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Battle for the Flag

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POD

Johns, Amelia

Ten years after the Cronulla riots, the violence, racism and branding of young bodies with signs and symbols of Australian nationalism, along with the reprisal attacks by Lebanese-Australian youth, continues to inflame discussions about race relations in Australia, with many conversations shifting away from ideas of multiculturalism and cultural diversity, and towards patriotism, localism, security and fear of the (predominantly) Muslim 'Other'.
Battle for the Flag contextualises and challenges the narrative by drawing upon participant observation and interviews conducted with local residents of diverse backgrounds. By paying attention to the voices of bystanders and those involved, the riot is identified as an unstable and fluid formation, where the Australian flag, the beach and whiteness itself was co-opted into a much more contingent, contested and subcultural formation than hitherto described.


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