National Identity Essay

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EDUC 289 Assignment One: short written response There have been many questions asked about national identity over time such as ‘what is the Australian national identity?’ is there more than one definition and ‘who is truly Australian?’ It can be difficult to define Australia’s national identity as it is a nation built by people of many different backgrounds, beliefs, morals and traditions. A general definition is the way we perceive ourselves and the way others perceive us. Although national identity is a lot more than that as Crabb (1985) defines national identity “as the sum of all the qualities, real or imaginary, which in the minds of Australian people distinguishes Australia”. However the issue with defining Australian identity is that there are so many different perception and stereotypes of what the general Australian person is all about. Australian identity is stereotypically perceived as the ‘Aussie-larrikin’ with the sense of ‘mateship’ and everyone getting a ‘fair-go’. This can be dated back to the early settlement of The British colony and their attempts to tame the ‘bushland’. The ability to withstand ‘hardship’ was the foundational identity of Australia and this grew overtime with factors of historical significance related to the gold rush days; federation; the depression; the world wars and the development on an ANZAC tradition; immigration and the internationalist era of today (Phillips, 1998). Healey (2010) asks “do we as people have an ideal or actual view of our collective identity, or should we in fact embrace and celebrate multiple identities?” Based on all of these definitions it is evident that many people have different views of what Australia’s actual identity is and will be an ongoing topic of debate for many more years. The media perpetrates Australia’s national identity through Australian citizenship, symbols and values,

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