Essay on Rags and Riches articls, explring the aritocratic Australian Culture

Essay by NeesieHigh School, 11th grade March 2005

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Identity is a very important part of being Australian; it is a feeling of being associated with a national group, defined by a common heritage, which may be based on many attributes, including, race, language, territory and history. The article "Rags and Riches" written by Phil Brown addresses these issues of Australian identity. Both past and present views of popular culture are reinforced by a range of texts to construct a sense of national ideology. This text challenges traditional concepts of nationhood by constructing a powerful representation of a very materialistic and aristocratic Australian culture. This essay will explore this in relation to the discourses of race, class and consumerism.

The discourse of class focuses on Australia's culture and foregrounds a very wealthy and highly successful society; however, aspects of the working and lower class are silenced. The article focuses on Rafaat Imam as an example of a successful business man.

It constructs Australian males as a species of more sophisticated tastes. This is suggesting that safari suits and long socks that were once considered the 'Australian image' has changed to ritzy labels like Giorgio Armani and Gianni Versace, which the 'average working class Australian' could not afford. It is also an intertextual reference to Hollywood, where labels equals beauty and success. The author interviewed Rafaat Imam over lunch at Tattersall's Club. This club is a male only club, where only the highly rich and highly successful dine. The text focuses on Imam's successful business which has earned him respect in Australia and internationally. Though Imam is highly successful and respected, he started off as an Aussie battler, and required mateship to succeed. It can be seen that the traditional ideas of the Aussie battler and mateship have changed to a modern and refined term. In...