Is Australia a Class Society? If so, in what sense?

Essay by cheekynicki March 2006

download word file, 14 pages 4.1

Downloaded 151 times


Australia, historically was founded on the notion of a land deviod of class, as equal opportunity for all existed on a country newly born on mispercieved terra nullis. Settlers came as convicts from overcrowded prisons in England and was brought to an entirely new land and a new beginning. Beyond that there was a rigid class division, involving at one level, the transported convicts, at the other level, the military and administrative colonial masters. In every society on earth, whereever and whenever in time, class distinctions are naturally drawn as part of the human nature. Much more so in a capitalist and highly individualistic society than others. This essay will argue that Australia is indeed a class society, however much hidden behind the façade of much paraded "Egalitarian Australia" and Australia is not an society totally deviod of class divisions as history demonstrates and therefore relinquishes its "egalitarian" discription but in relative comparison to other developed and developing countries around the world, it retains a high position in terms of egalitarity.

Egalitarian means the act of "Affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people." ( 2004). In other words, an egalitarian society equals a classless society.

"A social class can be trivially defined by a set of people who share an indentifyable characteristic- wealth, red hair, deplorable morals, a taste for new beer. Characteristics

such as wealth power and prestige, which imply some wort of hierachy and allow to or more categories to be discovered on top of one another."(Connell 1980). Sociallogists have prefered to use the term: social stratification. This essay will prove that Australia is a society historically divided by wealth, gender and steroetyping.


Throughout the years after the arrival of the first fleet in 1788, and...