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Question:

 

Assessment Description:


Some sociologists have stressed the importance of distinguishing between multiculturalism as a policy and multiculturalism as lived experience (everyday multiculturalism) in Australian society (Holmes, Hughes and Julian, 2012).
 
 
Do you feel it is important to make this distinction? Give justification for your answer using relevant theory and research from Australian society
 

Answer:

 

Introduction


From its origin as a policy framework in a response to the immigrants’ requirements, multiculturalism become a key concept, which expressed the character of increasing society’s ethno-cultural diversity in the after eras of the 20th century. Constantly debated, the ethno-cultural diversity and multiculturalism have become controversial and debatable responding to the social challenges and security of the early 21st century (Torres & Tarozzi, 2019). Hence, the main aim of this paper is to discuss about the significance of distinguishing between multi-culturalism as a policy and multi-culturalism as a lived experience in the society of Australia.
 

Concept Of Multiculturalism


Multiculturalism is a policy or a view that the immigrants and the other groups must preserve their respective cultures with that of the other cultures, interacting in a peaceful manner within a country. It has been an official policy of Australia, the UK, and Canada. Multiculturalism as a policy involves granting recognition and status to different ethnic communities. Further, multiculturalism lived experience is mainly shared by settlement, acculturation, and migration, which in turn are shaped by the political, economic, socio and cultural drivers, and it may or may not include discrimination, oppression, and marginalization experienced by the refugees, migrants, and the people seeking asylum. It is a key component of lived experience movement of the people (Neal et al. 2017).
 

Significance Of Distinguishing Between Multiculturalism As A Policy And Multiculturalism As Lived Experience In Australian Society


Since the introduction of multiculturalism in the 1970s in Australia, multiculturalism has always been a contested concept and policy. Although maintaining some fundamental principles and practices, in the last 3 eras since its introduction, there has been an evolution of the federal multicultural policy statements in response to the changing priorities and responses of the government to the challenges facing the society of Australia. Although the multicultural policy of Australia is having its origins in the responses of government to the migrants facing the post-settlement problems, through the policies of 1980s and 1990 was more broadly stated as an element of the nation building narratives of Australia. At present, all the states and territories of Australia have the active programs and policies that deals with the multiculturalism (Koleth, 2010).
 

Over the past few years, the political and public debate about multiculturalism in Australia has been increasingly impacted by the issues, which have had the international resonance. The key among these has been the issue regarding the global risk of terrorism and the encounters of ensuring the social cohesion in the societies that is characterized by the ethno-cultural diversity. Although all these problems have been highlighted in various ways in the immigrant-receiving nations in North America, the UK, and in the Europe in various cases the public arguments have questioned the overall limits of the multiculturalism, and the respective governments have increased their regulation of immigration, citizenship, and integration. The figure 1 shows the 27.3 percent increase in the net overseas migration of people in Australia from 2015-2016 to 2016-2017 (Rajadurai, 2018).
 

Figure 1: Migration Summary (Rajadurai, 2018).
 
Holmes, Hughes & Julian (2012) referred multiculturalism as the process of the interaction between the different cultures. In Australia, multiculturalism is the policy, which expects all the Australian society members to have equal access to the services despite having different ethnic backgrounds. For the authors, there is an existence of a distinction between the term ‘multi-culture’ and the term ‘multiculturalism’. Holmes Hughes & Julian (2015) has referred two different forms of the multiculturalism; one which is referred as everyday multiculturalism that is mainly shown in the social relations and practices, and the form is related to the multiculturism policy. As per the author’s proposition, it is important to have the understanding of what actually occurs or what is mainly practiced in the multicultural society of Australia. Hence, it is quite important to make a distinction between the everyday multiculturalism and multiculturalism as a policy.
 

In the society of Australia, multi-culture is mainly seen. It is referred to as shifting, strong blend of the diversities and culture, and political policies and goals. Although multiculturalism puts emphasis on the official policy on the cultural diversity of a nation, multi-culture helps un underlining the lived experiences of the cultural diversity. Further, it is by maintaining a multiculturalism policy, people from the groups of minorities may be trapped or molded into any particular identities that is characterized by the way they look as well as the group they represent, or it can be said that some of their identities are unwillingly carried out. This kind of a limited viewpoint negative affects the people from projecting their own lives, since multiculturalism sustain unfair distinctions. As a policy, multiculturalism may be thought as an ideology, which manifest a leading and most dominant culture, and downgrades the minority culture. It has been perceived as a mechanism of imagining a country, which is centered upon majority of the white cultures (Gorski, 2016).
 

However, the Australian government’s adoption of the formal multicultural policy, which promotes diversity without any dominant or leading culture in Australia, and where the values of Australia were being molded, become a unifying force and a subject of debate and dissension. In Australia, multiculturalism is all about creating a shared sense of the nationhood that is forged through common values, a commitment to fairness, and a mutual respect (Pardy & Lee, 2011).
 

Australia is among the nation in the world that continues to have immigrants. It is having a leading migrant settlement policy that is conceptualized as multiculturalism. Generally, multiculturalism is the lifestyle, which facilitates the society’s members to maintain their own values and culture, without any disadvantage or discrimination. The multicultural policy of the Australian government is stated in “the People of Australia: Australia’s Multicultural Policy” Apo.org.au. (2011); and in the multicultural policy since 2010: a quick guide” (Love, 2021). The multicultural policy of Australia recognizes both the diversity and breadth of the society and culture of Australia while confirming the support of the Australian government for a socially cohesive country. 
 
 
The present PM of Australia- Anthony Albanese claims that Australia is a great multicultural society. He said that his government will include all the Australians, irrespective of the multicultural communities, the LGBTIQ community, and the people of faith (Neoskosmos.com. 2022). The research paper by Elias, Mansouri & Sweid, (2020) claimed that the strong and unique multicultural philosophy has combined with the successful strategies at the different levels of the governance, diversity, practices, and policy all across the different sectoral grounds.
 

Australia has a transforming, dynamic blend of the diversities and culture, and hence the present manifestation of the multiculturalism lessen the value of the multitude through representing minority ethnic groups of a country as different, and they are sidelined from the population of Anglo-Australia. The multicultural space claimed by the refugees and immigrants in Australia is still at the margins. Further, some are in a view that the composition of multiculturalism does not depict the reality of the every day practices. The concept of multiculturalism is highly debated and problematic that sometimes result in differentiating the people. There are some who claims that multiculturalism permits the ethnic communities to speak their languages and practice their own religion without any kind of discrimination, while other claims that it will never allow to unite Australia that was founded on the liberal democracy (Colombo, 2015).
 

It is believed that in Australia, multiculturalism is selective, since it does not completely embrace the particular aspects of the culture of the people, which go against the liberal democracy and rule of the law, for instance, the practices that harm children, treat animals in an unethical manner, and subjugate women. Since arguments regarding different opinions and interpretations of the multiculturalism remains, day-to-day enactments of the multicultural reality or the multi-culture of Australia are found to be only in the visible aspects of the social activities, such as Australia Day, SBC programs, Harmony Day, and others. However, the prominent principles of the diversity and the non-discrimination, such as equal access to the welfare, and social, economic, and political power remain avoided. The research paper by Arasaratnam, (2014) found that there is a significant gap between the overall ideology and the actual practice of the multiculturalism in Australia.
 
 
Even after more than 3 decades, multiculturalism continues to be a focus for the government of Australia despite having serious debates regarding the concept. Further, the dialogue of the white-dominant culture succeeds since multiculturalism is highly celebrated the other cultures are endured. In various sectors of the society, everyday practices of the multi-culturalism continue to be elusive, since ethnic minorities are classified into the cultures they actually represent and is discriminated based on the ethnicities and the color of skin (Pilyukova & Zarechneva, 2019). 
 

Australia Being The World’s Most Successful Multicultural Country



Figure 2: Benefits of Multiculturalism in Australia (Rajadurai, 2018).
 
 
The figure 2 indicates the benefits Australia received from fostering and exercising multiculturalism in all across Australia.
 
 
Australia’s migration history and the multicultural policy has been a quite journey of enabling the environment, where the migrants can completely participate as well as add value to the country’s economy. The research clearly shows the positive social and economic benefits of the migration to the society, since it helps in improving the growth of the economy and strengthens the fiscal position of the government through the increased participation in the workforce and tax revenue. Moreover, Australia’s changing demographic composition indicates certain effects of the aging population, and the migration permits the society and economy to make adjustment and increase the rate of labor force participation for sustaining the levels of economic growth and provide for the society, where the number of the people working as well as delivering the revenue from the income tax is less than the total number of people dependent on the social services of the government (Rajadurai, 2018).
 

It is also required that the existing social and economic policies addressing the increasing requirements of the migrants, through which they get sufficient social help and are integrated successfully into their respective communities for helping to avoid tensions of the migration and working in the new environment. At present, Australia has been shaped by the eras of the successive waves of the migration and assisted in strengthening the economic, cultural, and the ethnic diversity of the nation. The multiculturalism of Australia has been always an endeavor of building a nation, which has helped in strengthening the identity of the country and has been always committed towards enabling and preserving the nation’s democracy and national identity. Hence, it can be said that the key cornerstone of the economy of Australia should be nurtured and preserved for best providing for the successful future generations (Humanrights.gov.au. 2016). 
 

Conclusion


Therefore, it can be concluded that Australia introduced the policy of multiculturalism so as to deal with the migrant communities and was perceived as the great ways of recognizing preservation of the identities of culture and attaining the social cohesion and social justice. However, in the past forty years of the existence of the policy at different government levels, in Australia and other nations, the multiculturalism’s concept and policy have undergone through considerable change and debate in the governmental and the academic fields. Regardless of the arguments and the changing community and political perceptions of the multiculturalism’s concept, the societies have now inevitably become much more diverse that before. Hence, it can be said that since global migration continues to increase in complexity and scale in Australia, just as various other nations, the world will remain face the challenges of positively engaging the frameworks of policy it has established in creating a multicultural society and environment, while determining the innovative approaches and ways to deal with the highly complex nature of the modern diversity.
 

Reference


Apo.org.au. (2011). The people of Australia – Australia's multicultural policy. Retrieved 27 July 2022, from https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2011-02/apo-nid27232.pdf.
 
 
Arasaratnam, L. (2014). A discussion of multiculturalism in Australia from educators’ perspective. Springerplus, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/2193-1801-3-36
 
 
Colombo, E. (2015). Multiculturalisms: An overview of multicultural debates in western societies. Current Sociology, 63(6), 800-824. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011392115586802
 
 
Elias, A., Mansouri, F., & Sweid, R. (2020). Public Attitudes Towards Multiculturalism and Interculturalism in Australia. Journal Of International Migration And Integration, 22(3), 1063-1084. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-020-00784-z
 
 
Gorski, P. (2016). Rethinking the Role of “Culture” in Educational Equity: From Cultural Competence to Equity Literacy. Multicultural Perspectives, 18(4), 221-226. https://doi.org/10.1080/15210960.2016.1228344
 
 
Holmes, D Hughes, K & Julian, R (2015) Australian Sociology: A Changing Society Custom Copy for Sarah Hattam, Pearson Education Australia Pty Ltd, New South Wales, Chapter 5: Ethnicity and Immigration.
 
 
Holmes, D. C. (2012). Changing the climate: Modernity at its limits. In Australian Sociology: A Changing Society (pp. 386-406). Pearson.
 
 
Humanrights.gov.au. (2016). The Success of Australia’s Multiculturalism | Australian Human Rights Commission. Retrieved 27 July 2022, from https://humanrights.gov.au/about/news/speeches/success-australias-multiculturalism.
 
 
Koleth, E. (2010). Multiculturalism: a review of Australian policy statements and recent debates in Australia and overseas. Aph.gov.au. Retrieved 27 July 2022, from https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1011/11rp06.
 
 
Love, D. (2021). Multicultural policy since 2010: a quick guide. Aph.gov.au. Retrieved 27 July 2022, from https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp2122/Quick_Guides/MulticulturalPolicySince2010.
 
 
Neal, S., Bennett, K., Cochrane, A., & Mohan, G. (2017). Lived experiences of multiculture. DOI:10.4324/9781315628387
 
 
Neoskosmos.com. (2022). Albanese reaches out to multicultural Australians. NEOS KOSMOS. Retrieved 27 July 2022, from https://neoskosmos.com/en/2022/06/03/news/australia/albanese-reaches-out-to-multicultural-australians/.
 
 
Pardy, M., & Lee, J. (2011). Using buzzwords of belonging: everyday multiculturalism and social capital in Australia. Journal Of Australian Studies, 35(3), 297-316. https://doi.org/10.1080/14443058.2011.591412
 
 
Pilyukova, A., & Zarechneva, N. (2019). Linguistic and cultural correlations, contrasts and differences between the russian and the english languages, language culture and tradition. Language And Culture, (11), 58-65. https://doi.org/10.17223/24109266/11/6
 
 
Rajadurai, E. (2018). Why Australia is the world’s most successful multicultural society. Mckellinstitute.org.au. Retrieved 27 July 2022, from https://mckellinstitute.org.au/research/articles/why-australia-is-the-worlds-most-successful-multicultural-society/.
 
 
Torres, C., & Tarozzi, M. (2019). Multiculturalism in the world system: towards a social justice model of inter/multicultural education. Globalisation, Societies And Education, 18(1), 7-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/14767724.2019.1690729
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