-cohesion-national-report-2017.pdf

2) http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4159.0.55.004

 

 

 
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