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Auditing Multiculturalism - the Australian empire a generation after Galbally  Andrew Jakubowicz  Professor of Sociology,  University of Technology.

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Presentation on theme: "Auditing Multiculturalism - the Australian empire a generation after Galbally  Andrew Jakubowicz  Professor of Sociology,  University of Technology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Auditing Multiculturalism - the Australian empire a generation after Galbally  Andrew Jakubowicz  Professor of Sociology,  University of Technology Sydney  Address to FECCA Annual Conference  December  Melbourne

2 Multiculturalism Is the Australian Way of Life?  The term 'Australian multiculturalism' could be redundant in 25 years as more and more Australians adopt it as a way of life, the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Gary Hardgrave, said (July 2003)  “There was also mention of coolness towards multiculturalism, which I have always considered a careless use of the wrong word - multi-ethnicity being the right one…” Frank Devine on what attracts him to Mark Latham Dec 2003  “Australia is not a multicultural society…. It is a multiracial monocultural one…!”

3 Reflecting on Multiculturalism  Multiculturalism became a way of framing Australian modernity  Governments had to deal with the reality of globalisation - trans-border movement of capital, culture and people, upon which Australia is critically dependent in a competitive market place.

4  Multiculturalism has been an attempt to deal with two dimensions of Australia as a modern ‘empire’ in globalisation:  external: defense against competing empires, and  internal: subjugation and ‘normalisation’ of diverse population (the mirror of disability policies)

5 Aims of this presentation  What can an audit do? There are no set criteria or standards, so controversy is a valuable methodology  Focus on the Federal sphere - try to frame process and explain apparent contradictions  Identify critical moments, high and low points, in policy development and change since 1978  Identify outcomes after 25 years  Distinguish between rhetoric and reality  Identify explicit and implicit trajectories for next decade

6 What sorts of criteria are relevant to Audit?  Outcome focused:  Social Power - governments, courts, key social and economic institutions  Economic - equal opportunity, economic inequality not linked to ethnicity  Inclusion - employment, media, sport, civil society  Symbolic - legislative, expressive, creative  Cohesion - education, crime, segregation, attitudes

7 The Strategic Crossroads of 1978  Assimilation -  focus government policy on integrating immigrants as individuals into the social fabric  regard ethnic cultural practices as residual and declining  regard ethnic cultural maintenance as problematic and not supported by government  unproblematic sense of core Australian culture

8 to  Ethnic Rights  recognise communal nature of ethnicity and assign rights based on ascriptive criteria (either voluntary or compulsory)  regard nation as both culturally and structurally pluralistic  commit social resources to maintenance of communal cultures and delivery of services through ethnic structures  reconceptualise nation as composed of cultural minority groups recognised in law

9 to  Multiculturalism  identify tension between national cohesion, communal identification and individual rights  seek balance between mainstream services responding to general needs and ethnic services providing culturally- responsive programs  use multiculturalism to assert national core values and allegiances while recognising value of diversity in relation to identity and communal support.  But what does “multiculturalism” mean? And to whom?

10 Government approaches to Cultural Diversity in Australia  1978 Multiculturalism A (Galbally/Georgiou) - Services to Immigrants against the resistance of mainstream  1984 Access and Equity/ Mainstreaming  1989 Multiculturalism B - Social Justice and National Cohesion  1993 Multiculturalism C - Productive Diversity  1995 Global Diversity  1996 One Nation  1998 Australian Multiculturalism- Roach/Sinodinos  2004 The Multicultural marketplace - Government achievements make no mention of multiculturalism; ALP has no policy…

11 Administrative Orientations  Legislating for individual rights - the Anti Discrimination pathway  Legislating for cultural rights - the Multicultural/Ethnic Affairs pathway  The charter of service approach - focusing on bureaucracy and delivery to clients  The crises of ethnicity - what is multicultural citizenship?

12 The moral basis of Australian multiculturalism  Hierarchy of cultures  Hierarchy of religions  Capitalist  Patriarchal  (just look at federal cabinet and the high court)

13 The Old Ethnicities and social power  the Irish Catholic ascendancy  Paul Keating PM  William Deane GG  Gerard Brennan CJ  2001/3 - the English Protestant reassertion  John Howard PM  Peter Hollingworth/ Gen Jeffery GG  (tho Celtic presence remains with) Murray Gleeson CJ

14 Harmony…  “National research has confirmed that the overwhelming majority of Australians genuinely respect and value the diverse make-up of our community and support the concepts on which the [Harmony] initiative is based.” (DIMIA Website)  This statement may refer to SBS research for marketing -or it may disguise the secret government research showing hostility to diversity - but does endorse government decisions to abandon support for ethnic diversity, and target local inter-group collaboration. The latest word from the Minister’s Office is that the 1996/7 research was a working paper and that they intend to carry out new research… maybe

15 Major Achievements  Multicultural institutions - SBS, HREOC, DIMIA, Living in harmony, Partnerships, Productive diversity  Dual citizenship  Charter for public service  Racial discrimination and vilification legislation  Arts for a Multicultural Australia

16 Significant failures  Govt does not recognise multicultural Australia as a policy success  ALP has no policy on multiculturalism  No national product champion for Multiculturalism  No Bill of Rights  No Multiculturalism Act (cf Canada)  No Affirmative Action (cf Women)  No national ‘knowledge creation’ about cultural diversity  Monocultural Cabinet (0/17)  Monocultural High Court (0/7)  Moncultural ABC (0/7 govt. appointees, but one Indigenous))

17 Manifest and Latent Trajectories of National Policy  Manifest:  celebrate cultural collaborations;  assert national social priorities;  assert cohesive national identity;  foreground economic profitability;  marketise services;  recruit ethnic leadership into ‘B list’ elites

18  Latent:  reinforce traditional cultural hierarchies;  isolate Australia from global civil society;  build culture of secrecy and fear;  reduce human rights;  reduce services and service quality;  force greater use of voluntary female labour;  intensify exclusion and urban segregation;  intensify underclass.

19 Conclusion  As we have been many times before, we are at a time of decision  The Audit suggests two possible agendas:  Move towards passive alienated monocultural-dominated quiescence  Move towards active respectful multicultural citizenship


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