Appeal to nationalism

Also referred to as appeal to patriotism, appeal to the Australian way of life or appeal to Australian values.


“These people’s sense of justice just won’t fit in with the value of fairness that is so important to the Australian way of life.”


An appeal to nationalism is an attempt by the writer to drum up patriotism in the reader. Often with an Australian audience, appeals to national pride or patriotism are seen in conjunction with colloquial and inclusive language, where the writer attempts to generalise the values of a nation and use these values to bolster their argument.

Effect on reader

These appeals can be effective when used in relation to issues of national concern where a particular idea or group may be viewed as harming Australia or the Australian way of life. Further, these appeals can often leave the reader feeling “un-Australian” if they disagree. However, if the appeal generalises national ideals too greatly, or incorrectly, they may be alienating.

Notice in the above example that the appeal is to the “Australian way of life.” This type of general appeal to nationalism (which plays to patriotism without even specifying what this way of life is like) is common with issues such as immigration and asylum seekers.