Lines In The Sand: The Cronulla riots, multiculturalism and national belonging

Monograph 28

Lines In The Sand: The Cronulla riots, multiculturalism and national belonging

Edited by Greg Noble

RRP $49.50 (inc. GST) ISBN 9780975196786

On the infamous afternoon of Sunday 11th December, 2005, a crowd of about 5000 - mostly White, English-speaking background young men - went on a rampage at Sydney's Cronulla beach attacking anyone of 'Middle Eastern Appearance'. The day had begun as a protest against what many saw as the unacceptable behaviour of some young men following a scuffle between off-duty lifesavers and a group of Lebanese men. Such incidents are not uncommon, yet rarely do they lead to large-scale, ethnically motivated violence in which people wrap themselves in the Australian flag.

Many Australians, used to seeing racial violence in other parts of the world, were shell-shocked. Yet the causes and consequences of the riots, and the revenge attacks that ensued, are still being debated. Did the riots reveal the 'racist underbelly' of Australian society? Did they demonstrate the failure of the multicultural experiment of the last 30 years? Were they yet another example of the contemporary problem of youthful masculinities? Were we seeing the resurgence of an ugly nationalism, spread by populist media?

In this provocative and insightful collection of essays, the authors examine these and other issues in the first major critical assessment of this significant moment in Australian history.

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