The Social Landscapes of Shipping Mishaps
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This chapter presents the Queenscliffe community’s relationships and reactions to shipping mishaps as being, at least in part, a function of their perception of and adaptation to risk and crisis. It also considers the diversity of responses by different groups in their saviour versus salvor roles, and how changes over time in attitudes towards shipping mishaps are expressed in the physical and social landscape. This includes a discussion of the creation of social structure, and the emergence of tradition and identity within Queenscliffe, including through formal and informal processes of commemoration and superstition. The short- and long-term impacts of shipping mishaps upon the economic structure of the community are considered, including the commodification of the town’s shipwreck heritage, the place of “dark tourism”, and the manipulation of history and folklore to construct a cultural landscape palatable to different types of tourist experience. These legacies are also seen from the perspective of how they influence present-day community understandings and interactions with the physical and symbolic aspects of their shipwreck heritage.