Constructions of Australianness in contemporary Australian drama : Blue heelers & Heartbreak High

Dorian, Jennifer (1999) Constructions of Australianness in contemporary Australian drama : Blue heelers & Heartbreak High. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

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Abstract

This thesis will examine how Australianness is constructed in two contemporary Australian television dramas - Heartbreak High and Blue Heelers. Founded on the critical tradition of "Cultural Studies", this work will employ text analysis to deconstruct these dramas and examine the ways in which they manifest Australian cultural identity. However, this thesis recognises that Australianness is not a constant, tangible phenomenon, but rather a series of constructions, each purporting to be "real". Hence I will be acknowledging that there is not one, singular national identity from which to draw representations, but many different, conflicting cultural identities. Each program constructs a very different view of Australian life and culture. Heartbreak High follows the lives of a group of high school students amidst a multicultural, urban environment and is aimed primarily at a teen audience. On the other hand, Blue Heelers appeals to an older, more conservative audience with its focus on a small police station in rural Victoria. Some of the issues to be addressed in the main body of the text include the programs constructions of "Australian" characteristics such as mateship and egalitarianism, and whether these dramas perpetuate the cultural division between rural and urban Australia. Overall this thesis aims to provide a thorough examination of the images of Australia these two programs construct and to question their origin, meaning and relevance tocontemporary Australian society.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 35909
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Bruce, Graham
Additional Information: Presented to the School of Media and Journalism, Queensland University of Technology.
Keywords: Television serials Social aspects Australia, National characteristics, Australian, Australianness, Australian cultural identity, national identity, Australian television drama, textual analysis, Blue heelers, Heartbreak High, thesis, masters
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Jennifer Dorian
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2010 13:03
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2017 02:30

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