The antidote of multiculturalism

Featured in

  • Published 20070202
  • ISBN: 9780733320569
  • Extent: 280 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

Winner, 2008 Australasian Association of Philosophers Media Prize

A CRUEL IRONY has marked recent Australian social policy. Reconciliation between indigenous and settler Australians – which involves a concept and a process that are essentially symbolic – was made “practical”, limited to policies aimed at improving Aboriginal living conditions that the government should have been pursuing anyway. At the same time, multiculturalism – a set of practical policies aimed variously at improving the absorption of migrants and harmoniously integrating a culturally diverse society around liberal democratic values – has come to acquire powerful symbolic significance in debates about what it means to be Australian. Indeed, so laced with symbolism has “multiculturalism” become that the Howard government is now considering its own symbolic gesture of simply removing the word from governmental use.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

More from author

National identity and diversity

There are three key domains to a national identity: governmental, public and cultural. Each has distinctive features, and each capture something of what people mean when they discuss national identity.

More from this edition

I’m not here

FictionIF SHE HURRIES she may still eat today. She shuffles down the empty street, a small Vietnamese woman dressed in a floral polyester dress...

Beyond pity

EssayI FIRST MET Zarah Ghahramani on Tehran's Revolution Boulevard in June 2003, just down the road from the northern campus of the city's university....

Of Middle Eastern appearance

EssaySelected for The Best Australian Political Writing 2008"DO YOU EVER wish you were fully Aussie?" This question was posed to me by a teenage...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.