The Locals

Identity, Place and Belonging in Australia and Beyond

by Rob Garbutt (Author)
©2011 Monographs XIV, 250 Pages
Series: Cultural Identity Studies, Volume 22


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’.


XIV, 250
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2011 (August)
survey of being a local, in particular in Australia national identity and the ethics of belonging in a postcolonial, multicultural nation Indigenous Australians intensifying migration
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2011. XIV, 250 pp., num. ill., tables and graphs

Biographical notes

Rob Garbutt (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.


Title: The Locals