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Constructing the 'white' worker in North Australia

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • The construction of the white worker in early twentieth-century Australia was

    an integral part of a broader process by which the new nation was imagined

    as egalitarian, but where equality was available only to white citizens. This

    formulation becomes complicated when considered in the context of the multiethnic workforce in northern Australia. Where nationalist white unionists took part in characterising the work done by non-white workers as coolie or slave labour, they unwittingly maintained a social hierarchy that privileged race over class. This colonial hierarchy granted privilege to white people on the basis of their standing as colonial masters, but there was no place in this

    system for a white working class.

Publication Date


  • 2007

Citation


  • Martinez, J. T. (2007). Constructing the 'white' worker in North Australia. In L. Boucher, J. L. Carey & K. Ellinghaus (Eds.), Historicising Whiteness: Transnational Perspectives on the Construction of an Identity (pp. 115-123). Melbourne: RMIT Publishing in association with the School of Historical Studies, University of Melbourne.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/772

Start Page


  • 115

End Page


  • 123

Place Of Publication


  • Melbourne

Abstract


  • The construction of the white worker in early twentieth-century Australia was

    an integral part of a broader process by which the new nation was imagined

    as egalitarian, but where equality was available only to white citizens. This

    formulation becomes complicated when considered in the context of the multiethnic workforce in northern Australia. Where nationalist white unionists took part in characterising the work done by non-white workers as coolie or slave labour, they unwittingly maintained a social hierarchy that privileged race over class. This colonial hierarchy granted privilege to white people on the basis of their standing as colonial masters, but there was no place in this

    system for a white working class.

Publication Date


  • 2007

Citation


  • Martinez, J. T. (2007). Constructing the 'white' worker in North Australia. In L. Boucher, J. L. Carey & K. Ellinghaus (Eds.), Historicising Whiteness: Transnational Perspectives on the Construction of an Identity (pp. 115-123). Melbourne: RMIT Publishing in association with the School of Historical Studies, University of Melbourne.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/772

Start Page


  • 115

End Page


  • 123

Place Of Publication


  • Melbourne