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The Locals

This book presents the first comprehensive survey of being a local, in particular in Australia. As in much of the colonised, English-speaking world, in Australia the paradox is that the locals are not indigenous peoples but migrants with a specific ethnic heritage who became localised in time to label other migrants as the newcomers and outsiders. Claims of belonging as `local' provide a crucial insight into power relations that extend beyond the local level to questions of national identity and the ethics of belonging in a postcolonial, multicultural nation. How have Anglo-Celtic Australians installed themselves as locals? Where do Indigenous Australians stand in this local politics of identity? What are the ethical considerations for how we connect our identities to places while also relating to others in a time of intensifying migration? This book explores these questions via a multidisciplinary cultural studies approach and a mixed methodology that blends a critical language study of being local with auto-ethnographical accounts by the author, himself a `local'.
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Table of Contents

Contents: Local epistemology and ontology - Human geography of place and the local scale - Critical review of international literature on being a local - Locals, tourists and cosmopolitans - The language of being a local - Local language in rural and metropolitan Australia - Spatial, cultural and historical practices of becoming a local - Indigenisation of settlers in settler states - Australian locals, autochthony and race - The ethics of place, identity and belonging.

About the Author

Rob Garbutt is an Associate Lecturer in Cultural Studies and Writing at Southern Cross University, Australia. He earned a BSc in Chemistry at the University of New South Wales, a Master's in Adult Education at the University of Technology, Sydney, and a PhD in Cultural Studies at Southern Cross University. He has published on the topics of place, identity and belonging, as well as on equity in higher education.


"`The Locals' is exquisitely written; its seven chapters (plus an introduction) demonstrate the author's scrupulous self-reflection, conceptual vigour and breadth, and methodological diversity and depth. [...] `The Locals' is a challenging analysis of rurality and race relations in a settler-society." (Andrew Gorman Murray, Cultural Studies Review 18, 2012/1) "[...] this book offers an insightful analysis of a hitherto relatively understudied concept: that of the `local'. Anchored in the author's experience as a `local' [...], the book engages with the Australian context while it also offers valuable theoretical insights concerning the concept of the `local' in the social sciences and humanities. [...] This is a highly recommended text for people interested in Australia's notions of white autochthony, localism and the mundane and nuanced ways such notions are inscribed into people's self-image." (Victor Roudometof, International Sociology 28, 2013/5)

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