Looking for Alibrandi is an Award-winning contemporary Australian teenage novel written by author Melina Marchetta, which highlights cultural, age and social boundaries that were evident in the earlier periods of Australian society. In this book a number of characters were discriminated and marginalised due to their culture, gender and social class. Marginalisation is when people are being separated from the rest of the society and thus are powerless and deemed unimportant. This book represents idealistic and revised view of Australian society representing number of characterisations in terms of a patriarchal, Anglo-Celtic, ethnocentric, middle-class and mainstream factions of Australian society. In the book, Melina Marchetta positions the reader to believe that cultural, social and gender boundaries in the Australian society marginalised people from different background by giving readers an inside view of Italian Australian community from the periphery of mainstream Australian society.
Dominant cultural boundaries and discourses represented in Australian society created and constructed Katia’s experience of marginalization and prejudice. In the book Italians are represented as ‘ethnics’ within the Australian society and they are also known as wogs, new Australians and aliens by mainstream Australians community. It seemed that there were no organised systems in the Australian society to absorb the people with different background in the economic, social and cultural mainstream. By and large this is true even in today’s social and economic perspective. As a result Katia was silenced and disempowered by the Australian community. Italians were ignorant, unable and they were unwilling to learn new traditions, culture and language of Australia as they felt that they don’t belong to the Australian community. (Quote: “We were ignorant and they were ignorant”, Pg No: 78)... [continues]
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