The Murderous State: The Naturalisation of Violence and Exclusion in the Films of Neoliberal Australia

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Jon Stratton


In common with many other Western countries, neoliberalism has become the dominant political philosophy in Australia since the 1980s. With the election of the John Howard-led Coalition in 1996 this impact has been reinforced. This article explores the neoliberal values appearing in Australian cultural productions through a number of popular Australian films from 2005 and 2006: The Proposition, Kenny, Jindabyne and Suburban Mayhem. The article discusses the nature of the proposition in The Proposition, the serial killers in Wolf Creek and Jindabyne, who remain at large, and the murder in Suburban Mayhem for which the wrong person is convicted and the real perpetrators are able to enjoy the fruits of their crime.

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Articles (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biography

Jon Stratton, Curtin University of Technology

Jon Stratton is Professor of Cultural Studies at Curtin University of Technology.  He has published widely in cultural studies, popular music studies, and Jewish cultural studies.  Jon's most recent books are Australian Rock: Essays on Popular Music (API-Network Books, 2007) and Jewish Identity in Western Pop Culture: The Holocaust and Trauma Through Modernity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).  He is currently finalising a book on Jews, race and popular music which should be published by Ashgate in late 2009.