Culture and Customs

Richard Waterhouse


Sydney’s pre-industrial culture was comprehensive and public, and most European inhabitants participated as players, performers or spectators. After 1850, however, a series of distinct but overlapping cultures emerged, imported and adapted from Europe and America to meet the needs of a modern, class-based city. In this essay I explore the characteristics of the city’s pre-industrial culture, and map its replacement by a set of sometimes conflicting modern, urban cultures. My aim is also to show how new forms of cultural transmission facilitated a process of cultural resolution after World War I even as new forms of culture based on ethnicity, age and gender emerged to produce a different mix of cultural diversity.


Football; Theatre; Cricket; Horse racing; Leisure; Culture;

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