Class Contestations and Australia's Resource Boom: The Emergence of the 'Cashed-up Bogan'
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This article examines the figure of the ‘Cashed-up Bogan’ or ‘Cub’ in Australian media from 2006 to 2009. It explains that ‘Bogan’, like that of ‘Chav’ in Britain, is a widely engaged negative descriptor for the white working-class poor. In contrast, ‘Cubs’ have economic capital. This capital, and the Cub’s emergence, is linked to Australia’s resource boom of recent decades when the need for skilled labour allowed for a highly demarcated segment of the working class to earn relatively high incomes in the mining sector and to participate in consumption. We argue that access to economic capital has provided the Cub with mobility to enter the everyday spaces of the middle class, but this has caused disruption and anxiety to middle-class hegemony. As a result, the middle class has redrawn and reinforced class-infused symbolic and cultural boundaries, whereby, despite their wealth, pernicious media representations mark Cubs as ‘other’ to the middle-class deservingness, taste and morality.
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