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Katherine Kirk and Ellen Bal

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between migration and integration policies in the Netherlands, diaspora policies in India, and the transnational practices of Indian highly skilled migrants to the Netherlands. We employ anthropological transnational migration theories (e.g., Ong 1999; Levitt and Jaworsky 2007) to frame the dynamic interaction between a sending and a receiving country on the lives of migrants. This paper makes a unique contribution to migration literature by exploring the policies of both sending and receiving country in relation to ethnographic data on migrants. The international battle for brains has motivated states like the Netherlands and India to design flexible migration and citizenship policies for socially and economically desirable migrants. Flexible citizenship policies in the Netherlands are primarily concerned with individual and corporate rights and privileges, whereas Indian diaspora policies have been established around the premise of national identity.

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Daniella Trimboli

Abstract

The contemporary diasporic experience is fragmented and contradictory, and the notion of ‘home’ increasingly blurry. In response to these moving circumstances, many diaspora and multiculturalism studies’ scholars have turned to the everyday, focussing on the local particularities of the diasporic experience. Using the Italo-Australian digital storytelling collection Racconti: La Voce del Popolo, this paper argues that, while crucial, the everyday experience of diaspora always needs to be read in relation to broader, dislocated contexts. Indeed, to draw on Grant Farred (2009), the experience of diaspora must be read both in relation to—but always ‘out of’—context. Reading diaspora in this way helps reveal aspects of diasporic life that have the potential to productively disrupt dominant assimilationist discourses of multiculturalism that continue to dominate. This kind of re-reading is pertinent in colonial nations like Australia, whose multiculturalism rhetoric continues to echo normative whiteness.

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Helen Kim

Abstract

Germany is considered a relatively recent country where multiraciality has become a recognised phenomenon. Yet, Germany still considers itself a monoracial state, one where whiteness is conflated with “Germanness”. Based on interviews with seven people who are multiracial (mostly Korean–German) in Berlin, this article explores how the participants construct their multiracial identities. My findings show that participants strategically locate their identity as diasporic to circumvent racial “othering”. They utilise diasporic resources or the “raw materials” of diasporic consciousness in order to construct their multiracial identities and challenge racism and the expectations of racial and ethnic authenticity. I explored how multiracial experiences offer a different way of thinking about the actual doing and performing of diaspora.

Open access

Georgina Tsolidis

Abstract

Historically, Australianness has been defined in contradistinction to its location – a British bastion in the Asia-Pacific region.A fear of being swamped by the Chinese – the ‘yellow peril’ – prompted federation, and a restrictive migration policy aimed at making Australia white. Thus, sinophobia has been significant in the national imaginary. This paper discusses how contemporary representations of Chineseness may be echoing this historic narrative of fear about being overrun. This is explored in the context of China’s shifting global significance and Australia’s growing economic relationship with China.

Open access

Paul Morris

Abstract

Is religion simply a part of culture? Can religious diversity be managed as a subset of intercultural diversity? This article explores intercultural dialogue and its relationship to “religion’ in the policies, documents and debates of the European Community. The argument is advanced that religious realities and concerns are misconstrued when religion is subsumed into culture. Religion needs to be historically and conceptually rethought and that for cultural and religious diversities to be skillfully managed in the interests of social solidarity and positive intercommunal relations both need to be addressed discretely and in tandem.

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Gary D Bouma AM

Abstract

The use of intercultural dialogue (ICD) to promote intergroup understanding and respect is considered as a key to reduce tensions and the likelihood of conflict. This paper argues that understanding the differences among religions – those between packaged and lived religion – enhances the chances of success and makes the effort more challenging. Religions contained and packaged are found in formally organised expressions of religion – churches, denominations, synagogues, mosques, temples and so on. For packaged religions, religious identity is singular and adherents are expected to identify with only one religion and are assumed to accept the whole package of that religion. ICD in this context involves communicating with religious groups such as organisations and encouraging different leaders to speak with each other resulting in platforms filled with ‘heads of faith’ – bishops muftis, ayatollahs, chief rabbis, swamis and so on. In contrast, lived religions involve ritual practices engaged in by individuals and small groups, creation of shrines and sacred spaces, discussing the nature of life, sharing ethical concerns, going on pilgrimages and taking actions to celebrate and sustain hope.There is some evidence that, although packaged religions are declining, lived religions continue at persistent levels. Violent extremism is more likely to be associated with lived rather than packaged forms of religion, making a more balanced intercultural competences approach to ICD critical to countering conflict.

Open access

Geoffrey Brahm Levey

Abstract

In recent years, an international debate has erupted over whether and how interculturalism differs from multiculturalism as a response to cultural diversity. An influential argument in this debate is that multiculturalism itself militates against intercultural dialogue. This article scrutinises this argument and challenge its applicability in the Australian context. I examine two case studies of fraught intercultural dialogue: the 2006 clash between the Howard government and the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria over the proposed introduction of a citizenship test; and the Abbott government’s proposed reform of the anti-vilification provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) during 2013–14. The cases suggest that far from undermining intercultural dialogue, respecting the terms of Australian multiculturalism would help to make it possible. Moreover, the cases suggest that if pursued genuinely, intercultural dialogue could contribute improved policy outcomes.

Open access

Eugenia Siapera

Abstract

This article reviews the central problematique of citizenship, arguing that the challenges imposed by neoliberal globalisation involve the loss of political, social and civil rights. By negating the mediations performed by citizenship between the people and the state, post-democracy renders citizenship meaningless. The article traces two main responses to this, a reactionary and a progressive one, none of which can address the problems of citizenship. The grains of a new response are found in three developments: a new ontology of the citizen, brought into being through digital acts; the existence of dual power, creating new forms of governance and social reproduction from below; and between these, the development of new procedures that directly engage with state power. Taken together, these considerations indicate a new possibility for the radicalisation of citizenship rather than a return to the former state of affairs.

Open access

Zahid Shahab Ahmed

Abstract

Soon after its declaration as an Islamic Republic in 1956, Islamists have experienced numerous ups and downs in Pakistan. Islamists not only try to maintain the status quo of the Islamic state but also endeavour to expand the scope of sharia. Despite insignificant achievements in elections, Islamists have mostly been able to dictate civilian and military governments in matters of national identity. One of the greatest challenges for the promotion of pluralism is the Islamists’ anti-secular narrative, which holds significant backing from both the civil and the military elites. The goal of this paper is to analyse such narrative with reference to Pakistan’s continuous struggle for national identity. ‘The analyses propose that anti-secular voices are occupying centre stage in Pakistan, leaving little room for diverse opinions. Anti-secular groups use violence as a tool to silence any opposition against their ideology for Pakistan, which is evident by regular attacks on not only the religious minorities but also the moderate or liberal Muslim thinkers. The conflict over national identity between extremists and moderates is also one of the main causes of rising violent extremism in Pakistan.