Bogans, larrikins, surfers and swagmen: Critical examinations of masculinity, whiteness, class, and identity in Australia

Bogans, larrikins, surfers and swagmen: Critical examinations of masculinity, whiteness, class, and identity in Australia

Join Andrea Waling for 'Bogans, larrikins, surfers and swagmen: Critical examinations of masculinity, whiteness, class, and identity in Australia'

This talk offers a historical and contemporary exploration of masculine tropes in Australian culture. While attention has been paid to Australian identity and masculinity, this has been largely done in a fractured manner. Focus on Australian masculine identity has been closely tied to specific identities and categories, specific time periods in Australian culture, specific experiences of certain social institutions (i.e. family, sports, sexuality), or attempts to problematize the experience of men in negotiating ideals of masculinity. As such, there is a dearth of research that ties together how such icons of Australian identity and masculinity are linked to contemporary experiences of Australian men, in particular, in the urban context. To do this, I draw upon a study of literature, art, film and television, and qualitative interviews with 20 young men who reside in Australia. With attention to a range of thematic issues, including race, gender, sexuality, mythmaking, media representation, class, and nationality, it investigates the ways in which white men in Australia take up or reject such ideas. These ways include a contradictory resistance to and adoration of ideals of masculinity, and forms of classed and racial Othering used to differentiate the practice of "good" masculinity from that of "bad" masculinity through the mythic figure of the Bogan.  I conclude with a consideration of reflexive agency more readily in the study of men and masculinity, and challenge scholars to move away from categorical descriptions and theorisations that do not take agency into account.  

About the speaker
Dr Andrea Waling is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Senior Research Fellow (DECRA) at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society.  Her DECRA (2020-2023) research project, "Sexuality, masculinity and technology: men and intimacy in the digital age" ( explores how young, cisgender, heterosexual men in Australia are navigating and negotiating intimacy, sex, and consent in wake of #metoo politics and awareness around sexual violence against women. She is a co-investigator on TechSex (, an ARC Discovery Project which explores medical, mechanical, and digital technologies and their impact on the sexual and intimate lives of Australians. Alongside this, Dr Waling has worked on or led a number of projects exploring men and masculinity, young people and sexual literacy, and LGBTIQ+ health and well-being. She recently published her first sole-authored monograph in 2020, 'White Masculinity in Contemporary Australia: The Good Ol' Aussie Bloke" with Routledge Press based on her PhD research. She is now writing her second sole-authored book, 'Unwrapped: Exploring the Cultural Phenomenon of the Dick Pic' as part of Professor John Mercer and Clarissa Smith's Masculinity, Sex and Popular Culture series.

Event Details
11-12pm Monday 23 August, 2021
Venue: Room 4.69, RSSS Building
Chair: Mary Lou Rasmussen

Meeting ID: 872 1979 3093
Password: 0000

Photo by Lopez Robin on Unsplash.

Date & time

Mon 23 Aug 2021, 11am–12pm


RSSS Building, Room 4.69 and via Zoom


Andrea Waling


Beck Pearse


Updated:  26 July 2021/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications