AbstractsPolitical Science

Migrating Australian migration : thinking beyond ethnicity

by Janette Young

Institution: University of South Australia
Degree: PhD
Year: 2010
Keywords: Australia Emigration and immigration; migration immigration Australia history 360101 Australian Government and Politics 370101 Social Theory 370103 Race and Ethnic Relations 370107 Social Change 370502 Migration 379901 Gender Specific Studies 430101 History: Australian
Record ID: 1034803
Full text PDF: http://itupl-ura1.ml.unisa.edu.au:80/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=unisa45785


British migrants have been positioned as a Weberian ideal type of migrant in Australian discourses, considered so similar to the resident Australian population that they were virtually 'non-migrants'. They have been overlooked in critical Australian migration analyses, which have focussed on non-British persons, and the construct of ethnicity. The riddle of British migrant invisibility, while paradoxically being identified as 'privileged' migrants, is the lynchpin upon which this research hinges. The argument encapsulated in this thesis is that a singular focus on ethnicity as an explanatory framework fails to encompass the complexity of the broad sociological phenomena of Australian migration over time. The thesis examines Australian migration since the pre-Federation era into the present, developing a historically informed, sociological understanding. Bounded, homogenised notions of ethnicity are critiqued within this process. As an alternative to the ethnicity-centralising analyses that have dominated Australian understandings of migration in recent decades, an inductive, capital conscious analysis is developed.