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Gender and National Identity: Lessons from the Australian Case

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 00:29 authored by Wickes, R, Smith, P, Phillips, T
In recent years, feminist studies have substantially redressed the absence of women from nationalism theory and analysis. This new work has highlighted the symbolic marginalisation of women in dominant ideologies about national imagined communities, and made salient the importance of women’s roles in nationalist projects. Yet there remains little complementary knowledge of the degree of reflexivity, critique or compliance that is taking place with respect to national ideas in contexts of banal nationalism. To what extent are women distinguished from men in their attitudes to established and emergent conceptions of the nation in widely circulating symbol sets? Using data from a national sample survey of 2071 Australians, the research investigates lines of difference between women and men, in aggregate and within social subgroups, in orientation to contesting visions of the nation. Findings show that, in the main, women and men are characterised more by similarity than by divergence in their general dispositions towards ideas of the nation. However, while the results draw attention to the absence of strong disparities between women and men, they also point to the importance of remaining sensitive to the more subtle and nuanced ways in which gender informs national imaginings at the individual level.


Publication title

Australian Journal of Political Science








School of Social Sciences


Carfax Publishing

Place of publication

Rankine Rd, Basingstoke, England, Hants, Rg24 8Pr

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The definitive published version is available online at:

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Socio-economic Objectives

Other culture and society not elsewhere classified

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