Australian Gun Culture, a Rich Web of Meaning

Martin Maccarthy, Edith Cowan University, Australia
Using a sociocultural approach the Australian firearm sub-culture is explored with the aim to better understand why Australian firearm owners consume firearms. These findings are the culmination of Nine years of ethnographic research while also validated by ongoing monitoring of the lifestyle. The findings demonstrate that Australian shooters not only love their guns, but through possession and usage achieve four specific consumption metaphors; namely, identity construction, identity reconstruction, appreciation and catharsis. Specific enabling objectives form the conduit to achieving these ends. Enabling objectives include mechanical precision, mechanical potential, martial potential, nostalgic symbolism, recreation and functional utility. Shooters also value firearms for the opportunity to derive a sense of self, through cathexis, contamination and self-extension, demonstrating the complex and multi-faceted nature of what is considered in Australia a cloistered, semi-deviant consumption activity.
[ to cite ]:
Martin Maccarthy (2012) ,"Australian Gun Culture, a Rich Web of Meaning", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 10, eds. , Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 391-395.