Making the modern mate : BASA 2006 Conference paper, University of Exeter, Cornwall

McLaren, John (2006) Making the modern mate : BASA 2006 Conference paper, University of Exeter, Cornwall. In: BASA Conference, 7-10 Sept. 2006, University of Exeter in Cornwall, Penryn. (Unpublished)


Contains a literary discussion on Australian identity. Australians are often accused of being overly worried about their identity. I am not sure that we worry about this more than dwellers in other lands. Scots and Welsh are insistent that they are not English, and some friends of mine from Northern England are insistent that they have a quite different identity from their southern compatriots. Americans seem concerned with whether the rest of the world loves them, and Canadians are concerned that they are not mistaken for US Americans. New Zealanders are most insistent that they are not Australians. Yet a reading of the Mackay Reports on social attitudes over the last 25 years suggests that most Australians are quite happy with who they are. In terms remarkably similar to Russel Ward's in The Australian Legend, respondents describe the typical Australian as "masculine (and a bit of a larrikin), sociable and friendly, spontaneous, fun-loving, lacking in national pride, versatile and resourceful, a good sport, tough, resilient, self-deprecating, down to earth (no bullshit), ... [and]... laid back, often to the point of laziness ...".

Item type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1606 Political Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Historical > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Current > Collections > McLaren Papers
Keywords literature, Australia, mateship, tradition, novels, egalitarianism, British Australian Studies Association, MCLAREN-BOXVB1-DOC1
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