Beauty contest for the British bulldogs? Negotiating (trans)national identities in suburban Melbourne
AuthorWILLS, SARA; Darian-Smith, Kate
Source TitleCultural Studies Review
PublisherMelbourne University Press
AffiliationArts: Department of History
Arts: The Australian Centre
Document TypeJournal (Paginated)
CitationsWills, S., & Darian-Smith, K. (2003). Beauty contest for the British bulldogs? Negotiating (trans)national identities in suburban Melbourne. Cultural Studies Review, 9(2), 65-83.
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
‘Britfest’ is a local festival held in the Melbourne suburb of Frankston. Like the numerous festivals of ethnicity in Australia that simultaneously celebrate cultural distinction and national incorporation, Britfest offers a historically specific reaction to the re-imagining of the nation. This article examines this new expressive tendency within the context of recent debates about Britishness in Australia, and explores the ramifications for identity formation and cultural affiliation among British migrants. By locating this analysis in Frankston, we aim to provide a situated example of the ways in which British ethnic identities are being negotiated. Such localised and specific responses, however, are operating within and are influenced by the broader context of shifting representations of a diverse British diaspora. Like British-Australians, members of this diaspora also inhabit nations shaped by the legacies of British imperialism, colonisation and migration. Shifting meanings of Britishness also represent and inform a more general ‘crisis of whiteness’, indicating how culturally embedded the colonial equation of Britishness with whiteness has been for those who imagine themselves at the core of the contemporary Australian nation.
KeywordsBritish migrants; transnationalism; diaspora; nationhood; Victoria; Australia; popular culture; local festivals
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