Australian civilisation

Nile, Richard (1994) Australian civilisation. Oxford University Press, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

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Abstract

Australian civilisation is described in this book with subtlety and irony as a 'wildly problematic, discursive and sometimes cranky thing. It can be a sensitive thing. It can still be chauvinistic'. The book brings together leading intellectuals who discuss the various dynamics of civilisation in the Australian context. They debate openly and honestly the strengths and weaknesses of Australian civilisation. The contributors each narrate Australian civilisation from monographic viewpoints. By considering Aboriginality, Henry Reynolds and John Barnes produce 'History' and 'Legend'. By analysing Australia's cultural and demographic diversity Bruce Bennett, James Jupp and Laksiri Jayasuriya produce 'Myth', 'Identity' and 'Citizens'. Sexuality and political discourse surrounding issues of gender result in 'Homosexuality' by Dennis Altman and 'Women' by Margaret Reynolds. Political culture brings forth 'Politicians' by Sol Encel and 'Intellectuals' by James Walter. The production, reproduction, dissemination and reception of culture produces 'Cringers', 'Strutters', and 'Culture' from Elaine Thompson, Chris Wallace-Crabbe and Andrew Milner. Together these monographic views narrate the central concerns of this volume. The production of a master narrative is resisted. But it is equally obvious that in the diversity of approaches - the pluralism of the monographic views - there are recurring important themes. This timely book is concerned with the tremendous changes that have overtaken Australia in the second half of this century. It demonstrates that many time-honoured beliefs have been broken up, but argues that this intensely creative period has seen Australia transformed from a provincial inward-looking society with blinkered conceptions of history and self-importance to one of the world's oldest and most successful liberal plural democracies.

Item ID: 54313
Item Type: Book (Edited)
ISBN: 0 19 553504 9
Keywords: Australian civilisation, multicultural Australia, Australian legends, Australian history
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2020 02:26
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History @ 25%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 75%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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