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Question:

Discuss about the Australian Studies for Pub Culture.

 

Answer:

In Australia, drinking is considered as an intrinsic part of the Australian culture. Breweries business is carried out on large scale in the country and this industry spends lump sum amount in creating advertisements in order to incarcerate the interest of the drinking audience. In Australia, the pub culture has a religious importance in the Australian secular society and carries the idea of masculinity (Fiske, Hodge and Turner 2016).

Drinking is regarded as an inherent part of male bonding ritual and beer is considered as one of the most preferred drinks. Since the Australian men already drink beer, these advertisements are not created to entice the new alcohol drinkers but to make the brand take over a greater market share of the prevailing drinks (Turner 2014). The Carlton Draught Beer ad depicts that the Australian society largely links the consumption of beer as a symbol of masculinity and is regarded as stereotype society. This masculine beer brand advertisement is deeply embedded in the Australian culture of drinking and the notion of masculinity.

In alcohol commercials, especially beer advertisements, masculine behavioural conduct is encouraged, in particular, risk –taking conduct. Such commercials usually lay emphasis on situations where a man overcomes an obstacle.  In Australia, since drinking is often entwined with sports, the commercials, which represents play represents playing sports, camping, risk and adventure or socializing in pubs and bars, as the central them of the advertisement (Ewart 2016). Such commercials usually include an element of risk and danger. The pubs or the bars are used as a setting for measuring masculinity in skills such as drinking ability, billiards and strength.

The history of masculinity emerged during the 1980s along with the women’s and the gender history. Prior to the evaluation of  women’s history, there was a strict gendering with respect to masculinity that referred to the fact how men were related to domesticity, family life and household. Principles were created in the minds of the children at educational institution and the community that gradually became a significant part of Australian stereotypes. The association with masculinity is also common in other Western societies. The concept of mateship is often brought into play in the beer commercials. After the British colonised Australia in the eighteenth century there were convicts who were predominantly male who dwelled in large groups and then there were squatters and bushmen who made an attempt to turn the bushland into farmland (Gattario et al. 2015). The common thread here is that the groups were predominantly comprised men who worked together under hostile conditions- the importance of their masculine bonds developed into ‘mateship’ and is still an integral part of eth Australian identity. 

The pubs, bars, sporting culture of the country lay emphasize on the significance of mateship and the substantial role played by mateship in male bonding. This form of mateship promotes racism and is regarded as exclusionary towards the females. Since masculinity are interrelated with each other, drinking is interlinked with both the concepts.

The consumption of alcohol, especially, beer, in Australia is a culture that is fashioned by the advertisements therefore; it is slightly difficult to not remember decades of alcohol advertisements, in particular, beer commercials that have been branding the drink by associating with mateship and masculinity. It is argued that the Carlton Draught Beer reflects the Australian culture that highlights consuming beer as a rite with respect to males who are expected to underpin their manhood amongst their friends by engaging themselves into beer consumption. The commercial depicts a strong symbol that demonstrates social class and gender (Lips 2016).

 

Several authors have argued that beer consumption is so related to males that to associate females with beer would be something that is polar opposites. Amongst the universal view, the concept of ‘Beer drinking female’ emerged. However, most of the females asserted that the concept ‘Beer drinking females’ is not appropriate (Powell 2015). The rationale behind such statement is that Australian females are taught from their childhood the social relationship between wine and females and the relationship between beer and males.

In order to challenge the beer-drinking females’ stereotype concept, the Australian government encouraged the females to consume beer by introducing ‘chick-beer’ branded as a ‘boutique light lager’ which reflects feminity as it splattered the color pink in the entire package. The tag line of eth product that said’ chick beer, because changing the world is hard work’. The product was aimed at strengthening gender separation with respect to consumption of alcohol (Fiske, Hodge and Turner 2016). However, the product was subject to criticism because the brand suggests that drinking light beer is good but the females must not consume full strength beer for men. On one hand, the product was introduced to break the mould regarding the beer consumption stereotype by females, on the other hand, it warns the females from drinking beer meant for men as it is stronger, thus, the concept of masculinity and mateship still persist.

However, this essay dicusses the expanding marvel of the beer drinking female.  A brand has attempted to do away with the stereotype concept how beer consumption is entwined with masculinity and mateship. The brand that has attempted to make this transition is named as ‘Corona’. Corona does not represent the visual indicators that are common in other beer commercials like Carlton Draught Beer. In fact, the brand Corona suggests adventure, positive escapism and relaxation. It is interesting as though it does not directly target the women but it does attempt to include women as characters that are beyond the argued standard sex object (Johnston et al. 2016). Nevertheless, the commercial has been criticised for not being gender neutral as the commercial tends to lean towards the men largely.

The Corona commercial features two men with their two girlfriends, which arguably has been placed to twist any form of homosexual implication. Although the commercial is not ground-breaking but to some extent it has attempted to challenge the stereotype concept about beer consumption and getting the viewers to be used to females in such a situation.

The Carlton Draught beer commercial have created their brand image keeping in mind the Australian values: the easy-going Australian men who loves to be outdoor with their friends and family to barbeques, bar and pub, in particular in order to escape from the chaos of their daily lives. Some men even drink beers in order to show off their status and to portray themselves as a ‘manly man’ to their peers. The environment influences these men and encourages the gender segregation (Brooks 2014).

It is a fact that Australian Beer commercials present an eccentric picture of the prevalent culture of the nation. It is accurate to some extent, but it reflects a part of the Australian society as well (Waitt and Clement 2016). Drinking is an inherent part of Australian culture but not every Australian consumes alcohol as is depicted in these commercials. Today, beer consumption is not only restricted to males, many females consumes beer as well, thus breaking the age-old stereotype concept. A typical Australian male symbolizes the concept of masculinity that is depicted in the advertisements but not every male conforms to the particular form of masculinity.

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that Australian men relates their masculinity to beer consumption with pride and it is considered as a national identity. According to the several authors, the political and historical writings lacked an appropriate definition of the gender and laid more emphasis on the feminine perspectives. The author suggests that it is high time that historians move ahead and focus more on the equality of sexual characteristics as the fundamental category of historical analysis.

 

Reference List

Fiske, J., Hodge, B. and Turner, G., 2016. Myths of Oz: reading Australian popular culture. Routledge.

Brooks, K., 2014. The beer necessities: Or, reaching out to the past to create fiction. Writing Queensland, (247), p.10.

Ewart, H.P., 2016. Gentleman squatters,‘self-made’men and soldiers: masculinities in nineteenth century Australia (Doctoral dissertation).

Fiske, J., Hodge, B. and Turner, G., 2016. Myths of Oz: reading Australian popular culture. Routledge.

Gattario, K.H., Frisén, A., Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, M., Ricciardelli, L.A., Diedrichs, P.C., Yager, Z., Franko, D.L. and Smolak, L., 2015. How is men’s conformity to masculine norms related to their body image? Masculinity and muscularity across Western countries. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 16(3), p.337.

Johnston, R., Stafford, J., Pierce, H. and Daube, M., 2016. Alcohol promotions in Australian supermarket catalogues. Drug and Alcohol Review.

Lips, H.M., 2016. A new psychology of women: Gender, culture, and ethnicity. Waveland Press.

Powell, S.J., 2015. Masculinity and choral singing: An Australian perspective. International Journal of Music Education, 33(2), pp.233-243.

Turner, B.S., 2014. Australia: the debate about hegemonic culture. Dominant Ideologies (RLE Social Theory), p.158.

Waitt, G. and Clement, S., 2016. Women drinking alcohol: assembling a perspective from a Victorian country town, Australia. Gender, Place & Culture, 23(8), pp.1121-1134.

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