Professor of Sociology Explains Why We Shouldn't Call Someone A 'Bogan'

Rock News 28/03/2022

This sociology professor reckons we shouldn't call our mates 'bogans' anymore.

If you’ve ever been out and about in West Auckland you’ll have heard the term ‘bogan’ being thrown around between friends. A ‘bogan’ could be rocking a mullet, wearing a singlet, holding a beer and talking to you about their Subaru legacy. We know them, we love them - but is it problematic to call someone a bogan?

Urban Dictionary's definition of bogan

A professor at the University of Newcastle isn’t a fan of people being referred to as a ‘bogan’ or ‘hipster’ as he believes that it causes a division between the classes. 

"These are ways that class is represented and spoken about in the public sphere, without really talking about class," Associate Professor of Sociology Steve Threadgold told ABC. 

 "'Bogan' has tended to stand in for vulgar working class tastes and 'hipster' for ironic middle class consumer cultures." 

Threadgold added that the connotations linked with 'hipster' weren't nearly as savage as the ones associated with 'bogan'. 

"What's interesting is that the hipster is often as a quite ironic, almost playful figure, while the bogan tends to elicit much more denigration.”

The bogan is seen as doing things wrong.

"[They] become a representation of cultural aspects of class, particularly around taste, and then, by using this figure, you don't need to say 'working class people are this' you can invoke 'the bogan.'"

Righto, so the chances of 'bogan' disappearing from the Kiwi vernacular are pretty slim - would we even want it to? Yeah, nah. 

But a bit of new material can't hurt, so we might start scheming some new ways to insult our mullet-loving mates. If you're in need of inspiration for some classic nickname ideas, check out the absolute belters these Rock listeners came up with.