Gender, Class and Sexuality in Contemporary Australia: Representations of the Boganette
Over the past decade, a dominant figure in Australian sociocultural constructions has been that of 'the bogan', which, although capricious, has typically been deployed as a negative descriptor of the white working-class poor. In this paper, we examine media representations of this ubiquitous figure from 2009 to 2012 through a gender lens. In the texts, 'the bogan' is implicitly and explicitly rendered masculine, with the feminised archetype, the 'female bogan' (or 'boganette') as supplement or 'other'. Drawing on feminist cultural theory of class, we examine depictions of the female bogan that invoke her identity-as-mother as a source of scorn while affording considerable attention that disparages her embodied self. Following this, we explore how the chosen media texts position the bogan and the female bogan in relation to feminism and the sexualisation of culture. Collectively, these texts demonstrate both shifts and continuities in what are powerfully fused gender and class discourses of the female working class.
Australian Feminist Studies