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Immigration, Multiculturalism and the Changing Face of Australia

  • Brock Bastian
Chapter
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)

Abstract

Australia’s population has grown exponentially over the past 200 years, and this trend is predicted to continue. Immigration has played a crucial role in this growth, and Australia is now one of the most multicultural countries in the world. Using Australia’s history of immigration as a backdrop, I will explore factors that have allowed this impressive mixture of cultural groups to coexist as well as those that have created conflict, tension and marginalisation. Starting with a brief overview of immigration trends within Australia, I will discuss theory and research that highlights the different acculturation strategies that immigrant groups often employ and which of these is most beneficial to multiculturalism. I will then discuss a number of factors that facilitate or inhibit effective acculturation and integration of new groups including: (1) the role of intergroup contact; (2) the role of intergroup perceptions, including prejudice, threat and how group differences are understood; (3) the role of media representations and the importance of social norms; and (4) the importance of education in schools and parental attitudes in shaping early responses to new immigrants. I will conclude by examining how these factors have played a role in shaping the current state of diversity and tolerance within Australia and give reasons why Australia has the potential to become an example of multiculturalism to the rest of the world.

Keywords

Ethnic Identity National Identity Immigrant Group Asylum Seeker Intergroup Contact 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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