Skip to main content

Does the New Doxa of Integrationism Make Multicultural Education a Contemporary Heresy?

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Controversies in Education

Part of the book series: Policy Implications of Research in Education ((PIRE,volume 3))


Contemporary understandings of integrationism as the bulwark of social cohesion have been particularly influential, including in Europe. This has both reflected and promulgated a backlash against multiculturalism, which has come to represent a threat subsequent to the events of September 11th, 2001. Cultural difference is taken to be dangerous and multiculturalism with its strong association with such difference is understood to challenge social cohesion. There is a certain irony in this, given the common academic depictions of multiculturalism as conservative. Thus integrationism has become the new doxa, while multiculturalism is decried by conservatives and reformists alike. Multiculturalism, even a liberal rendition, has become a heresy and in this context it behooves us to revisit what is involved. By doing so we can perhaps reflect on the current state of affairs and consider the place of cultural difference in how Australianness is constituted in public discourses, including those related to education policy and curriculum.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Alexander, J. (2001). Theorizing the ‘modes of incorporation’: Assimilation, hyphenation, and multiculturalism as varieties of civil participation. Sociological Theory, 19(3), 237–249.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Allen, C. & Nielsen, J. S. (2002). Summary report on Islamophobia in the EU15 after 11 September 2001. Vienna: European Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia.

    Google Scholar 

  • Castles, S., Kalantzis, M., Cope, B., & Morrissey, M. (1988). Mistaken identity: Multi-culturalism and the demise of nationalism in Australia. Sydney: Pluto Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Castoriadis, C. (1997). World in fragments: Writings on politics, society, psychoanalysis, and the imagination. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Committee to Advise on Australia’s Immigration Policies (S FitzGerald, chair). (1988). Immigration: A commitment to Australia. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.

    Google Scholar 

  • Daily Mail. (2011). Nicolas Sarkozy joins David Cameron and Angela Merkel view that multiculturalism has failed, 11 February, 2011. Accessed 8 Aug 2011.

  • De Lepervanche, M. (1988). Racism and sexism in Australian National Life. In M. de Lepervanche., & B. Bottomley. (Eds.), The cultural construction of race. Sydney Studies in Society and Culture, No 4 University of Sydney, NSW.

    Google Scholar 

  • European Council of Europe. (2008). White paper on intercultural dialogue “Living together as equals in dignity”. Council of Europe F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex

    Google Scholar 

  • Fightdemback – Fighting Race-Hate in Australia and New Zealand. (2005). Do you Yahoo? The Nazis do. Accessed 7 Sept 2009.

  • Galligan, B., & Roberts, W. (2003). Australian multiculturalism: Its rise and demise. Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, Hobart, Tasmania 2003, 29 Sept–1 Oct.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gordon, J., & Topsfield, J. (2006). Our values or go home: Costello. The Age, 24 February, 2006. Accessed 21 Aug 2007.

  • Hage, G. (2003). Against paranoid nationalism: Searching for hope in a shrinking society. Annandale: Pluto Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hartmann, D., & Gerteis, J. (2005). Dealing with diversity: Mapping multiculturalism in sociological terms. Sociological Theory, 23(2), 218–240.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jakubowicz, A. (2002). White noise: Australia’s struggle with multiculturalism. In C. Levine-Rasky (Ed.), Working through whiteness: International perspectives (pp. 107–112). New York: State University of New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jakubowicz, A., & Castles, S. (1986). The inherent subjectivity of the apparently objective in research on ethnicity and class. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 7(3), 5–25.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jayasuriya, L. (2008). Australian multiculturalism reframed. Australian Quarterly, 80(3). Reprinted in The New Critic, Issue 8 September 2008. Accessed 12 Dec 2013.

  • Kymlicka, W. (2010). The rise and fall of multiculturalism? New debates on inclusion and accommodation in diverse societies. International Social Science Journal, 61(199), 97–112.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Macintyre, S., & Clarke, A. (2003). The history wars. Carlton: MUP.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mitchell, K. (2003). Educating the national citizen in neoliberal times: From the multicultural self to the strategic cosmopolitan. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, NS, 28, 387–403.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • NACCME. (1987). Education in and for a Multicultural Society: Issues and strategies for policy making. Canberra: National Advisory and Co-ordinating Committee on Multicultural Education.

    Google Scholar 

  • National Curriculum Board. (2009a). The shape of the Australian curriculum: History. Barton: Commonwealth of Australia.

    Google Scholar 

  • National Curriculum Board. (2009b). The shape of the Australian curriculum. Barton: Commonwealth of Australia.

    Google Scholar 

  • National Multicultural Advisory Council. (1997). Multicultural Australian: The way forward. Canberra: Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs. Accessed 22 Feb 2012.

  • (2011). Multiculturalism policies in Britain a failure, says PM David Cameron, February 5, 2011. Accessed 7 Aug 2012.

  • SBS Immigration Nation. (2011). Accessed 6 Aug 2012.

  • Schools Commission. (1975). Report for the Triennium 1976–1978. Canberra: AGPS.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sleeter, C., & McLaren, P. (Eds.). (1995). Multicultural education, critical pedagogy, and the politics of recognition. Albany: State University of New York Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tsolidis, G. (1986). Educating Voula. Report to the Ministerial Advisory Committee on multicultural and migrant education. Melbourne: Ministry of Education, Victoria.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tsolidis, G. (2001). Schooling, diaspora and gender: Being feminist and being different. Buckingham/Philadelphia: Open University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tsolidis, G. (2006). Youthful imagination: Schooling, subcultures and social justice. New York: Peter Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tsolidis, G. (2010). Simpson, his donkey and the rest of us – Public pedagogies of the value of belonging. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 42(4), 448–461.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tsolidis, G. (2011). Learning difference in the diaspora – Sharing sacred spaces. In Z. Bekerman & T. Geisen (Eds.), International handbook of migration, minorities, and education – Understanding cultural and social differences in processes of learning (pp. 641–658). Netherlands: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tsolidis, G., & Pollard, V. (2009). Being a ‘wog’ in Melbourne: Young people’s self fashioning through discourses of racism. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 30(4), 427–442.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tsolidis, G., & Pollard, V. (2010). Home space: Youthful identification in the diaspora. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education: An International Journal, 4(3), 1–15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Weaver, M. (2010). Angela Merkel: German multiculturalism has ‘utterly failed’, The Guardian, 17 October 2010. Accessed 7 Aug 2012.

  • Zangalis, G. (2009). Migrant workers & ethnic communities: Their struggles for social justice & cultural rights: The role of Greek-Australians. Melbourne: The Social Sciences.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zizek, S. (2010). Liberal multiculturalism masks an old barbarism with a human face. The Guardian, Sunday 4 October 2010, p. 27. Accessed 19 Apr 2012.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Georgina Tsolidis .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Tsolidis, G. (2015). Does the New Doxa of Integrationism Make Multicultural Education a Contemporary Heresy?. In: Proctor, H., Brownlee, P., Freebody, P. (eds) Controversies in Education. Policy Implications of Research in Education, vol 3. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics