Immigration, Language and Multiculturalism in Australia

Posted: 2 Jun 2000

See all articles by Barry R. Chiswick

Barry R. Chiswick

University of Illinois at Chicago; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Paul W. Miller

Curtin University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Curtin University - Centre for Research in Applied Economics

Abstract

This paper uses a unique survey on multiculturalism in Australia to explore attitudes towards immigration and multiculturalism. The ethnic backgrounds of immigrants are shown not to matter as long as immigrants are perceived as wanting to become Australian, rather than remaining apart. Australians support government programs to assist the adjustment process, but oppose programs that encourage distinct language and cultural maintenance or foster linguistic/ethnic concentrations. The apprehension that Australians have toward multiculturalism is that they see it as a mechanism for separate cultural preservation. Linguistic enclaves are shown to reduce the acquisition of English language skills among immigrants, whereas positive attitudes among immigrants toward Australia are associated with greater proficiency in speaking, reading and writing English.

Suggested Citation

Chiswick, Barry R. and Miller, Paul W., Immigration, Language and Multiculturalism in Australia. Australian Economic Review, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=206030

Barry R. Chiswick (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

601 S. Morgan Street, Room 2103UH
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States
312-996-2683 (Phone)
312-996-3344 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Paul W. Miller

Curtin University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

GPO Box U1987
Perth WA 6845
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Curtin University - Centre for Research in Applied Economics ( email )

GPO Box U1987
Perth, Western Australia 6845
Australia

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