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The Australian self-image of a perfectly egalitarian society has always been fraught with paradox. We are all equal, yet racism, sexism and xenophobia have all flourished. We are a classless society, yet the cultural cringe exists.
In this penetrating book, Dr. Elaine Thompson tackles many of the issues surrounding Australian egalitarianism: Did our egalitarian drive create a nation in which 'sameness' was so important that we did not see and cherish diversity? What of the accusation that egalitarianism cuts down tall poppies and undermines progress?
In particular, this book explores the origins of political egalitarianism - the transformation from a culture which defined itself by white Britishness to one which cherishes multicultural diversity. Special emphasis is also placed on the economic, social and cultural positions of women, non-Anglo immigrants and indigenous people.
Associate Professor Elaine Thompson teaches in the School of Political Science at the University of NSW.
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