The heroic/shameful role of labour: mythology in the making of White Australia

Griffiths, Phil (2009) The heroic/shameful role of labour: mythology in the making of White Australia. In: Legacies 09 Conference, 13-14 Feb 2009, Toowoomba, Australia.

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For the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, the Labor Party boasted that the labour movement had played a central role in creating the White Australia policy, and the popular media legitimised that claim. But when historians and activists decided that White Australia had been a racist policy, labour's triumph was simply converted into labour’s shame. This paper will contest the mythology of White Australia as a labour movement creation, focusing on the famous Seamen’s strike of 1878-79 against the replacement of European crews with Chinese sailors. It will look at both ruling class opinion in general and the conservative press in Queensland in particular.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Unpublished. Authors retain copyright. Not refereed.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2009 12:53
Last Modified: 21 May 2014 05:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: White Australia, ruling class, conservative, mythology, seamen's strike
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160601 Australian Government and Politics
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940116 Social Class and Inequalities

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