Culture and Customs of Australia

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004 - History - 191 pages
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Students and other interested readers finally have a solid resource that describes the breadth of the evolving modern Australian society. Culture and Customs of Australia is the first general introduction to the rugged continent, written by an Australian novelist with particular insight. Clancy focuses on the Anglo-Irish and more recent immigrants, but the Aboriginal context is also presented.

Americans' generally superficial familiarity with the Australian continent stems mostly from recent films. Particular images stand out: the Outback, sheep shearing, surfing, the Sydney Opera House, Aborigines, and the Walkabout. Yet Europeans arrived in the late 18th century, followed by convict transports from England that started the colonization. Today, Australia remains a land of immigrants, and its ethnically diverse population has increased dramatically since World War II. Students and other interested readers finally have a solid resource that describes the breadth of the evolving modern Australian society. Culture and Customs of Australia is the first general introduction to the rugged continent, written by an Australian novelist with particular insight. Clancy focuses on the Anglo-Irish and more recent immigrants, but the Aboriginal context is also presented.

Readers will learn about the Australian identity, with its male mythology of the Bush. The mateship is the core element of a myth of independent, self-sufficient, freedom-loving citizens in a harsh land. This myth is set against multiculturalism and feminism. Other highlights include discussion of the weak hold that Christianity has over the population; the drastic urbanization of the last century and the suburban dream; adventure and the beach culture, with tourism; the importance of sports; the changing roles of men; the evolving cuisine, from the national barbeque to European and Asian influences; strong and long literary, artistic, and performing arts traditions; film industry talent; and the power of media in a sparsely populated country.

  

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Contents

The Land People and History
1
Thought and Religion
31
Marriage Gender and Children
51
Holidays and Leisure Activities
65
Cuisine and Fashion
85
Literature
95
The Media and Cinema
121
The Performing Arts
137
Painting
151
Architecture
171
Bibliography
185
Index
189
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

LAURIE CLANCY is an Australian novelist now teaching creative writing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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