The Arts Council of Great Britain was ostensibly the model for the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust when it was established in , but its funding depended primarily on philanthropy, along American lines. His support for the Trust was based on the understanding that most of its funds would come from the private sector. Not only has Australia possessed a range of gender, class and ethnically based cultures, all of them to some extent influenced from America, but there is also considerable evidence to suggest that there was constant interaction between them. For example, the Australian temperance movement was strongly influenced by its American counterpart and support for that movement was to be found both among the middle and the working classes.
In this era commercial radio stations provided regular programmes with such titles as Great Plays in Half-an-Hour-and Cream of the Classics. Here is yet another example of American influence extending beyond the popular. At the same time they underwent similar processes of urbanisation and industrialisation. As a result the task of identifying what was and is unique to each culture has become more and more problematic. At the same time, this framework suggests some interesting comparisons. In his study of the history of sport in nineteenth century New York Adelman applied a modernisation model that incorporated the development of organisational structures, standardised rules, new technology, professionalism, statistical measurement of performance and a specialist sporting press-, to explain the changing characteristics of his subject over a year period.
The evidence suggests that in this period, at least, they were English rather than American. The Sentimental Bloke was a pathbreaking film by Australian standards but in comparison with sophisticated American filming techniques it was outclassed, dismissed by New York critics as an anachronism. The modernisation model also has implications for the history of Australian work culture. Because there were few large factories employing the latest technology in nineteenth century Australia work practices here remained more traditional than they did in the United States: Shearers, for example, were required to work a certain number of hours per week but they were paid in terms of the numbers shorn.
Certainly, employers sought to inculcate modern work practices in their workers, but drinking in working hours, and the observance of St. Monday remained as Australian traditions. During the shearing season workers flowed out of the cities in search of work in the shearing sheds, and then flowed back again as employment became available in the flour mills and the docks.
In the essays in his Work, Culture and Society in Industrialising America, Herbert Gutman has studied that nineteenth century moment when a pre-industrial immigrant workforce encountered the modern American factory. Did the workers develop a culture of resistance expressed through sabotage of machinery, absenteeism and constant changing of employment? If they did then they were simply following the precedent set by shearers in the s, who responded to the introduction of machine shears with a campaign of sabotage and defiance.
The comparison with nineteenth century America is inviting, illuminating, but of course complex and difficult. In the s Australians flocked to American movies that were based on English and European classic novels, David Copperfield, for example, but rejected those with specifically American themes. Gone With the Wind was a flop the first time it was released here because it was seen as peculiarly American.
These particularly included films made by Cecil B. Their plots began rather than ended with marriage as one partner discovered glamour and excitement outside the home, while the other clung to domesticity. The result was divorce although when the couple accidentally met again happiness resulted because, in the meantime, the domestic partner had achieved liberation by discovering the erotic rather than the parenting primacy of marriage.
The initial domination of commercial television programmes by shows dealing with American families The Donna Reed Show , war heroes Combat , private detectives Peter Gunn and frontiersmen Daniel Boone led to such vocal opposition that the Senate held an inquiry into television content in — The comparison between the campaigns against American domination of the film industry in the s and s and against its television counterpart in the s is in fact instructive. What had muted the outcry against American films was that many of them were neither about nor set in America.
What sharpened the protest against American television was that so many of the American programmes shown here focussed heavily on distinctively American themes and characters. Once again what this suggests is that what appealed to Australians was the modernity of particular cultural values and institutions; and if they also possessed distinctively American traits, that was not necessarily an advantage. Historians of Australian culture have often taken a genealogical approach, seeking to identify those values and institutions that have contributed to the development of a unique Australian identity and culture, and ignoring those works of culture that are clearly imitative of British and American originals.
Historians of early Australian cinema, for example, have focussed on those works that were usually set in the bush and featured convicts, bush workers, selectors and bushrangers. Yet other types of films that deliberately imitated American genres were also made here. One of the most interesting features of the Australian film revival of the POPULAR CULTURE 57 s was that the new wave directors felt obliged first to genuflect in the direction of Australian film and cultural tradition through such films as Sunday Too Far Away and Gallipoli before turning to films that were more internationally oriented or leaving the country altogether in search of fame and fortune in the United States.
Which then is more quitessentially Australian? Sunday Too Far Away, with its authentic Australian story, characters, and location? The Mad Max trilogy, which is set everywhere and nowhere, and which features an isolated strong and essentially asexual hero, in the mould of Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones?
Or Strictly Ballroom, which on one level has international appeal because it is a homage to Hollywood dance movies of the s and but which local audiences can also understand as a parable, telling the story of the transformation of Australian culture from one dominated by Anglo-Saxon conformity into one characterised by multi culturalism? At the risk of labouring the point let me take an example from another cultural genre, musical comedy, to indicate how defining texts, artefacts, institutions, as particularly Australian is not easy. Yet its form was so derivative of the Broadway musical that both critics and audiences remained confused about its true provenance.
Perhaps, however, they should not have been, for it belonged to a hybrid Australian American cultural tradition which stretched back to The Scout and beyond. It is certainly the case that the bush and its products no longer serve as the central inspiration for Australian films, novels or poetry. But that is not just the result of American influence. In a multicultural society the symbols, villains and heroes of an Anglo-Celtic past no longer seem so vital nor so relevant.
At the same time, in the wake of the establishment of national opera and ballet companies, of capital city based repertory theatre companies, the flowering of local literature and painting, the establishment of our television and film industries, Australia has accumulated such a rich set of cultural artefacts that there is no longer the need to hide behind a claimed distinctiveness. Waterhouse, From Minstrel Show to Vaudeville: Palmer, The Legend of the Nineties. MUP, Melbourne, ; D. Walker, Dream and Disillusion: Waterhouse, Private Pleasures, Public Leisure: Collins, Hollywood Down Under: Australians at the Movies: Williams, Australia on the Popular Stage, — For a brilliant study of Australian melodrama see M.
Waterhouse, The Principal Club: Baseball matches were commonly played at half-time during Melbourne VFL games in the interwar period. For the history of middle brow culture in America see J. Adelman, A Sporting Time: This implies that class consciousness may have developed earlier in rural than urban Australia.
Bosworth, Old Worlds and New Australia: May, Screening Out the Past: Yet a common thread to both types of abuse is the dismissive depiction of ordinary Australians as a passive, pliant mass conforming to the imperatives of suburbia or Americanisation which are imposed upon them. In the process they betray some supposedly higher purpose such as national identity, socialism or high culture. First, arguments against Americanisation often pick on the most obvious elements such as McDonalds, baseball caps and television programs.
But one can observe that the least noticed aspects of Americanisation have contributed to Australian suburbia over the last century and more. However, other Australians were not simply passive recipients but active participants in processes that filtered through society. In fact, Americanisation is part of the story of the modernisation of Australia. Such phrases are part of the history of Australian political discourse in which many have made an association between the spread of democracy, the spread of suburban homeownership and the progress of the nation.
This discourse has taken the enthymeme form of argument based on one major premiss: Aristotle defined eudaimonia — happiness — as the prime objective of any persuasive rhetoric. Hence, in a democracy the happiness of the people has been the prime objective of political discourse. However, this rhetoric in Australia has often conflated political and economic factors. The spread of prosperity into the working class, especially through the acquisition of property, has been equated with the fairness of democracy.
There have been variations to this discourse as any term of political discourse is always set within a framework of values of the time. The framework constitutes a vocabulary of beliefs enjoying a particular logical status and influences political discourse towards certain directions and conclusions but not towards others. Yet this is also the time when Australia acquired a reputation for suburbia.
Australians are indebted to many middle-class English who invented suburbia as a semi-Arcadian retreat to escape the urban ills of the Industrial Revolution. But Australians are also obliged to many of their own SUBURBIA 63 predecessors who gradually transformed suburbia into an ideal for all during the second half of the nineteenth century. Many in the working and lower middle classes held ambitions for property and respectability.
Whatever the motive, home ownership came within the grasp of many during the suburban boom of the s and s when high wages and steady employment provided opportunities. This was frequently spent by government ministers supported by backbenchers on new rail or tram lines that increased the value of new suburban developments in which they held interests. Most premiers, ministers8 and backbenchers9 in Victoria throughout the s, s and into the s were at the same time directors of property, finance and banking companies.
Davison makes clear that the small-scale and the elite of the building industry were responsible for the blossoming of bungalows across the suburbs. Both types employed architects to design housing, mostly to English influence. It was in the s that American design was principally adopted with the American Queen Anne and the American Shingle styles. He belonged to trade unions; and possessed the right to vote and stand as a candidate in parliamentary elections. Home ownership rates in were about 50 per cent across Australia but only 30 per cent in Sydney and 41 per cent in Melbourne.
First, it manoeuvred in the new arena of national political parties that regulated the class relationships. Class had become more clearly defined at this time, particularly the now apparent urban wage-earning working class18 that resided in the increasingly dominant metropolises. Australia and the ALP were gradually changing.
Yet in Louis Esson was one of a number who feared their vision of socialism based in the bush was disappearing. In the first Labor government in New South Wales, under James McGowen, aimed to promote land settlement, decentralisation and cure the housing shortage for workers through land, finance and railway reforms. Desperate urban conditions such as slums shaped people and led to moral decline. The state could create an improved, ordered environment that would create improved human beings. His report advocated decentralised suburban expansion along garden city lines.
Between and American garden suburbs were celebrated often as inspiration for Australian emulation. The first garden suburb in Australia arose in at Haberfield, Sydney, as a private venture by Richard Stanton, whose company financed, designed and built this suburb of houses. He banned terraces and houses of weatherboard construction, instead opting for Federation houses with their American influences. Britain planned to export its people and sterling to the white progeny who would export their produce in return.
This plan became the centrepiece for policies to develop Australia. The government readily accepted a strong role for the state, particularly in immigration, rural development and infrastructure construction. This also meant recruiting important men from rural and urban capital to state agencies. He was a great admirer of American welfare liberalism.
In the Commonwealth Bank was placed under a board drawn from business and chaired by Sir Robert Gibson. A housing shortage resulting from wartime restrictions spurred the Hughes government to action. The federal government initiated the Commonwealth War Service Homes Commission in to provide homes for ex-servicemen, in addition to the state housing programs. The proselytisers for the nascent consumer society were in a young advertising industry that learnt its techniques from America.
In Queensland both of these styles were perched on stilts. Tasmanians constructed some Californian bungalows in timber. But mostly there was a standard set of details that gave a consistency. The architectural firm commissioned by the New South Wales government to design the cottages in Daceyville was directly influenced by the Californian style through one of its partners who resided in Pasadena.
Stanton erected in Rosebery the imported Californian bungalow as a display home. Gepp and Sir John Monash, war hero and head of the Victorian Electricity Commission, were responsible for garden suburbs. By there were over cinemas, many owned by Hoyts. Many were converted sheds but many were adorned in the American art deco style, such as the Parramatta Roxy, the Randwick Ritz and the State Theatre in Sydney.
It was only with the gradual mobilisation of total war that Australia and its economy finally recuperated and entered the Long Boom that lasted until the s. Like many countries during this time Australia industrialised as it militarised due to the development of heavy industries such as steel, engineering and chemicals. But the nineteenth century habit of conflating democracy and fairness with the diffusion of prosperity continued. Amongst other applications, the term followed American practice by becoming embroiled in the Cold War as something to be defended against communism.
It also accommodated American cultural transmission to Australia and in the process became identified with the suburban home, with the car and with other consumer goods supplied by manufacturing. There was also the traditional link to Britain as an export market for primary produce, although the war cut the flow of its people and sterling to Australia and fatally harmed its role as protector.
These traditional policies were reconfigured in a new consensus that had its origins in the late s but only consolidated with the trials of war. People in the major political parties, the sectors of manufacturing, farming, commerce and their representative organisations, and the trade unions formed an historic bloc, a consensus of certain dominant and subordinate organisations which support a set of policies.
The people and their organisations; occupied positions in both the state and civil society thus blurring any distinction between these two concepts and formed the political and social institutions that ensured the stability of capitalism during its Fordist stage from World War II to the s.
The name Fordism derives from Henry Ford who first employed mass assembly lines with the scientific management of Taylorism. But mass production also requires mass consumption, as proved by the overproduction of the s. After the terrible hiatus of the Depression stability did not return until a balance between mass production, productivity, high wages and mass consumption was provided by the political and social institutions of a new consensus traversing political and civil society.
The most prominent men were from manufacturing, retail, banking and farming, and belonged to ACMA, Associated Chambers of Commerce of Australia or the farming organisations. Their model of modernisation, as for others around the world, was the American Way. So it was these men who promoted the introduction and adaptation of American Fordism in the fields of manufacturing, management, advertising, selling and distribution. By Australian companies were linked for the most part through licensing agreements to US companies.
The success stories of the s and s; were the manufacturing industries of steel, motor vehicle, chemical, oil, food processing and electrical goods50 that produced for the expanding suburbia. Low density suburbia was not central to all countries that experienced Fordism. However, it was central to America50 and to Australia where it stretched across most cities but reached its apogee in those metropolises that benefited most from the development program — Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
In fact, governments were responding to the huge housing shortage of the s and s. A lack of some dwellings helped to agitate middle-class voters against the Chifley government in The general urban policy was decentralisation to the new outer suburbs that grew for a variety of reasons. As inner city slums and city residences were cleared people fled to the suburbs. Similarly, the War Services Homes Scheme only provided funds for veterans to buy new homes. This was, of course, only in the suburbs. Migrant hostels in the cities were placed, after consultation with the IPC, in close proximity to the manufacturing, making them points of entry into Australia for new citizens to find jobs and housing.
For all of these reasons the fringes of Australian cities were working class suburbs, not middle class like American suburbs. At the State government level plans for Sydney , Melbourne , Adelaide and Perth and Fremantle all emphasised decentralised suburban expansion involving bungalows on a quarter-acre block, manufacturing industries and shopping centres54 and transport policies which favoured roads and highways over mass public transit. The garden city idea still flourished and the new city of Elizabeth, north of Adelaide, was the most ambitious example. In addition, the housing policies of these two governments generally favoured the outer metropolitan areas.
They were sick of the housing shortages and the accompanying high rents, so much so that owner-builders were responsible for 30—40 per cent of homes constructed. Their ideas incorporated some aspects of Modernism, which had apostles such as Harry Seidler and Robin Boyd who were heavily influenced by American practice.
But these couples were somewhat resistant to the full onslaught of Modernism due to their ideals of domesticity. Hallways were reduced and kitchens became the centre of open family areas. Under licence from American companies, A. Jennings and Wunderlich manufactured aluminium windows which allowed large picture windows like houses in California. It was possible to merge the inside and the outside of the home, particularly in the manner of organic architecture, Cape Cod, Beachcomber and other American house designs proliferated in the s.
Jennings sent its staff to America to acquire house designs and followed the American marketing innovation by creating estates of display homes back in Australia. In the early s the transport departments in New South Wales and Victoria employed the same American firm of freeway consultants for transport plans for Sydney and Melbourne. The predictable solution was more highways and less public transport to cater for the increasing numbers of office employees working in the CBDs but living in the suburbs.
In partnership with an Australian firm the American consultants also came up with the transport plans for Adelaide and Canberra. By the early s trams disappeared from all Australian cities apart from Melbourne. The changes proved beneficial to the cars and trucks that rolled out of the complex process of steel, vehicle and parts manufacturing that dominated the Fordist consensus. With the rapid rise in car ownership Australians also came to enjoy the freedom Americans associated with cars, driving to the beaches dotted along the coast, or to the drive-in cinemas, which first arrived from America in Burwood, Melbourne in through Hoyts and several partners.
By there were 20 in that city alone. McDonalds followed suit in The second opened at Top Ryde, Sydney, in the same year. However, the major shopping centre developer of the s was the Myer company of Melbourne. In Chadstone shopping centre became the site for the first suburban eight-screen cinema complex owned by Hoyts and CIC, starting a trend for this American drawcard around Australia. The Australian advertising industry worked on the American assumption that women made 80 per cent of all purchasing decisions.
This strategy continued in the choice of interior colours, decorations and fixtures, checkouts and notices. The rhetoric connecting home ownership to democracy and Australian identity is still extant but has suffered. Since the s we have been stuck in an increasingly pressured world of restructure and convulsion that promises a better life in a liberalised, competitive global market.
The rise in favour of free markets has drastically diminished the support for state policies of tariff protection, government business enterprises and government spending. Deregulation of the finance sector and reduced government spending during to initiated a trend that continues. Manufacturing and agriculture have lost their previous importance to information technology, finance and banking, tourism, construction, retailing and property. In combination with the state and with new sources of foreign investment from Japan and Southeast Asia these sectors were responsible for a boom in commercial construction leading to a surfeit of offices and hotels in the early s.
Major corporations, particularly in manufacturing, supported the Hawke government in its restructuring plans and in its accord with the ACTU. Relevant companies participated in industry plans for steel, cars and other industries and in various state agencies. As a result of the National Tourism Strategy of , representatives of the state and of tourist companies and organisations have come together on the statutory Australian Tourism Commission and on the Tourism Task Force as a means of facilitating state strategic direction in this industry. The services sector has benefited greatly from privatisation fees and bargain share prices for the sale of government businesses such as Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank, QANTAS and state utilities.
State governments have enjoyed considerable overlaps with civil society. In the s the Cain Labor government in Victoria formed an alliance with developers through the Committee for Melbourne, a club of powerful business, professional and local government people chaired by John Elliot.
The Liberal Party treasurer, Ron Walker, is a director of the Grand Prix and the Melbourne Casino, which have both enjoyed considerable government incentives. These are large developments mixing office, residential, hotel, leisure and retail business that appeared on government-owned land such as railway or port facilities. They are geared towards consumption and tourism, which find their apotheosis in that ultimate mega-project, the Sydney Olympics.
The New South Wales government uses extensive planning powers80 and a number of important agencies to promote urban development: SOCOG has repeatedly drawn people from business into its ranks. Highways are somewhat tainted icons of modernity compared to the rapture they engendered in the s. But they are still worshipped for their capacity to move us quickly around cities. Even those who sometimes curse the car and mourn better public transport are nevertheless dependent on it because of the irrevocable legacies of previous decades.
Thus the American contribution lives on. Meanwhile, cutbacks in Federal government spending were often at the expense of financial transfers to state governments, which in turn sought ways to reduce spending. Hence state governments have become enthusiasts for urban consolidation. People are living in the CBDs in apartments often converted from the oversupply of offices or are gentrifying the old inner suburbs, thus changing the demography from working class to the white-collar middle class employed in the service industries in the CBD.
They emphasise just a few medium density blocks where the edge is no more than or metres from the centre. Within this area, even within the same block, is a diverse range of land uses involving residential, employment and retail properties plus amenities. Roads and cars have a reduced place in comparison to the past to make way for the revival of public spaces of paths and greens.
One redevelopment in the Olympic Corridor is by the Rosecorp company at Cabarita. The mixed-use development covers hectares with extensive green spaces, three railway stations and bus lines for about 60 people. These ideas are not the simple panaceas to our problems. Consolidation in the inner, gentrifying suburbs drives lower income people to the fringes and does not stop urban sprawl. Few know that Fosters beer carries the name of the American brothers who brought a German process for making beer to Australia last century. These things — along with American architectural styles, the supermarket, the shopping centre, the drive-in and the highway — enjoyed exciting reputations for modernity when they first arrived but their subsequent familiarity in our lives soon dulled the memory of their origins and cachet.
They were brought, for the most part, by Australians and then absorbed into Australian life with little sign that they harmed our identity. On the contrary, such selection and adaptation to our ways have been part of a complex and pervasive process of development in Australia in which many have taken part but with varying degrees of importance according to political and economic rank. Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Argyrous eds Pluto Press, Sydney, ; H.
Churchward, Australia and America — Howard, Politics and Patriotism: Hanson eds , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, The First Suburban Nation? Paris, eds Longman Cheshire, Melbourne, ; E. James Service, Premier —85, director of a bank and a property development company ; Duncan Gillies, Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Railways from —90; several of Gillies ministers were directors of property and finance companies involved in suburban speculation, such as Alfred Deakin, Chief Secretary and acting Premier, who had close ties to the speculating mayor of Prahran; F.
The next Premier, James Munro —92 , did more than any other to ensure the collapse of the land boom — while he was a director of investment banks. Cannon, The Land Boomers 2nd edn , pp. Alexander listed still more in , such as the boards of the Australian General Assurance Company and the Australian Mortgage Land and Finance Company, which included the speaker of the Legislative Council.
Alexander Sutherland, Victoria and its Metropolis: The building industry was dominated by a small elite that received government and council contracts. Dilke, Problems of Greater Britain, vol. Wheelwright, No Paradise for Workers: Macintyre, The Oxford History of Australia: There was also an abortive bill for savings bank amalgamation. Jones, Housing and Poverty in Australia, p.
Roe, Nine Australian Progressives: Ashton, The Accidental City, pp. Sulman was a leading architect and a leading figure in town planning. Jones, Housing and Poverty in Australia, pp. Butlin, Australia in the War of — War Economy —, vol. For import licensing committee see Australasian Manufacturer, 5 April , p. Australasian Manufacturer, 14 January , p. Brian McLoughlin and M. Huxley eds , Longman Cheshire, Melbourne, Ashton, The Accidental City, chaps 4, 5; I.
Australasian Manufacturer, 20 June , p. Jones, Housing and Poverty in Australia. Design of the Fifties, J. Garden, Builders To The Nation: The company was De Leuw Cather. Sandercock, Cities For Sale, pp. Marshall, The Gay Provider, F. Issues, Strategies and Policies for Urban Australia in the s, pp. Cultural differences and competing identities are dynamic features of these societies. Indeed, less than ten per cent-of all nation states are overwhelmingly monolingual, and in over 40 countries the largest single ethnic community comprises less than half the total population.
Diversity within the state is, on one level, a product of broad historical changes, especially conquest, colonialism, and immigration. Yet this diversity is also influenced by the particular dynamics of the modern plural society, within which ethnicity and identity are constantly redefined and mobilised by individuals and the cultural groups with which they empathise. Founded as fragments of Europe which struggled to dominate vast lands and diverse indigenous nations, modern Australia and the United States are today both culturally diverse liberal democracies.
Their developments were fuelled by waves of immigrants — European and non-European, free and unfree — and by struggles to subdue and dispossess indigenous peoples colonised by immigration and settlers from abroad. Both nations are defined fundamentally by their responses to issues embedded in their multicultural character; by their responses to such central realities as the persistence of racial and ethnic discrimination; inequality; uneven patterns of assimilation; and the consequences of cultural differences and social diversity.
Political discourses centred in the United States on demands for civil rights and resistance to coercive cultural practices also took root in Australia, helping to mobilise peoples struggling to claim economic equality and cultural autonomy. These influences are significant, embedded in such broad historical processes as decolonisation; struggles for recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples; and contests over civil rights, ethnic revival, assimilation, resistance and cultural pluralism.
While both Australia and the United States emerged as increasingly diverse modern societies under these influences, their formal political responses, and the discourses which sustained them, diverged considerably. Both states struggled to contain cultural pluralism within the boundaries of the liberal state.
Yet the character of those struggles, and the implications of proliferating cultural diversity, remained largely distinct to each nation. In each society after World War II difference was increasingly politicised, constructed by resistance to an assumed ideological and political consensus — a consensus to be sustained ultimately by the assimilation of ethnocultural differences. The ethnic identities and groups within immigrant receiving nations are defined both within social boundaries mandated by the host society and by individual choices based on ancestry, history and culture.
Ethnic identity is not static. It is also multi-layered. But the social mix of the United States always provided a convenient warning that was exploited by those who feared diversity and wanted an homogenous new nation. From the mids, especially, developments in the United States also stimulated liberal interventions by the Australian state which attempted to control contests growing out of ongoing social inequality confronting newly arrived migrant communities as well as indigenous peoples.
Yet as Rowley observed: In contrast, from , US practices, developed under Lewis Meriam. Most Native Americans were accorded extended citizenship rights in , while Aboriginal Australians won broadly comparable recognition only in Yet both peoples continued to live under qualified legal rights and to suffer acute social disadvantage. Just as the Referendum in Australia gave belated recognition to the rights of indigenous peoples, so in the US Congress enacted the Indian Civil Rights Act that symbolically guaranteed that the Bill of Rights extended to all people living on Indian lands.
Not until , however, did Congress approve the important Indian Self-Determination and Education Act granting significant autonomy in economic and cultural affairs. Given their sometimes overlapping histories of invasion and marginalisation, indigenous people in both Australia and the United States might have been closely linked in common political struggles.
In both societies, from the late s, indigenous groups increasingly resisted assimilation, arguing that it constituted cultural genocide. Political sovereignty and cultural autonomy through indigenous control of land were common aims of indigenous revival — even while Aboriginal leaders remained only vaguely familiar with the struggles and tactics of Native Americans. During the Vietnam War, youth rebellion and feminist protests, the Australian media, intellectual circles, and popular culture were reoriented towards developments in the United States rather than in the United Kingdom or Europe.
At the same time, coverage increased of wider political developments, notably the decolonisation of much of Asia and Africa; struggles for indigenous rights and land; the persistence of institutional inequalities in mixed societies as different as South Africa and Malaysia; and the links between European colonialism, race, and war, especially in Indo-China. The Supreme Court action was also embraced because it would go a long way towards combating the Communist contention that Western concepts of democracy are hypocritical.
Black Australians now more confidently challenged the racist social order, articulating separate Black identities which rejected assimilation while celebrating cultural difference. Yet developments in the United States and Australia were fundamentally products of broader international changes linked to struggles against European colonialism and internal colonial structures built on racial exploitation and segregation.
Protests in the United States stimulated broadly similar tactics by activists in Sydney and Melbourne. The cultural contradictions reflected in this protest were acute. Following the Referendum, moderate Aboriginal leaders increasingly emphasised the need for political autonomy and self-reliance.
As Kath Walker argued: Yet as Black activist Roberta Sykes conceded, white Australia recoiled from references which resonated with radical Afro-American experiences. Both have suffered oppression for two hundred years. Both know the full significance of squalor, hunger and degradation. They are both made to feel inferior from the very first days of comprehension. In a Black Panther Party was formed in Brisbane. Indeed, its manifesto concluded with nine lines from the American Declaration of Independence. They marked the rise of a pan-Aboriginal movement built increasingly around demands for land rights and local political struggles.
From the late s indigenous groups in both nations intensified their challenge to state authorities and the cultural assumptions which sustained deep patterns of institutional disadvantage. Significantly, at the same time, Native American protests centred on efforts to enforce uncertain land rights claims in the face of threats in the proposed Indian Omnibus Bill of And in Indian protests came to a head in the powerful reenactment of the Trail of Broken Tears and protracted occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
These actions were set against broadly comparable domestic circumstance confronting indigenous peoples in both the United States and Australia. The politics of Aboriginal resistance were broadly paralleled in changing academic discourse where, occasionally, indigenous voices were now heard. The important multivolume works of C. Yet at times, especially in the late s and early s, these shared histories were used to support comparable legislation.
As happened with the poorest Indian groups, Aborigines obtained no property from legal settlements. The Aboriginal, as legally defined, remained suspended like a migrant in a white society, like the Negro; and so long as he remained recognisably Aboriginal again, like the Negro he faced social rejection. Only now, within the last few years, has the process of reestablishing his legal equality begun. Given the shared histories of oppression and separation of Black minorities in both the United States and Australia, Rowley concluded: Yet it was the Gurindji strike of and the Referendum contests in , far more than overseas example, that invigorated Aboriginal action.
- Chazot Thoughts IX He is working my Titin.
- Lebanon, Dual Legitimacy, and the Syrian Crisis (Op-Med);
- The Witch from the Sea (The Daughters of England Book 3).
As disparate Aboriginal communities sought to organise on a national scale, the National Indian Brotherhood of Canada provided a viable model. Fundamentally, however, the origins and character of Aboriginal political movements were rooted in Australian soil. From the mids self determination, cultural empowerment, and the end of discrimination increasingly defined the broader programs of diverse Aboriginal communities and organisations.
In contrast, Sykes writes: A strikingly assertive cultural renaissance especially in dance, painting and sport , along with broad politicisation and some acknowledgment of prior ownership and land rights, embody important changes in race relations within Australia. In this sense, at least, the position of Aboriginal Australians is comparable to that of Blacks in American society. Yet questions centred on land, sovereignty, recognition and compensation link the politics of Aboriginal Australians more closely to indigenous peoples generally than to Amerindians or Afro-Americans.
Until the mids, rightwing racist organisations opposed equally to immigration reform and civil rights for Aborigines, owed much to British organisations like the National Front and white-settler extremists resisting democratic change in Southern Africa. To quote Sykes again: The Bulletin cover story on the O.
How Vulnerable Is Australia? Now this could be prevented. A truly multicultural country can never be strong or united, Hanson pronounced: For Australia, as for America, the ghetto foreshadows urban dystopia. In the s, as during the urban riots in the s and s, experiences in the United States remain a warning of impending chaos and social decline.
The Bulletin headline cautioned its Australian audience in the aftermath of the riots growing out of the Rodney King verdict in Initially, increased numbers of migrants from Southern and Eastern Europe entered, along with almost refugees. Approximately half of those who arrived annually in Australia during the s and s were from countries in Asia.
Yet it was the increased social complexity of its population, rather than its numerical growth, which was the most significant feature — and determinant — of the fundamental transformation of modern Australia. From the late s the twin pillars of Australian immigration and settlement policies — preference for Europeans and overt pressures for assimilation — crumbled with unexpectedly little resistance. The transformation of Australian society and culture embodied in these ethno-demographic and policy changes was linked in complex ways to developments in the United States and the Asia-Pacific generally.
Inherent in the reasons for abandoning its Eurocentric immigration priorities were equally powerful incentives for Australia to modify its efforts to assimilate all communities, whether they were immigrant or indigenous, into an homogeneous national society. But when transplanted abroad, the distinctive character of the receiving society transformed the US example in unpredictable ways.
Previously it was assumed by the core society that all migrant groups should be assimilated into the broader national community. At the heart of this drive was a claim that gradual social acceptance, acculturation, and wider socio-economic opportunities are ultimately afforded to all groups in an increasingly undifferentiated society.
As John Higham wrote of the United States in While the cultural pluralities of the society were acknowledged, these were assumed to be impermanent and to be mediated fairly by an open, competitive political system and economy. Cultural pluralism, in this context, was unproblematic as it did not contradict broad processes of assimilation.
- Barry LaBov (Author of Cranking up the Volume on the Sales Channel).
- Conversations about Birth, Death, and Reincarnation.
In the absence of clear patterns of emerging assimilation and equity in mixed society, ruling elites were obliged to confront the segmented and unequal nature of social relations. Throughout the turbulent s and s US experiences were constantly invoked to warn Australian officials of the likely consequences of a laissez faire approach to immigration and migrant settlement. Cropley cautioned that assimilation pressures alienated newcomers and their children, leading to social marginalisation and psychological trauma.
Donald Horne observed perceptively: Only a madman would want to cause racial disturbance deliberately, but the examples given by apologists are irrelevant to Australia. Absurdly their usual example is the United States. The policy acknowledged the informal preferences of immigrant groups to live within their traditional communities and family patterns — patterns reflected in the neighbourhoods and broader social geography of immigrant-receiving nations. At the same time, multiculturalism symbolised a growing recognition internationally that social equity and civil rights were implicitly denied by efforts to assimilate ethnic communities and erase cultural differences.
In short, by the late s and early s, in both North America and Australia, assimilation was widely interpreted as unworkable and unjust. Governments in the United States and Australia were obliged to dismantle immigration policies built on racist premises which unashamedly privileged social homogeneity over ethnic and social diversity. North American example was an important influence, helping to break down barriers to open immigration in other race-conscious nations.
It was not merely coincidental that, beginning in the following year, the racist Australian policy was progressively dismantled. Scholarly and political discourses over multiculturalism have also followed increasingly different paths in the two societies. Hostility to pluralism never disappeared. Many proponents of multiculturalism conceded that diversity should be managed by the state if the social conflict evident in other mixed societies was to be averted.
James Jupp, for example, obliquely cited American experience in his explanation of why Australia developed legislative programs to shape its emerging multicultural character. It was also a central concern for those conservatives hostile to a widening migrant intake and to the very prospect of a multicultural state. Seven years later this clause was, in effect, amended by Congress, forming a central part of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act.
Unlike most debates over critical moral questions, as Michael Rosenfeld points out: As Sykes astutely noted in Nor did US initiatives quickly influence Australia. However, some exceptions must be acknowledged — especially in the field of state legislation in areas of Aboriginal public employment and education. If Australian political culture referred to Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity legislation in the United States, the implementation and trajectory of such programs differed in the two societies.
Unlike the broader debate over so-called Political Correctness PC , the assault on affirmative action in the United States in the mids passed with little comment in Australia — although some conservatives still attempted to dismiss programs seeking equality for indigenous Australians as unacceptable evidence of reverse discrimination and special treatment.
In both nations, however, the debate encoded an ongoing struggle by an old core culture to retain hegemony through a social consensus that disempowered and marginalised others. In legislative and managerial terms, at least, Australia has pioneered domestic initiatives which accept a level of cultural pluralism. In contrast, the United States has not felt obliged to develop equally elaborate social, economic or cultural policies under an official rubric of multiculturalism. Indeed, the very concept of multiculturalism and the privileging of ethnic differences are more strenuously resisted by a powerful alliance of conservative groups in the United States than in Australia.
As Joan Scott has observed of the United States: Gunew concludes her discussion of multicultural multiplicities appropriately: Santamaria argued in the aftermath of the O. Although nothing even remotely approaching the racial problems of the US exists in Australia, the never-ending insistence on multiculturalism has created incipient problems that should be taken in hand early rather than late.
In a potentially hostile geopolitical environment, Australia cannot afford to encourage threats to national unity that come from constant insistence on racial and cultural differences. Indeed, many proponents of multiculturalism embraced it as a policy for managing diversity and constraining the possible consequences of so-called ethnic tribalism.
Official policy betrays the qualified agenda of multiculturalism. As Steven Castles et al. The Australian model of multiculturalism, with its complex and ambiguous balance between separatism of the varied groups, and cohesion of society as a whole, is one — relatively successful and peaceful — way of managing this contradiction. Yet it is inherently unstable, because the institution on which it is premised — the nation-state as the fundamental human collective — has itself become questionable.
This is apparent on three interrelated levels: US examples continue to influence debate and politics centred on cultural pluralism in Australia. But these examples are very often rejected or modified by a largely unsympathetic Australian nation. Today, US experiences have relatively little bearing on domestic Australian practices or policies. The discourses and practises of multiculturalism and indigenous rights in contemporary Australia increasingly reflect its distinct social patterns, separate national interests and particular cultural expressions.
Yet there can be little doubt that ideologies of multiculturalism, in their many manifestations, are the central feature of contemporary Australian life and collective identity. They are accepted by an insecure core society to contain cultural differences within the state, while simultaneously projecting the nation abroad as distant from its distinctly racist past and from the social conflicts of other mixed societies.
Acknowledgment The author thanks Andrew Honey for his assistance with research for this paper. Smith eds , Ethnicity, Oxford University Press, , especially chapter 1. The Age, 25 May , p. The Age, 27 September 19—57, p. The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 April , p. The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 April , p. The Age, 24 May , p. The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 May , p.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 April , p. For examples of newspaper Editorial opinion, see: The Age, 16 April , p. A Biography, Viking, Ringwood, Vic. Canberra Times, in Read, ibid. The Australian Experience, Vol. McGuiness, Black Power, p. Sykes, in Turner, pp. Perkins, in Franklin, pp. Rowley, The Destruction of Aboriginal Society, p. See, for example, R. Sykes, Black Majority, Hudson, Melbourne, , p.
T, Discussion Paper no. Markus, eds , Who Are Our Enemies? No study of US example and influence on Australian practices in the field of immigration policy or immigrant reception and multiculturalism has been written. However, some comparative work has been undertaken. Jupp, eds , Nation of Immigrants: Armitage, Comparing the Policy of Aboriginal Assimilation: Brawley, The White Peril: The People of Australia, Canberra, , pp. Sharing Our Future, Canberra, , pp. Sykes, Black Majority, p. Office of Multicultural Affairs, Responding to Diversity.
Multi-Ethnic Community Without Nationalism?
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At times it is used as a metaphor; at other times as a short-hand for the importation from the United States of political ideas or techniques; and at other times again it is short-hand for globalisation. Australian politics picks up ideas as enthusiastically as it takes on new technologies. Online comments by tourists have usually been very favourable towards the airline.
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I was the editor of TheHeart. Org from its inception in until December Following the purchase of TheHeart. Org and Medscape Medical News. Prior to joining TheHeart. Org, I was a freelance medical journalist and wrote for a wide variety of medical and computer publications. You can follow me on Twitter at: One of his favorite quotes in the book: In contrast, the three participants who saw the first tightening in believed that the appropriate level of the federal funds rate at the end of would be at their assessment of its longer-run level, which they viewed as either at or just above 4 percent.
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