On the beach : exploring the complex egalitarianism of the Australian beach

Ellison, Elizabeth (2014) On the beach : exploring the complex egalitarianism of the Australian beach. In Horatschek, Anna-Margaretha, Roseberg, Yvonne, & Schaebler, Daniel (Eds.) Navigating Cultural Spaces : Maritime Places. Rodopi, Amsterdam, Netherlands, pp. 221-235.

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Australia, internationally, is known as a beach loving country, particularly in popular culture. The beach did not figure significantly in academic discussion before the 1980s when Fiske, Hodge, and Turner (1987, 54) researched the beach as a space of myth, seeing it as an integral part of the modern Australian identity. One common myth in Australia is that the beach is an equaliser, a place of multiple ethnicities, shapes, sizes, and genders (Dutton, 1985). I agree that the beach remains a significant aspect of Australian identity; however, limiting its meaning to a mythic space contributing to a homogenous national identity is not adequate. This paper will explore how Australian texts comment on or challenge the myth of the beach as an egalitarian space. I argue that recent Australian texts show a more complex, layered representation of this concept; and that the beach also in this respect can no longer be understood as a myth transcending difference.

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ID Code: 65470
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: beaches, egalitarianism, Australian literature, national identity, Tim Winton, Robert Drewe, Nevil Shute
ISBN: 9789042038622
ISSN: 1871-689X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > OTHER STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190999) > Studies in the Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified (199999)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LITERARY STUDIES (200500) > Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature) (200502)
Divisions: Past > Schools > Creative Writing & Literary Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Editions Rodopi B.V., Amsterdam - New York, NY
Deposited On: 29 Jan 2014 22:57
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2017 02:04

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