What Is Australian Identity Essay

2377 Words Nov 18th, 2013 10 Pages
What is the Australian Identity?


For years, many sociologists defined national identity simply as shared feelings of understanding, national sense of self and cultural heritage. In 2012, Holmes, D., Hughes, K. & Julian, R. (2012) made a compelling statement that national identity, while reinforcing a shared sense of character and uniqueness, creates a rather singular identity that not all people within the country will necessarily share. In Australia, national identity has become a social issue that has been argued and debated by Australians. This issue has become a problematic subject for various reasons.
One reason is that an influx of migrants has caused citizens to question the appropriateness of
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In Australia, ethnicity means the “ethnic minorities” who emerged in Australia by Australia’s postwar immigration program. The “ethnic minorities” are marked by ethnicity.
For example, Italian-Australian, Greek-Australian, Arab-Australian, etc., while the Anglo-Australian, however is an unmarked category. “Thus the label ‘ethnic’ is not applied to this group and the fact that its members have an ethnicity typically goes unrecognized.” (Holmes, D., Hughes, K. & Julian, R. 2012, p.129). Hall, S. (1992, p.257) explained that the representation of Australian identity constructed through dominant political and cultural discourses is hegemonic, and as such ‘does not represent itself as an ethnicity at all.’
Furthermore, in a culturally mixed society country like Australia, social issues like ethnicity and cultural diversity and background, beliefs or religions, family origins and even arguing who is Australian or un-Australian are the issues which will be unresolved and will continue as issues to be argued and reflected in the future. These issues influenced the attitudes towards multiculturalism and national identity.
Holton, R. (1997, p.ii) confirms that the majority of people in Australia believe that “you do not have to be born in Australia to be a true Australian.” Openness does not however mean cosmopolitanism, in the sense of being a citizen of the world with no special links with Australia. Moreover, to be considered as a real

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