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The Problem Of Balance Between Multiculturalism And National Identity In Australia

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Australia is regarded as a high functioning multicultural society; policy and institutional structures that emanate the aspect of cultural diversity have been centered in the past decades (Koleth, 2010). However, there are mixed sentiments concerning this facet among several individuals of the country. These adverse viewpoints, deriving from things like the amount of knowledge an individual has, their domain, media eminence of specific diversity issues, have emerged various outlooks towards multiculturalism (Malik, 2015). Moreso, immigration in Australia has become ultimately controversial in contestation. Beyond question, if multiculturalism has become a key factor in the nationalism of the country, what have been the substantial impacts on Australian society? As validated in the article by Knight (2008), Australia has undergone the success of multiculturalism, though it is undeniable that being a well-known country of having diverse cultures, also has its acquired challenges.

Moreover, I do believe that as a multicultural society, there is a need for the aspect of multiculturalism to be engaged in the subject more often. Arguably, one may say that cultural diversity issues have only resonated in small groups of communities as multiculturalism varies nationwide (Forrest & Dunn, 2006). This can be a reason why some Anglo-Australians do not know much about it and its active consumption in society; thus, it is difficult to discern the essence of the extensive policy regarding multiculturalism. Besides this, it is mentioned that despite the approach, there has been an underlying sense of racism that continues to raise certain implications as observed by some Anglo-Australians. Beyond doubt, multiculturalism is transformative of the practices and identities of minority groups. Issues that emerged such as discrimination may have originated because of Australia’s own past experiences of ethnic and racial prejudices. For instance, I have learned that such conflicts or riots were the results of multiculturalism that allowed people to engage in certain cultures; these aspects were regarded incompatible with the values of Australian society (Koleth, 2010). At some point, it is apparent that these elements have disintegrated national cohesion and social stability that may still be seen up to this day. Not to mention, despite the multicultural aspect embedded, racism persists in the society in which indigenous and minority groups are greatly affected by racist attitudes and concerns.

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On top of this, it was denoted that the majority of Anglo-Australians do not realize their inclusion in multiculturalism. I agree with the statement that it seems as though the Aboriginal people are displaced in the existing framework of Australian society. The corresponding belief that since the Aboriginals have long stayed in society, these individuals may have already accepted the new form of national identity by the policies of multiculturalism (Forrest & Dunn, 2006). As such, it may have been ingrained for them to embrace cultural diversity as a privileged status of their identity. Furthermore, the new term ‘integration’ as discussed in the article, addresses the goal of celebrating shared destiny instead of differences. I do believe, however, that this may have fragmented lines, as integration focuses on the lack of political and economic characterization rather than the cultural aspect. It is in the means of appraising things like opportunities for wealth and improvement of democracy (Busbridge, 2019). That said, it is in uncertainty what exactly happens to immigrants themselves. Moreso to what extent can immigrants allow their own cultural background to cultivate in the process of adapting to the community as a citizen? Definitely, it is a matter of weighing whether integration can achieve a greater substantial impact than what the government believes that multiculturalism does less to society.

In an immigration country like Australia, it is also difficult to discern what exactly do Australian values compose. As noted, the government wants to assemble immigrants in a process wherein they adopt new citizenry in the country. However, in my view, it is quite difficult to assess the inclusiveness of a particular national identity, if Australian values are not expounded. As such, it may limit certain practices and beliefs that can affect social harmony between individuals. Moreso if the people are not truly aware of what makes someone Australian, this can become an arbitrary prospect and may even lead to prejudice rather than authentic values (Collins, 2013). All things considered, I believe that multiculturalism still plays an important role in an immigration country like Australia. A sense of balance between this aspect and integration is required to attain a successful multicultural society. What must be considered is a precise and meaningful precept of national identity, but then again, this should not impede the valuing of ethnic and cultural diversity. In addition, it is vital to critically assess the policy framework in the country for integration to work efficiently (Collins, 2013). With the fluctuation of the success of multiculturalism, the government must consider the potential disadvantages to the immigrants themselves and for issues like racism to be rectified; this is justified as minority groups and some Anglo-Australians are still subject to discrimination up to this day. Certainly, I believe that certain factors are taken into consideration, this can ensure the success of multiculturalism in the country.

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The Problem Of Balance Between Multiculturalism And National Identity In Australia. (2021, September 02). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from
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