Australia's social and cultural history in the post-war period
Social and cultural features of the 1970s
Topic : Social and cultural features of the 1970s
In this topic you will learn...
Chapter 1 :
1970s - Decade in context
The political and social unrest of the 1960s carried through to the 1970s. This mirrored social movements in other Western countries.
Widespread protest against Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War contributed to the withdrawal of Australian troops in 1972.
Prime Minister Gough Whitlam installed a range of radical reforms during his three-year tenure. In 1975, he was controversially dismissed.
The women's rights, Indigenous rights and environmental movements all made progress during the 1970s.
The White Australia Policy was abolished in 1974, and thousands migrated to Australia from Asia and the Middle East.
Chapter 2 :
Music and entertainment
Colour television was introduced to Australia in 1975, and was quickly adopted.
The government encouraged the production of Australian television programmes in the 1970s by increasing funding and raising local content quotas.
Australian cinema enjoyed a renaissance in the 1970s, providing a forum for people to explore issues of national identity.
In 1974, the introduction of the FM frequency created space for more radio stations on the airwaves
Australian music developed a unique 'rock' sound, and pop acts like Olivia Newton-John achieved international success.
Chapter 3 :
Fashion in the 1970s
Fashion in the 1970s was daring, varied, and changed frequently - mirroring the social drama of the decade.
Ethnic-inspired hippie fashion carried through to the early 1970s, incorporating long hair, natural, flowing fabrics and bell-bottomed jeans.
During the feminist movement, bras and corsets were considered symbols of oppression and were discarded by many women.
Many men wore flares, wide ties and fitted shirts, and grew beards and sideburns.
Popular music, films and television programs influenced hairstyles and fashion throughout the decade.
Chapter 4 :
Sport in the 1970s
Sport in Australia allows an expression of traditional national values. It also reflects the extent of British and American influence on our culture.
In the 1970s, Australia struggled to retain the sporting supremacy it had once enjoyed, prompting government initiatives like the AIS.
In 1975, World Series Cricket revolutionised the game, and marked the beginning of Australian sport being big business.
The trend towards professionalism and sponsorship penetrated further into all codes of football throughout the 1970s.
Women were granted access to most areas of sport in the 1970s, but would struggle to achieve true equality in the areas of funding and media coverage.
Chapter 5 :
American and British cultural influence in the 1970s
The Australian identity has continually evolved over the decades, from that of a white British colony, to a diverse global culture.
In 1973, American dominance of the Australian music industry prompted the introduction of local content quotas on radio.
Government assistance led to a resurgence of the Australian film industry in the 1970s
Australian television was saturated with American programs in the 1970s, but local content steadily improved in quality and quantity.
Australian sport held fast to its British roots for many years, but has recently adopted the glitzy presentation and TV-friendly conventions of American sport.
Critics are divided over whether Australian cultural products have been able to retain a unique Australian identity in the face of American influence.
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