chapter  4
17 Pages

Migrants, Masculinities and Work in the Australian National Imaginary


The narrative of work and the fi gure of the worker are central to the Australian national imaginary (Hearn and Knowles 2006). In this chapter we explore how ‘the worker’ is constantly centred and recentred on the white male against his others. Thus we seek to elicit how debates about capital, labour and migration do the ‘border work’ of the raced nation. By ‘border work’ we refer to migration as a range of strategic engagements in the contact zone between ‘host’ society and migrants that negotiate and manage difference” (Hodge and O’Carroll, 2006). Border construction and border maintenance produce and maintain difference, but possibilities also exist for blurring borders and challenging hegemonies (Somerville and Perkins, 2003).