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Italians in Australia

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Encyclopedia of Diasporas

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In Australian immigration history Italians were categorized as “southern Europeans” and thus differentiated from the preferred British and northern European settlers. All arrivals in the 1950s and 1960s, the peak years of immigration, of whom Italians formed the largest non-English-speaking group, were labeled “new Australians,” reflecting the assimilationist policies of the time. With the advent of multiculturalism in the late 1970s, ethnicity became the focus of identity politics, and the use of hyphenated ethnicity labels, like Italo-Australian, or Italian-Australians, became common. The Australian born are generally referred to as second-generation Italians and rarely, if ever, as first-generation Australians.

The most common pejorative names specific to Italians were “Dago” and “Eyetie,” with the addition of the term “Ding” peculiar to Western Australia. Italians were also commonly called “wogs” and “wops,” but these terms also referred more generally to southern...

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Baldassar, L.V. (2005). Italians in Australia. In: Ember, M., Ember, C.R., Skoggard, I. (eds) Encyclopedia of Diasporas. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-29904-4_87

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-29904-4_87

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

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