Cultural rights are becoming an increasingly important area of human rights discussion given the association between culture, identity and social equity. The subject is considered here in the context of how the absence of cultural rights influences both the recognition of the diversity of cultures and the capacity of some to access and practice art. Culture and arts practices are intertwined but certain arts practices are prioritised over others by funding bodies, governments and institutions. Recent examples from Australia are highlighted, in which changes to the cultural makeup of the country are occurring at a rapid rate without adequate responses from governments to address funding inequities. It is argued here that unless cultural rights are seen as a basic human right and embedded in the legal national framework, then sectors of the broader community are disenfranchised.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.