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About face : Asian representations of Australia

by Broinowski, Alison Elizabeth; alison.broinowski@anu.edu.au, null

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis considers the ways in which Australia has been publicly represented in ten Asian societies in the twentieth century. It shows how these representations are at odds with Australian opinion leaders? assertions about being a multicultural society, with their claims about engagement with Asia, and with their understanding of what is ?typically? Australian. It reviews the emergence and development of Asian regionalism in the twentieth century, and considers how Occidentalist strategies have come to be used to exclude and marginalise Australia. A historical survey outlines the origins of representations of Australia in each of the ten Asian countries, detecting the enduring influence both of past perceptions and of the interests of each country?s opinion leaders. Three test cases evaluate these findings in the light of events in the late twentieth century: the first considers the response in the region to the One Nation party, the second compares that with opinion leaders? reaction to the crisis in East Timor; and the third presents a synthesis of recent Asian Australian fiction and what it reveals about Asian representations of Australia from inside Australian society. The thesis concludes that Australian policies and practices enable opinion leaders in the ten countries to construct representations of Australia in accordance with their own priorities and concerns, and in response to their agendas of Occidentalism, racism, and regionalism.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:asia asians australia australians image representations public opinion leaders multicultural society engagement with occidentalism regionalism racism asianisation the typical australian myths chinese japanese indians koreans southeast indonesians filipinos malaysians singaporeans thais vietnamese twentieth century

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Date of Publication:01/01/2002

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