Immigration and Settlement in Australia: An Overview and Critique of Multiculturalism

  • Laksiri Jayasuriya
Part of the Migration, Minorities and Citizenship book series


Australia, being a settler society, an immigrant-receiving country from its inception, was until recently, firmly committed to an ideology of settlement which ensured racial and cultural homogeneity. The firm belief in ‘one country, one nation’, was achieved by a strong insistence on ‘anglo-conformity’, embodying the cultural mores and national characteristics of the early settlers, the charter groups. This close link between immigration and settlement has become problematic with the influx of waves of immigrants from non-traditional source-countries and the accompanying new philosophy of settlement, based on cultural pluralism and commonly labelled ‘multiculturalism’. The ongoing public debate and controversy in Australia1 about immigration has drawn attention to the problematic nature of the disjunction between policies of recruitment and settlement, and equally to the dilemmas confronting multiculturalism as a philosophy of settlement, and a ‘policy regime’ (Rein, 1976). In a world increasingly engulfed in ethnic conflicts and tensions arising from migration, the way in which this new policy of ‘multiculturalism’ developed in the short space of less than two decades represents a success story of migrant settlement worth recounting (see Jayasuriya, 1987; Castles et al., 1990; Foster and Stockley, 1988)).


Ethnic Identity Australian Economy Ethnic Minority Group Australian Society Cultural Pluralism 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laksiri Jayasuriya

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