“the Portrayals of Australia’s National Identity Presented in the Australian Media Bear Little Resemblance to Contemporary Reality” Essay

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It is difficult to define national identity through the use of a single distinctive meaning. A literal meaning of national identity as defined in Dictionary.com (2013) refers to ‘the depiction of a country as a whole, encompassing its culture, traditions, language and politics’. In a metaphorical sense, making meaning of this term in relation to a diverse nation such as Australia is somewhat complex. It is argued that national identity is apparent through various types of shared texts, experiences and objects, but that within this created commonality exist differences (Alberts & Miller, 2002). Therefore it may refer to an identity which is created by the mass media with intentions of creating a nation by counterfeiting a unity for the nation to be identified with. The meaning of national identity on a personal level refers to the experiences and everyday lives of its citizens, in other words, each individual has their own national identity. Rossi (2006) states that it is a struggle to form a national identity, especially in Australia as it cannot do justice to the diverse groups and cultures living in the country and how they see the nation as well as their relationship with it. Therefore the meaning for national identity may remain a continuous search in favour of character, individuality and belonging. Rembold & Carrier (2011) explained that search may be created through the use of two approaches; a traditional approach based on the cultural group that came to exist before nationalism or a modern approach which is socially constructed. In an attempt to find and define national identity, Australia exercises both approaches where this attempt is constructed through the use of early Australian society as well as the Aboriginal heritage. National identity is constantly developing within the Australian diverse society which does not allow it to be labelled with one

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