Free Essay About Australian Studies, Australian Stereotypes: Larrikins And Ockers
Australian Studies, Australian Stereotypes: Larrikins and Ockers
The Ocker and the Larrinkin are stereotypes used in Australia when making references to certain class of people. The two notions of masculinity were used to describe the behavior and actions of people in the society. The larrikins were associated with aggression and violence. It is for this reason that sportsmen were regarded as Larrikins (John, 2009).
Larrikins are people who are able to joke even if faced with adversities. For example the ability of two miners to make their rescue humorous was regarded as the laconic Australian style. Larrikinism is marked by being skeptical and able to mock authority. Referring to a person as a larrikin is to excuse the bad behavior that they exhibit.
The two cultures were depicted in writings and films. The characters had differences according to different writers and film makers. The character traits of the characters also varied with time. The larrikin have the charisma and strength that covers uncertain internal matters. Larrikins also take risks such as alcoholism (John, 2009). The consequences of their risky lifestyle are dangerous but they choose to ignore them. There also exist differences between the traditional larrikin and the modern larrikin. The modern larrikin is humorous while the original Larrikin was regarded as humorless.
The two terms larrikins and oackers make reference to the peculiar characteristic of people in society. The stereotypes have also been used by the political class in Australia to appeal to the masses that are believed to exhibit those characteristics. Kevin rude, a former prime minister of Australia could use some ocker cultural elements to appeal to the masses during his tenure in office.
The two cultures demonstrating masculinity have differences. The emergence of these two cultures has had its effects on the Australian society. The history of Ocker dates back to 1916. The ocker was a character who was popular in a satirical movie produced in 1916 (Robert, 2009). It was used to refer to people who were uncultured and barbaric. The shoe of Mavis Bramstone marked the beginning of the ocker culture. The culture was complete by the 1970’s. The term Larrikin is traceable to the colonial days. Colonial children were considered unruly and disciplined. The urbanization of Australia increased the problem of law enforcement among the over-indulged youthful population. The term larrikins was developed due to the concern about the colonial children by the respectable community.
The term larrikin was used to refer to young middle class people who lived their lives to the fullest. They were a group of people who were a little mischievous but good hearted. This group had a sense of humour that covered up the bad things that they had done. The larrikinism culture has been treated with respect in Australia. The culture has become acceptable among the youth. Larrikins which are not criminals have been embraced by the mostly middle class youths in Australia.
Despite the larrikins behavior which sometimes goes against the social and moral expectations, they are loved. Their mischief and behavior is treated more kindly than that of the ockers. The conduct of these people is often treated as boisterous and not criminal (John, 2009). The death of Darren Millane which was very emotional was as the result of recklessness, but even then his actions were not considered to criminal. This is an indication society is ready to forgive the faults made by the larrikins.
The larrikins were considered to people who got reckless after being half drunk. They did not consider the consequences of their actions. However, there is no agreement about the physical characteristics of the larrikins. A common ground was that the Larrikins occupied the footpaths and they used foul language against respectable people who passed through the footpath. The larrikins had no respect for the police. If they had the numbers, they assaulted and harassed the police. The larrikins were distinctly dressed. They donned bell- bottom trousers and high heeled boots. The larrikins shaved their hair clean and, therefore, looked different from other people. They walked with swag.
However, the larrikins were not treated as a threat to the society. They passed out more as nuisance rather than societal threats. The bourgeoisies, therefore, had no reason to hate this class of people. The larrikin culture was depicted as comedy to society and not as a threat that should be prevented (Croft, 2009). The larrikins were cartoonists, and this character endeared them to the people despite their mischievous behaviors. They showed less respect to authority. Most writers depicted the larrikins as people who showed a bit of disrespect for authority yet they were good company. Edward Dyson depicted the character of a larrikin in his character Chiller Green.
Ockerism is regarded as the variant of larrikins. Ocker is a form of cultural abuse. Ockers share certain characteristics with the larrikins but they also differ (Robert, 2009). They are as loud mouthed as the larrikins and are also performers. However, ockers are ill-mannered and bigoted. The ill-manners and intolerance make them different from the larrikins. The larrikins enjoy company and are humorous. This characteristic is lacking in the ockers. The ockers are described by some as people who were the low stratum of the society.
Ockerism did not retain the heroic qualities that existed in the larrikins. It only retained the boorishness and loud mouth. The good qualities present in larrikins are not present among ockers. Williamson believes that the ockers character is associated with the affluent middle class due to post war reorganization. After the war period, the working class in Australia moved to the city suburbs with their culture.
The ockers are considered to be similar to the larrikins though they exhibit bloated affluence. They no longer consider self deprivation as a way of life. To some people the ockers are a bloated version of the larrikins. The ockers do not have to patrol the streets like the larrikins. They are comfortable with the barbecue.
The ockers are also depicted as chauvinists by writers (Robert, 2009). This character distinguishes them from the larrikins. Williamson’s depiction of an ocker character calling someone’s wife ‘that bitch of yours’ is a manifestation of chauvinism. The character of the male person is portrayed as chauvinistic. The woman is considered to be on a lower level in the classical ockers society. There exists a difference between larrikins and ockers in this respect. There also exists female larrikins who behave like their male counterparts. This, therefore, means that there is no characteristic that is peculiarly the males in the larrikin culture. The ocker shows that alcohol drinking and the use of foul language is a male characteristic.
The two notions of masculinity was an attempt to understand the culture of the people of Australia. The films and writings demonstrating the two cultures were meant to show that the Australian people could not fit in one culture. There were certain differences in the character, mannerisms and behaviours of people in Australia.
John R., 2009, “Lovable Larrikins and awful ockers” Journal of Australian Studies 2009
Robert, C., 2009, “Anyhow where d'yer get it, mate?’ Ockerdom in Adland Australia” Journal of Australian Studies 18th May 2009
Croft, G., 2009, “The Adventures of Barry McKenzie: Comedy, satire and nationhood in 1972”, University Journal of Australian Studies 18 May 2009.