Ethnic Associations, Networks and the Construction of Australian Multiculturalism

Refereed paper presented at the Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference, Montreal

19 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2010

See all articles by Bronwyn Hinz

Bronwyn Hinz

University of Melbourne - School of Social and Political Sciences and Graduate School of Education; Columbia University - Teachers College

Date Written: June 3, 2010

Abstract

In the last 60 years, Australia has transformed from a country 95 per cent white and 90 per cent British, to country where half the population was born overseas or has at least one parent born overseas, from over 260 countries. This dramatic change in racial and ethnic composition was accompanied by an equally dramatic reversal in community attitudes to immigration and racial and cultural diversity – from 90 per cent opposed in the early 1970s, to 90 per cent in favor in 2009. This paper offers a new explanation for this remarkably quick and harmonious transformation - that it was due to the direct participation of migrant and ethnic groups in shaping Australia’s multicultural policy framework, and their ability to function as a policy community, issue network and cohesive interest group. It is based upon a two-year study of Australia’s oldest federation of migrant, refugee and multicultural groups, the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria. This was the first study of the united ethnic movement in Australia and thus provides a new perspective on Australia’s multicultural history and politics. Primary sources included previously unexplored government, organizational and personal archives, and interviews with key leaders within and beyond the united ethnic movement. Data was qualitatively analyzed, drawing upon network and interest group theory, within a participatory-policy framework.

Suggested Citation

Hinz, Bronwyn Ann, Ethnic Associations, Networks and the Construction of Australian Multiculturalism (June 3, 2010). Refereed paper presented at the Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference, Montreal. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1621356

Bronwyn Ann Hinz (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - School of Social and Political Sciences and Graduate School of Education ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.bronwynhinz.com

Columbia University - Teachers College ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.bronwynhinz.com

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