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

Henry John Paternoster, Deborah Warr, Keith Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-445
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sociology
Volume54
Issue number3
Early online dateApr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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