Communication

New PDF release: The Politics of Identity in Australia

By Geoffrey Stokes

ISBN-10: 052158356X

ISBN-13: 9780521583565

This significant number of essays represents an important rethinking of bought rules on identification, and divulges how problems with identification lie on the middle of Australian political inspiration, and shape the basis of Australian society and tradition. It offers a accomplished advent to the political discourse surrounding Australian identification via a attention of key topics. The ebook rejects many assumptions underlying modern political debates, together with the promulgation of a unique nationwide id in ancient truth or as a political aim.

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In fact, realistically, Labour can never adapt enough to become the 'natural inheritor' of capitalism (Hall 1988a: 209). The Australian experience suggests that Hall may be mistaken. The Hawke government enjoyed considerable electoral success while depicting itself as a government that had both adapted to the present and was a 'natural inheritor' of capitalism. The Hawke government expounded a vision of a future built on temporary restraint: a technologically superior, twenty-first century Australia where, by dint of hard work, flexibility and brains, the 'lucky country' would become the 'clever country' with a high standard of living.

The Hawke government placed much more emphasis than did Thatcherism on people being members of social groups that were working together, on a co-operative capitalism rather than an individualistic enterprise POLITICAL LEADERS AND IDENTITY 41 culture. Whereas Thatcher attacked unions, Hawke sought union cooperation with business. In short, Hawke appealed to a form of group identity, Thatcher to a conception of individual identity. Partly because of his contentious belief that New Right Thatcherite economics could be 'dismantled in a moment' (Hall 1988b: 59, 63), Hall has been highly critical of 'rational' accounts of political ideology, in which individuals are 'interpellated' (to use an Althusserian term) into a rational calculus and framework of identity (cited Franklin et al.

Johnson 1989, 1990a, 1990b; Watts 1990; Stilwell 1993). Nevertheless, feminist and left critiques do not change the fact that the appeal of the ALP government was a very broad, if somewhat economistic, one. 4 Although Hawke was the key architect of consensus policies, Keating (1987: 175) endorsed Hawke's broad direction, arguing that 'the major achievements of the Australian Labor Party ... have always come when Labor most effectively identified with the objectives and aspirations of the Australian people as a whole'.

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The Politics of Identity in Australia by Geoffrey Stokes


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