Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Forum – exploring stereotypes about Australia and Australians

I was browsing the Geocurrents recent series on the Brazilian elections (Preliminary Observations on Brazil’s 2014 Presidential Election, Regional Stereotypes in Brazil, Brazil’s Soy Empire: Mato Grosso in the 2014 Election). There I came across a link to this site, National Stereotypes. It’s quite fun. On Australia: Australian Stereotypes or 25 Pictures That Prove Australia Is The Craziest. Or you can combine stereotypes:
“ In heaven, the cops are British, the lovers are French, the food is Italian, the cars are German, and the whole thing is run by the Swiss.
In hell, the cops are German, the lovers are Swiss, the food is British, the cars are French, and the whole thing is run by the Italians.”
Or in the case of Brazil, Brazilian women!
Obviously stereotypes and stereotyping has its negative side. A prejudice is a stereotype writ large. The SBS series  First Contact deals with this, if in a way that I rather dislike.

Still, I thought that I might devote this Monday forum to collecting a few stereotypes about Australia. They might be Australian’s perspectives of themselves, others’ perspectives of Australians, or Australians’ perspectives of other parts of Australia, cities or regions.

Feel free to wander in any direction you like.

In North Queensland, for example, people wear big hats and talk like Bob Katter; do the chardonnay drinking socialists of Bungendore still exist?; is Adelaide in a constant state of rebellion against its puritan past?; are drop bears parse?; what do you think of the latest Bundaberg rum ad?. This, by the way, is the ad. It seems to me that Bundaberg has moved away from the Australian stereotype of its past to try to capture another set of stereotypes!

Well, I leave this discussion in your hands.   

And for kvd, this is a drop bear ad:


Anonymous said...

I have no idea about the chardonnay drinking socialists of Bundaberg, but their ad is incomprehensible. Time used to be that I could immediately identify the stereotypes being... stereotyped, but what's with that ad? And also, I thought the polar bear used to flog some sort of light, dry beer during the Boxing Day cricket?

Perhaps I am myself passe?


Jim Belshaw said...

Hi kvd. No the drop bear was Bundaberg. They pride themselves on quirky ads.

Rummuser said...

For Indians the Australian stereotype is determined by the Australian cricket players' behaviour on the cricket field. It is a popular belief that they cannot play without sledging and so all Austrlians are thought of as being sledgers. Many other cricket playing nations would agree too.

Jim Belshaw said...

That's a tad depressing, Ramana!