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Auditing Multiculturalism - the Australian empire a generation after Galbally. Andrew Jakubowicz Professor of Sociology, University of Technology Sydney Address to FECCA Annual Conference December 4 2003 Melbourne. Multiculturalism Is the Australian Way of Life?.

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auditing multiculturalism the australian empire a generation after galbally
Auditing Multiculturalism - the Australian empire a generation after Galbally
  • Andrew Jakubowicz
  • Professor of Sociology,
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • Address to FECCA Annual Conference
  • December 4 2003
  • Melbourne
multiculturalism is the australian way of life
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…!”
reflecting on multiculturalism
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.
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)
aims of this presentation
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
what sorts of criteria are relevant to audit
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
the strategic crossroads of 1978
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
  • 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
  • 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?
government approaches to cultural diversity in australia
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…
administrative orientations
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?
the moral basis of australian multiculturalism
The moral basis of Australian multiculturalism
  • Hierarchy of cultures
  • Hierarchy of religions
  • Capitalist
  • Patriarchal
  • (just look at federal cabinet and the high court)
the old ethnicities and social power
The Old Ethnicities and social power
  • 1996 - 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
  • “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
major achievements
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
significant failures
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))
manifest and latent trajectories of national policy
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
    • 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.
  • 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