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The enigma of the bogan and its significance to class in Australia: A socio-historical analysis


Paternoster, HJ and Warr, D and Jacobs, K, The enigma of the bogan and its significance to class in Australia: A socio-historical analysis, Journal of Sociology, 54, (3) pp. 429-445. ISSN 1440-7833 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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© The Author(s) 2018

DOI: doi:10.1177/1440783318769752


This analysis offers a historical perspective to chart the contested discourses that inform understandings of the figure of the ‘bogan’, suggesting its evocation reflects unresolved tensions and accumulated meanings left by the various reconfigurations of class politics since colonial settlement in Australia. We focus on three key historical periods to show how socio-political formations influence both classed identities and class relations: the 1890s, when the ethos of the labour movement was established as the central imaginative motif of a nascent Australian nation; the post-war years, when Robert Menzies offered a political project grounded in the experiences of the middle classes; and the 1990s, where there were complex translocations of class allegiances. We trace how several meaning(s) of class have accumulated and been reworked across these periods and, related to this, how the ‘bogan’ is a composite of left- and right-wing political ideas that articulate different kinds of virtue and unworthiness.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:class, class culture, culture, methodology, political sociology, social movements, sociological theory, sociology
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Civics and citizenship
UTAS Author:Jacobs, K (Professor Keith Jacobs)
ID Code:125682
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2018-04-30
Last Modified:2018-12-17

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