Essay on Mateship in Australian Films

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Mateship in Australian Films

Mateship has long been a major aspect of the national image as projected by Australian films, yet the moralities of mateship and the image of men as mates did not go unchallenged. Australian cinema as a significant part of the whole industry of image-makers in the country, the way it portrays mateship, the single most important mythic element in the cultural identity of Australia, is worth analysing.

This paper first reviews the historical background of mateship in Australia and its contemporary development. The review here serves as a general discussion of mateship that provides the potential readers with some basic understandings of the idea, and as background
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used to a casual acquaintance and esp. in recent use…ironic.'

Other dictionaries also have their definitions of the two terms.

Mate is 'Companion, fellow worker, form of address among equals, especially sailors and labourers. 2. One of a pair, especially of birds; fitting partner in marriage etc' (Concise Oxford Dictionary).

Mateship is 'The quality or state of being a mate. 2. A code of conduct among men stressing equality and friendship' (The Macquarie Dictionary).

In his sociology paper, Professor Robert Bell (1973, p1) defines mateship as 'the sex segregated involvement of men and it implies both physical and intellectual exclusion of women.' Miriam Dixson (1976, cited by Ken Inglis, 1998, p417), from another point of view, defines mateship as including sublimation of homosexuality.

The definitions of mateship and mate cited here are by no means comprehensive and exhaustive. Nevertheless, from the variety of them, it is evident that mateship in Australia is conceived

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