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Citizenship , Migration and identity in 20 th C

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  1. Citizenship, Migration and identity in 20th C Dr Helen Forbes-Mewett Sociology, School of Political & Social Inquiry Monash European and EU Centre (MEEUC) Summer School, Melbourne, 16-18 Jan 2013

  2. Overview 1 Outline of Sociology unit 2 Citizenship 3 Identity, hybridity & diaspora 4 Everyday whiteness 5 Different types of migrants 6 Questions Citizenship, Migration and Identity in the 20th C

  3. Multiculturalism, citizenship & identity • Relevance of understanding ethnicity and (multi)culture in Australia • Globalisation, migration and citizenship • Main approaches to studying ethnicity and migration • Identity, hybridity, transnationalism and diaspora • Various types of migrants in Australia • Muslims • Refugees • Migrant workers • International students • Indigenous Australia and multiculturalism Citizenship, Migration and Identity in the 20th C

  4. Citizenship • Citizenship test • Thought of in terms of being a ‘good’ citizen • Not viewed as a formal idea • Notions of belonging • Insiders and outsiders • Raised issues of assimilation Citizenship, Migration and Identity in the 20th C

  5. Identity • Identity is located at the interface between self and society (Ford 2009) • Identity is changeable because the identity space changes • Conflicting demands on identity • Migrant identities are constantly repositioned • In Australia, identity can be caught between multiculturalism and assimilation • Identity is fluid and flexible

  6. Identity • Appearance • Ethnicity • Family/friends • Values/beliefs/choices • Work/practices • Hobbies/interests • Possessions/objects Citizenship, Migration and Identity in the 20th C

  7. Hybridity • Describes the identity of persons of mixed race, cultural origin or influence (such as migrants) • Shares the same terrain as fusion and cosmopolitanism • Hybrid identities, cultural products and practices are often seen as challenging essentialist norms of culture, race, and nation. • Implies a prior state of purity • More recently, scholars are arguing it is more useful to study how the term is used and by whom and with which kinds of understandings Citizenship, Migration and Identity in the 20th C

  8. Hybridity • 19th Century discussions shaped by racist assumptions • Defined as a cross between two species • Questions of fertility and sexuality reflected widespread anxiety about sexual unions between races (in particular, between blacks and whites) • Argument difficult to sustain • Hybridity also used to refer to double accented language • Containing two styles, two belief systems or social languages

  9. Visible hybridity Citizenship, Migration and Identity in the 20th C http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-377839/Black-white-twins.html#ixzz23LP4PhHL

  10. Diasporas • Diasporans settle in neighborhoods inhabited by fellow-diasporans • The new is compensated by the familiar • Ease of transport and communication with others from the home-land • Acculturation to the wider environment for the purposes of jobs and children’s futures • Learn a new language and new ways of doing things • Ultimately, they acquire a new national identity • Such processes are bound to cause internal dilemmas and create tensions

  11. Diaspora • Diaspora ~ a word of Greek Origin • Refers to the dispersal throughout the world of people with the same territorial origin (Ben-Rafael 2010) • Diasporans may wish to be absorbed into their new environment • They also may have an enduring loyalty to the diasporic group, which attempts to remain distinct from ‘others’ • Formulation of a collective identity is not easy Citizenship, Migration and Identity in the 20th C

  12. European Jewish Diaspora

  13. Everyday whiteness • Louis C.K. ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG4f9zR5yzY

  14. Less visible refugees • ‘At least you’re the right colour’ (Colic-Peisker 2005) • Explores the resettlement of Bosnian refugees • ‘Whiteness’/Europeanness enabled them to remain largely ‘invisible’ • Initially able to claim ‘insider status’

  15. Refugees UNCHR Website: http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://www.unhcr.org/thumb1/4ced2aeb6.jpg&imgefurl=http://www.unhcr.org/4cd

  16. The Bosnians • Bosnians suffered in the early 1990s when war ravaged their country • Bosnians granted the largest number of Australian permanent protection visas in the 1990s • ‘refugee elite’ compared with Australia’s asylum-seekers who spent years in detention • Increase in quota by 2,000 visas in 1993-1994 • Unlike the 433 Tampa refugees, the Bosnians were ‘gracefully accepted’ • This has been attributed to ‘colour’ • (Colic-Peisker 2005)

  17. ‘At least you’re the right colour’ • One day a mature lady entered my cab in South Perth and said: ‘I always call “Black and White Taxis” … because in “Swan Taxis” they’re all strangers, Arabs, whoever. … You cannot talk to them, they speak poor English. I said ‘Well, my English is not the best either’. She gave a look sideways and said: ‘at least you’re the right colour’. (Colic-Peisker 2005, p. 620)

  18. Summary 1 Citizenship, migration and identity ~ Sociology 2 Citizenship viewed formally and informally 3 Students could relate to topics of identity, hybridity & diaspora 4 White privilege ~ experienced but not acknowledged 5 Challenges faced by different groups of migrants intersected Thank you helen.forbesmewett@monash.edu http://profiles.arts.monash.edu.au/helen-forbes-mewett/