AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2007... 2007 Not Quite White (Enough) : Intersecting Ethnic and Gendered Identities in Looking for Alibrandi
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Kate McInally argues that in Looking for Alibrandi, Josie's specifically gendered quest for maturity' is one that 'erases multicultural identity' in all but its most overt manifestations (59). The analysis assesses 'intersections between raced and gendered indentity', with McInally stating that the narrative is fundamentally underpinned by an 'overwhelmingly monocultural ideology: that of acceptability attained through paternal sanction that transcends cultural heritage, to value aspirations of whiteness' (59).

McInally argues that 'Josie's aspirations for, and eventual acquisition of cultural capital is accessible only through her relationship with men' (59) a relationship based upon masculine domination which requires 'a feminine complicitness that the novel is all too ready to grant' (59). In her desire for 'economic, social and symbolic capital', Josie is required to 'move away from her Italianess to a position that is markedly more hegemonic' and while the novel may appear to overtly celebrate a 'multiculturalist agenda' this is offset against 'the way social capital accrues to an adolescent female who becomes 'daddy's little girl' (59).

For McInally, the novel's closure not only maintains and perpetuates cross-cultural relations whereby the 'other' is accepted, or tolerated, only for 'the ways they can enrich the host culture', it also ensures that Josie's 'mature attained through her assimilation into dominant monomorality; accepting the rightness and whiteness of male domination...and patriarchal Australia as her embraced homeland' (66).

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 28 Mar 2018 13:55:27
59-66 Not Quite White (Enough) : Intersecting Ethnic and Gendered Identities in Looking for Alibrandismall AustLit logo Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature