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FRIDAY SEMINAR SERIES | 'Down with Diversity!' From multiculturalism to neo assimilation in Australia



Start Date

13th May 2016 1:00pm

End Date

13th May 2016 2:00pm

Institute for the Study of Social Change logo

An Institute for the Study of Social Change and School of Social Sciences seminar

presented by

Dr Donald Reid, University of Tasmania

Ever since the rhetoric of social integration was introduced into the national debate during the post-war consensus, the relative benefits and failings of multiculturalism have never strayed far from political and media narratives. Geo-political events of the 21st century – the 9/11 attacks, the US-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Syrian civil war, the rise of ISIS and the ensuing refugee crisis– have led to a re-framing of the multiculturalism as meeting the need to maintain national security against liberal ideals of pluralism, inclusion and tolerance.

In Australia multiculturalism remains central to the wider narrative of cultural identity. However since the Howard administration there has been an increasing conflation between the discourses of multiculturalism (ideally contextualized as permitting diverse representation and inclusion for minority communities), and citizenship (framed as a mechanism of cultural unification). This seemingly contradictory dynamic is discursively resolved via the logic of neoliberalism where the values and aspirations of individuals become aligned with state and corporate interests and defined predominantly as pertaining to economic conditions, rather than those of culture or politics. Using media examples and drawing on the definition of neoliberalism as ideology observed by Wendy Larner (adopted from Stuart Hall), the scholarship of Ghassan Hage, and the work of Lentin and Titley regarding multiculturalism in the 'post-race' environment, this presentation examines the way the neoliberal agenda has led to a culture of neo-assimilation, albeit one where displays of race are foregrounded or supressed at various cultural and political moments.

Donald Reid is a lecturer in the Journalism, Media and Communication program. His research interests include media and globalisation, public service and national media institutions, sports media, and fragmented identities and public relations. He also has an interest in cinema studies, notably national cinemas.

Friday 13 May 2016

1.00pm to 2.00pm

Law 132 Seminar Room, Faculty of Law Building, Sandy Bay Campus

All welcome! For more information or directions to the venue, contact Dr Louise Grimmer, Community Engagement Manager.

Event Flyer (PDF 404KB)