By the mids, the numbers of freeborn settlers had overtaken the convict population. In60 percent of the Australian population had been born in Australia, and almost all had British ancestral origins. Out of the remaining 40 percent, 34 percent had been born in the British Islesand 6 percent were of European origin, mainly from Germany and Scandinavia. The European population grew from 0.
Does Australia need a national identity in a multicultural society? A reason, or even worse, an excuse to forget our past, to discredit the Australians that have gone before us.
We must not forget these people for these people are my people. They who came here in chains, who were lashed while they worked in convict gangs at Port Arthur. They who like many others were driven through starvation or oppression from their home-lands to the shores of this new country, Australia.
They, who for a multitude of reasons that hopefully, I or my children will never witness or experience, decided not to harbour grudges or discontent but rather to look to the future.
They who embraced this country as their own and said; 'let's get on with it, this is a new land, this is our home. To the contrary, human history has shown that it is very common for people to have a mosaic of social identities that a national identity helps bind together.
These identities may include include pride in a nuclear family, pride in an extended family, pride in a local community, pride in a city, pride in a religion as well as pride in their country.
This helps explain how countries like Switzerland and China, which have very high levels of linguistic and cultural diversity, have managed to combine a strong national identity with very visible multiculturalism.
Ironically, it is a commitment to that diversity that makes it difficult for countries to consider their minority groups seceding from the nation. In short, the secession is a blow to the national identity that has diversity as central to it. The ethnic diversity of China is a significant part of the Chinese contemporary identity.
Although multiculturalism and Australia's identity are portrayed as somewhat polar opposites today, in the past, Australia successfully fused multiculturalism with a binding identity. Later in the Gold rush of the s, a commitment to a loose set of values around human equality helped bind migrants from the world over.
As said by Eureka rebellion leader Raffaello Carboni, "The maiden appearance of our standard, in the midst of armed men, sturdy, self-overworking diggers of all languages and colours, was a fascinating object to behold. Admittedly, economic factors resulted in an identity that embraced diversity giving way to a race-based identity that excluded it in the form of the White Australia Policy.
There are two main explanations for why multiculturalism is now being used to discredit a national identity rather than support it.
While the likes of Dennis O'Keeffe have been able to see an inspiring story in brutalised people overcoming their challenges to make their world a better place than the one they were born into, others just see a history that lacks the glamour to be found in the histories of Europe.
Multiculturalism becomes that excuse. The second reason is power. In short, national identities are problematic for individuals seeking to use identity politics as a way of eliminating rivals in the quest for power.
Specifically, strong national identities act like social glues that make it hard for individuals who are part of the national identity to be eliminated or discriminated against.
For example, in Nazi Germany, Adolph Hitler positioned a blonde-haired blue-eyed ideal of a master race as an ideal above what most Germans looked like. Furthermore, he encouraged adherents to march under a Nazi flag rather than a German flag.
In this way, German communists, German Jews and rivals to Hitler's power who lacked blonde hair and blue eyes could be eliminated without ordinary Germans feeling dissonance at Germans killing Germans. All that mattered was that people with blue eyes and blond hair that waved Nazi flags were not being killed.
The Nazi Party defined itself as nationalistic; however, it devalued an inclusive national identity and instead encouraged adherence to a Nazi identity based on an appearance that most Germans did not look like. In this way, Germans could kill Germans without any dissonance. During the civil war, the devaluing of a national identity allowed Chinese communists to kill other Chinese without any dissonance.
As told in the book Mao and China, A Red Guard in Canton explained, "All the factionalism, fighting, the shifting alliances, and the different positions arose because the instructions from Chairman Mao just didn't work. He might say that all members of the 'left' should unite, but we were never told how to determine who was 'left' and who was 'right.
We would charge them with specific mistakes and not relent until they admitted that they were true. They had little rest and were forced to sleep apart from their fellow teachers. We would join informal groups, raid their quarters and begin to work on them again. They could not escape us.
This made it easier for Chinese to kill Chinese. Although it would be wrong to say that individuals in Australian institutions have aspirations to become the next Hitler or Mao, they do use identity politics to build factional power bases that help when attracting funding, attracting reciprocal citations for academic papers, getting promotions and silencing dissent.
These identities may be based around gender, race, sexuality, religion or politics. In order for the identity to be powerful, rivals must be able to be excluded from it.
Furthermore, potential members of the minority identity will have more passion for it if it is their only identity and not diluted by a national identity.Multiculturalism and Australian Identity Senator Jim Short Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and Assisting the Leader on Multicultural Affairs, Australia.
Australian Identity Essay Words | 7 Pages. Australian Identity Mateship.
Adventurous. Loyal. Free. Proud. These are the typical words Australians use to describe themselves, to identify themselves as different from the rest of the world. A defining feature of Australian identity might be that we are relaxed about it and that we reject xenophobia and jingoism?
As Popeye the sailor man put it: I am what I am and that’s what I am. 1 Comment. Sep 04, · The Australian Constitution prohibits dual citizens from sitting in Parliament. Scott Ludlam, the first of the batch, resigned in mid-July, citing the crystal clarity of the law.
He was born in. Social cohesion, diversity, capability – we want Australian identity to work – to recognize the sum of the parts that make us who we are. And we want to ensure that there are not barriers to people being able to equally participate in all aspects of life in Australia.
National Identity Sara Cousins From the Monash University National Centre for Australian Studies course, developed with Open Learning Australia In this, the second week of the course, Sara Cousins.