Australian multiculturalism: revisiting Australia's political heritage and the migrant presence

Mason, Robert (2010) Australian multiculturalism: revisiting Australia's political heritage and the migrant presence. History Compass, 8 (8). pp. 817-827.

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Australian multiculturalism has become central to the nation's political landscape, yet historians have rarely considered the impact of government policies on migrants' pre-existing political identities. Multiculturalism became government policy in 1973, in recognition of the new complexity of Australian society that followed greatly increased post-war immigration. The new policy sought to facilitate migrants' inclusion in Australian society, without obliging them to surrender their cultural heritage. Similar to the government's emphasis on ethnic identity, historians have displayed sustained interest in ethnic heritage, rather than on migrants' political belief. New research in transnational histories and social memory studies provide renewed potential to evaluate the processes through which migrants' political and moral ideals have been transferred to Australia. Memories of social norms and cultural landscapes existed in a dialogue with migrants' everyday Australian experiences, helping to frame their engagement with broader society. The closer integration of multicultural studies with transnational research and memory studies offers new perspectives of Australian history, and a deeper understanding of migrants' engagement in multicultural Australia.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright 2010 The author. Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Humanities and International Studies
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2010 00:41
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2014 23:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australia; multiculturalism; political heritage; migrants
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160512 Social Policy
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160602 Citizenship
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00721.x

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