The origin of the excellent Australian term “bogan” has been the subject of intense debate but its definition has always been clear – a blue collar person, usually from an outer suburb, who earns little money and has a limited education. The more conceited uni-educated types have laughed smugly at the bogan, tut-tutting at his love of the parmigiana, Cold Chisel, bourbon in a can and trackie-dacks, things which for many of us are the makings of a pretty good night.
The bogan has also been derided by the trendies as an ugly blight on the social landscape, someone who refuses to tread lightly on mother earth, spending the baby bonus on a second-hand speedboat, an Acca Dacca box-set or the biggest plasma screen they can find, generating a distressingly large carbon footprint in their McMansion with their 12-speaker home cinema, eight-burner barbie and three cars in the driveway.
It’s time to stop sneering, hipsters. Something remarkable has happened in Australia. The bogans have won. They are officially and seriously cashed-up. There is now a stronger link between having a university education and earning lower wages, than being skilled in a high-demand trade and handsomely rewarded in the blue-collar sector.
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