Negotiating multicultural difference in a bicultural nation: a focused case study

Huijser, Hendrik (2005) Negotiating multicultural difference in a bicultural nation: a focused case study. In: The Body Politic: Racialised Political Cultures in Australia, 24-26 Nov 2004, Brisbane, Australia.

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This paper explores the ways in which multicultural difference is negotiated in Aotearoa/ New Zealand. While New Zealand is officially a bicultural nation, a major shift in immigration policy in the late 1980s has caused a rapid move towards an increasingly multicultural, and globally networked, nation. However, this is rarely reflected in its national cinema, which largely continues to operate within a bicultural framework. This paper is based on cross-cultural focus group research with three different communities: Maori, Croatian and Chinese. The study took the 1996 film Broken English (directed by Gregor Nicholas) as a starting point to analyse the fluid boundaries between national, diasporic and indigenous identities, as they move between public and private spaces. In the process, it draws conclusions about the limitations of official discourses in the management of cultural difference, and debunks many widely-held assumptions about cultural maintenance and integration. The paper applies a framework of Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough, 1995, 1998, Laclau, 2000, Van Dijk, 1998, 2000) to the data and, while focused on a New Zealand context, it allows for productive comparison to the Australian one.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:26
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: cinema studies; multiculturalism; biculturalism; Chinese; Croation; Maori
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200209 Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190201 Cinema Studies
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200212 Screen and Media Culture
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture

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