Good Readers and Good Citizens: Literature, Media and the Nation


Parses the difference between nationalism and the nation. 'To show the oppressive, homogenising and frankly racist operations of nationalism—to suggest why historically and as a mode of 'culturalist' thinking nationalism always tends this way—leaves a great deal still unsaid about the way the category of the nation organises and enables the production, circulation and evaluation of culture, and how it does so in specific ways in this place. Having said that we should also say, on the other side, that to argue that the idea of the nation and its institutions have a massive effect in organising culture in Australia is by no means equivalent to seeing nationality as an exhaustive, or even a necessary, category. Most culture happens either below or beyond the horizon of nation. Nonetheless, if we are interested in cultural history, there will be limits to what we can say before bumping up against the nation as an idea or, more important, an institutional structure.'

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Published 1 October 1999 in Volume 19 No. 2. Subjects: Australian culture, Australian identity, Australian literary criticism, Australian literature and writers, Critical theories & approaches, Mass media, Nationalism, Popular culture, Postcolonial criticism.

Cite as: Carter, David. ‘Good Readers and Good Citizens: Literature, Media and the Nation.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 19, no. 2, 1999, doi: 10.20314/als.d9cd094fbf.