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? • 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 • 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 • 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? • 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 • 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
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
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?
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 • 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 • Hierarchy of cultures • Hierarchy of religions • Capitalist • Patriarchal • (just look at federal cabinet and the high court)
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
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
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 • 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: • celebrate cultural collaborations; • assert national social priorities; • assert cohesive national identity; • foreground economic profitability; • marketise services; • recruit ethnic leadership into ‘B list’ elites
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.
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