Faculty of Arts and Education

Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation

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3rd Annual International Symposium on Multiculturalism

Reclaiming Multiculturalism:
Global Citizenship and Ethical Engagement with Diversity

Hosted by the Centre of Citizenship and Globalisation (CCG)

15-16 November 2012
Venue: The Richard Searby Room (hd 2.006)
Melbourne Burwood Campus, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

 

Plenary Speakers

Australian Muslims and Multiculturalism: Power Imbalance and Good Will
Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh, Deputy Director, National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Mr Mario Peucker, PhD Candidate, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Before Multiculturalism: the Emergence of Transamerican Perspectives on Culture in New World Societies
Professor Afef Benessaieh, Professor of International Studies, Tele-universite, University of Quebec  (TELUQ), Canada

Religious Dimensions To (Re)Claiming Multiculturalism: Demographic Foundations, Diversities Within And Between And the Need For Positive Ideologies And Theologies Of Difference
Emeritus Professor Gary Bouma, Professor of Sociology and UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Relations - Asia Pacific, Monash University, Australia

Mobility and Diversity in a Global City: The Case of Melbourne
Associate Professor Val Colic-Peisker, Associate Professor of Sociology in the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University, Australia

"Someone like me...": Negotiating Belonging and Engagement Within and Across Groups of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Young People
Dr Steve Francis, National Manager - Movement Relations & Advocacy, Australian Red Cross
Soo-Lin Quek, Policy & Research Manager, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Australia
Ms Carmel Guerra,Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Australia

Counter-Terrorism and Conviviality: Multicultural Futures in Countering Violent Extremism
Associate Professor Michele Grossman, Associate Dean (Research and Research Training), Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development, Victoria University, Australia

At Home/Out of Place: Young People’s Multicultural Belongings
Associate Professor Anita Harris, ARC Future Fellow, Monash University, Australia

Multiple Multiculturalisms: Resentment, the Weight of History and the Ambiguous Position of Religion
Professor Patrick Imbert, Chair of University Research, Canada: Social and Cultural Issues in a Knowledge Society, Ottawa University, Canada

Multicultural Incorporation Confronts Anxieties about National Identity
Professor Peter Kivisto, Chair of Sociology, Augustana College, United States of America

Enclaving Multiculturalism: A Reflection Started in Singapore and Continued in Sydney
Associcate Professor Gabriele Marranci, Department of Anthropology, Macquarie University, Australia

Crossing Boundaries: Acts of Citizenship among Migrant Youth in Melbourne
Professor Fethi Mansouri, Director, Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Australia
Dr Masa Mikola, Research Fellow, Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Australia

What is Happening to Multiculturalism?
Professor Kevin McDonald, Director, Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing, Victoria University, Australia

Ritual Male Circumcision, Minors and Multiculturalism: The Human Right to Belong to a Community
Professor Paul Morris, Professor of Religious Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Legal Pluralism and Shari’a in Australia: Post-Secularism Within a New Multi-Faith Pragmatic Modernity or Within a New Australian Conservative Modernity?
Associate Professor Adam Possamai, Associate Professor in Sociology, University of Western Sydney, Australia

Access to Knowledge in Pluralist Societies
Associate Professor Elizabeth Rata, Director, Knowledge and Education Research Unit, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Are ‘Asians’ Bad For Other Students? - School Choice and the Racialised Construction of Academic Excellence
Professor Georgina Tsolidis, School of Education, University of Ballarat, Australia

Language Learning, Intercultural Understanding and Cosmopolitan Citizenship
Dr Ian Woodward, School of Humanities, Griffith University, Australia

Beyond Ethno-specific Networks: Belonging and Engagement among Pacific Islander Youth in Brisbane
Professor Zlatko Skrbis, Professor of Sociology and Dean, Graduate School, The University of Queensland, Australia
Ms Ameera Karimshah, Research Assistant, The University of Queensland, Australia
Ms Melinda Chiment, Melinda Chiment, PhD Candidate, University of Queensland, Australia


Sharam Akbarzadeh Australian Muslims and Multiculturalism: Power Imbalance and Good Will

Australian multiculturalism has provided a valuable public space for Muslim community to articulate their interests, desires and identity. A number of Muslim groups and individuals have taken advantage of this opportunity proactively, countering negative stereotypes perpetuated by the tabloid media and presenting a sophisticated image. Organisations such as the Islamic Council of Victoria and Australiana Intercultural Society have worked hard to champion Muslim interests and put issues of concern on the public agenda. Australian multiculturalism has provided the platform for this positive engagement. This has allowed leading Muslim organisations to act as points of reference for government bodies when dealing with Muslim-related issues.

Many Muslim groups have welcomed the opportunity to raise their concerns, be it in relation to anti-terror laws or the debate on sharia law. But this process has highlighted two important fault -lines. First, there is an emerging rift within the Muslim population that separates those who engage with government agencies and those who keep themselves insulated. For the latter group, public engagement with the media and policy makers has opened the community to government interference. In its most crude form, the proactive Muslims are vulnerable to the charge of betraying their community and Islam and becoming tools of oppression.

Second, there is an inherent power imbalance that constrains the above dialogue and places clear limitations on what Muslim organisations can hope to achieve. They have no means to ensure their interests are incorporated on the national agenda. Muslims in Australia are too few in number to affect electoral shifts and too weak in their socio-economic position to exert any meaningful pressure on policy makers. Consequently, the channels of communication and dialogue between Muslim organisations and government bodies, and the outcome of their talks is effectively dependent on the good-will of the latter. This makes any gains made through dialogue potentially reversible. The power imbalance poses a risk to Muslim interests as the regeneration of good-will cannot be taken for granted.

Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh, Deputy Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Shahram Akbarzadeh (PhD) is Professor of Asian Politics (Middle East and Central Asia) at Asia Institute, and Deputy Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne. He has an active research interest in the politics of Islam and Muslims in Australia, as well as the Middle East. He has published more than 40 research papers. Among his publications are Uzbekistan and the United States (Zed 2005), and US Foreign Policy in the Middle East (Routledge 2008 with K Baxter). His recent works are The Routledge Handbook on Political Islam (Routledge 2011); and Challenging Identities: Muslim Women in Australia (MUP 2010). Prof Akbarzadeh is a regular media commentator.

Mr Mario Peucker, PhD Candidate, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Mario Peucker is a PhD candidate and researcher at the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, University of Melbourne, where he is currently engaged in an ARC project on citizenship and belonging among Muslims. He holds an MA in educational sciences. Since 2003 he has been working as a policy consultant and social researcher on issues revolving citizenship, ethnic and religious discrimination and exclusion. He has published numerous journal articles, book chapters and research reports.


Afef BenessaiehBefore Multiculturalism: the Emergence of Transamerican Perspectives on Culture in New World Societies

This presentation will draw on the remarkable synergy between the emergence of a new intellectual wave in the Americas after the 1920s, favourable to ethnic miscegenation and pluralism as central features of national identities in New World context, and the paralleled production of leading Columbia University anthropologist Franz Boas (1858-1942) on defining ‘culture’ in new terms better capturing the dynamics of change he saw fundamental to the study of contemporary societies. Focusing mostly on the work of Manuel Gamio in Mexico, Gilberto Freyre in Brazil and Fernando Ortiz in Cuba, this talk discusses the lasting legacy of Boas by addressing the main elements of his 'approach' to culture, his perspective on race and ethnic mixing, and in order to underline the core conceptual coincidences to be found in the work of influential Latin American anthropologists and intellectuals contemporaries of his time. These contributions will be suggested to have paved way for liberal rights-based conceptions of multiculturalism that were to emerge later in North America.

Professor Afef Benessaieh, Professor of International Studies, University of Quebecc, Canada

Afef Benessaieh is Professor of International Studies at the Tele-universite (e-university) of the University of Quebec (TELUQ). Her research interests include: sociocultural approaches to globalization, international migration and multiculturalism, transcultural perspectives on diversity, and critical international relations theories. Among her most recent publications: Transcultural Americas/Ameriques transculturelles (Ottawa: Ottawa University Press, 2010); the chapter with Patrick Imbert Bouchard-Taylor a l’UNESCO: ambivalences interculturelles et clarifications transculturelles (in K. Ertler, S. Gill and S. Hodgett, Peter Lang, 2011); the article Multiculturalisme dense ou violence massive: quatre scenarios possible (in RELIEF Revue electronique de litterature francaise, January 5 (3) 2012).
 


AP Colic-PeiskerMobility and Diversity in a Global City: The Case of Melbourne

The idea of a ‘global city’, prominent in social science research over the past quarter century, reflects contemporary reality of the interconnected globe. Global city is the main playground of ‘globalisation’ with all its positive as well as negative socio-economic and cultural effects. This paper focuses on the fast growing metropolis of Melbourne, a teeming concentration of highly mobile people and capital, attracting new settlers as well as ‘temporary’ arrivals, where over 30% of the population (1.3m) is overseas-born. Melbourne promotes itself as a financial and commercial centre (with its seven universities, also a centre of the ‘international education industry’), but also a hub of ‘(multi)culture’, creativity and innovation. A ‘cosmopolitan’ node of global capitalism triumphant, it boasts high scores in various ‘liveability’ rankings and promises exciting work and lifestyle opportunities thus exerting a pull on settler migrants, refugees, international students, young travellers and global professionals. What is not mentioned in tourist brochures and migration agent advertisements is the downsides of the mobility, dynamism and growth: suburban sprawl creating not-so-liveable outer suburbs, increasingly slow-moving traffic and the city’s dark underbellies of marginal dwellers, exploitative pursuits and outlaw activities. This paper presents a selection of the 2011 Census data and some qualitative data from the research into social inclusion of recent immigrants, against the carefully managed image of Melbourne as a vibrant and ‘liveable’ global city. It pays special attention to the increasing socio-economic gap between affluent and disadvantaged parts of the city.

Associate Professor Val Colic-Peisker, Associate Professor of Sociology in the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University, Australia

Val Colic-Peisker is an Associate Professor (sociology) in the School of GSSSP. She previously worked at Monash and Murdoch Universities and University of Western Australia.

Before becoming a full-time academic, Val worked as a radio-producer at the Croatian National Radio in Zagreb, a journalist and translator in the Croatian Press Agency (HINA) and as a freelance author. She has published extensively, in academic and mainstream media.

Val’s research is interdisciplinary, theoretically as well as policy-oriented, spanning sociology, political science, social psychology and economics, and uses qualitative as well as quantitative research methods. Val’s central research interests are in the areas of migration, mobility, globalisation, cosmopolitnism and Australian immigration and settlement policies. Her research has focused on notions of ethnicity/race, identity, community and class. Val ’s recent publications cover topics such as labour and residential integration of immigrants in Australia, especially those from NESB; development of Australian multiculturalism; and homeownership in Australia.


Gary BoumaReligious Dimensions To (Re)Claiming Multiculturalism: Demographic Foundations, Diversities Within And Between And The Need For Positive Ideologies And Theologies Of Difference

Multiculturalism is a positive ideological orientation to difference and includes policies designed to promote and celebrate difference. Differences in religion, belief and practice, including not believing, and practicing form one dimension of the diversities accepted, promoted and celebrated by multiculturalism. Australia’s religious multiculturalism is grounded in a series of demographic facts, increasingly acknowledges that within group diversity is often as great as between group diversity, and is struggling to produce policies, ideologies and theologies legitimating and enabling the celebration of the fact of this multi-faith nation. A complete understanding and reclamation of multiculturalism requires work at each of these levels.

Emeritus Professor Gary Bouma, Professor of Sociology and UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Relations - Asia Pacific, Monash University, Australia

Gary D Bouma is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Relations - Asia Pacific at Monash University and an Associate Priest in the Anglican Parish of St John's East Malvern. From 2006-2010 he was Chair, Board of Directors for The Parliament of the World's Religions 2009. His research in the sociology of religion examines the management of religious diversity in plural multicultural societies, post modernity as a context for doing theology, religion and terror, religion and public policy. He is the author of over 20 books. Recent books include: Australian Soul: Religion and Spirituality in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press); Democracy in Islam (Routledge); Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands: National Case Studies (Springer); and Freedom of Religion and Belief in 21st Century Australia (Australian Human Rights Commission). His latest book is Being Faitfhful in Diversity: Religions and Social Policy in Multifaith Societies (Australasian Theological Forum).


Steve Francis, Soo-Lin Quek and Carmel Guerra"Someone like me...": Negotiating Belonging and Engagement Within and Across Groups of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Young People

This paper will explore the ways in which young people from Pacific Islander, African and Arabic backgrounds develop and negotiate feelings of belonging; the social barriers to network engagement they experience; and the ways in which their feelings of belonging are influenced by the type of networks they believe they can join, as well as those they actually participated in.

Young people participating in the research described their involvement and engagement in both formal and informal networks including ethnic community groups, recreational groups, school-based groups, religious groups and volunteer groups. While there were some interesting variations across the three groups, most informants expressed feelings of comfort and support from the engagement they felt within their ethnic groups, albeit framed as a negative when referring to intra-group family and community obligations. In exploring this theme, a notable complexity emerged in relation to the negotiation of individual and family and community networks and the impact of context-specific feelings of belonging. In addition a range of social barriers to network engagement also emerged, including, significantly, the school setting.

Combining the empirical findings of a major new research study with policy and practice prescriptions based on the long experience of the researchers in undertaking persuasive advocacy, influencing government policy and practicing community development, this paper provides new insights into the experience of belonging and engagement among three groups of young people in contemporary Australia.

Dr Steve Francis, National Manager - Movement Relations & Advocacy, Australian Red Cross

Steve has a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Melbourne and is a Visiting Fellow with the Centre for Citizenship & Globalisation at Deakin University. His anthropological interests include a focus on transnationalism, movement and migration in Oceania, as well as diaspora studies, refugee settlement and migrant youth. Steve is currently working on two major collaborative research projects funded by the Australian Research Council: Social Networks, Belonging and Active Citizenship among Migrant Youth in Australia in partnership with Deakin University, University of Queensland, Australian Red Cross and Centre for Multicultural Youth; and Diasporas in Australia: Current and Potential Links with the Homeland in partnership with Deakin University. In addition to his academic interests, Steve has 18 years experience in the community sector and currently works as National Manager, Advocacy & Diversity with Australian Red Cross.

Ms Soo-Lin Quek, Policy & Research Manager, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Australia

Soo-Lin has over 20 years of experience in the community and government sectors.  She has managed significant policy and program areas in state government and her previous experience in the community sector ranges from managing community based organisations to policy and community development practice in a range of sectors.  She is currently the Policy & Research Manager of the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY).

Ms Carmel Guerra, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Australia

Carmel is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) based in Melbourne. CMY is a community based organisation that provides services to and advocates for the needs of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.

Carmel has over 20 years’ experience in the community sector. She has contributed to a range of research reports relating to multicultural youth. These include: Ethnic Youth Gangs in Australia: Do they exist? and Wealth of all Nations, the first comprehensive study undertaken into the needs of refugee young people in Australia. She is a frequent contributor to discussions on multicultural youth, providing commentary to local and national press, television and radio.

Carmel has served on numerous boards and committees for the Government and non-Government sectors and is a member of the Australian Multicultural Council, Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council (RRAC), Centrelink’s National Multicultural Advisory Group (NMAG) and currently convenes the national Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (MYAN).

In 1994 Carmel was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate issues of refugee and migrant youth overseas. In 2003 she earned a Centenary Medal for services to young people, migrant and refugee communities and in 2005 was entered into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll for her services to the community.


Anita HarrisAt Home/Out of Place: Young People’s Multicultural Belongings

What does it mean to come of age in an era of anti-multiculturalism? How does such an environment shape the ways young people of diverse backgrounds come to feel ‘at home’ - in the nation, in the city, in their neighbourhoods, and in their national identity? Discussing findings from her study of youth in the multicultural suburbs of 5 Australian cities, Anita Harris explores how the politics of belonging is lived through the spatial practices of everyday civic life for those who have grown up during the multiculturalism backlash of the 1990s and 2000s.

Associate Professor Anita Harris, ARC Future Fellow, Monash University, Australia

Anita Harris is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University. Her programme of research includes an international study of young people and social inclusion in multicultural cities, as well as an ARC Discovery Project on civic life and belonging amongst young Australian Muslims. Her research interests are centred on youth identities and cultures; citizenship, participation and multiculturalism, and girls’ studies. Her books include Young People and Everyday Multiculturalism (Routledge, in press); Next Wave Cultures: Feminism, Subcultures, Activism (edited, Routledge, 2008); Young Femininity: Girlhood, Power and Social Change (with Sinikka Aapola and Marnina Gonick, Palgrave, 2005); Future Girl: Young Women in the Twenty First Century, (Routledge, 2004); and All About the Girl: Culture, Power and Identity (edited, Routledge, 2004).


Michele GrossmanCounter-Terrorism and Conviviality: Multicultural Futures in Countering Violent Extremism

This paper draws on Paul Gilroy’s work on multicultures and conviviality as a framing concept for ethical sociality in thinking about how contemporary approaches to engaging communities in the effort to mitigate violent extremism and terrorism might productively be reshaped. Drawing on recent research into community perspectives on radicalisation, extremism and terrorism, I explore Gilroy’s analysis of ‘citizen/denizen’ discourse as this plays out in current approaches to engaging Australian Muslim and other communities around issues of extremism and terrorism, focusing in particular on the realm of counter-narrative discourses and their aftermaths - which counter-narratives are heard, which aren’t and what stories have yet to be told. What do counter-terrorism narratives’ current trajectories and limits tell us about multiculturalism’s possible conditions and futures?

Associate Professor Michele Grossman, Associate Dean (Research and Research Training), Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development, Victoria University, Australia

Associate Professor Michele Grossman has taught and researched at VU since 1990.  She is currently Associate Dean, Research and Research Training, in the Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development, and Associate Professor in the School of Communication and the Arts.

Michele was also a Senior Research Associate with VU's Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives (ICEPA) and served as Acting Director of the Office for Postgraduate Research in 2007-8.

Associate Professor Grossman's research interests and track record focuses strongly on community-engaged cross-cultural research in two main areas - Indigenous Australian writing, representation and culture, and the settlement experience of transnational refugee diasporas in Australia and abroad (particularly for African-background refugees).

Associate Professor Grossman actively supervises PhD and Masters research students in the areas of literature, creative arts and refugee and diaspora studies. She was awarded the Vice Chancellor's Peak Medal for Excellence in Research Supervision in 2003.


Patrick ImbertMultiple Multiculturalisms: Resentment, the Weight of History and the Ambiguous Position of Religion

We will discuss the links between cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism and universalism using Kwame Anthony Appiah's remarks. Appiah defines cosmopolitanism as "universality plus difference..." (Cosmopolitanism, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 16). However, multiculturalism goes back to the question of acknowledging difference, but not to the question of universalism, for multiculturalism is not based on the universalism of the value system of a group that imposed its hegemony through belittling or excluding others. This will lead us to considerations about Tariq Modood book entitled Multiculturalism and dealing with multiculturalism and religion. He emphasizes that “multiculturalism (is) the political accommodation of minorities formed by immigration to Western countries from outside the prosperous West (p. 5). In this definition, linked to many considerations dealing with Islam in Europe, he emphasizes the dimension of resentment as an important component of encountering others. This is not the case of texts written by Rima Elkouri (“D’Alger a Anjou,” La Presse, samedi 14 fevrier 2009, page 3).in Canada where immigrants from Algeria underscore that they do not want to find the same religious problems in the new society as in Algeria. But they emphasize other problems. So resentment and its blending with displacement and the possibility to change (and to belong or not to oneself) is an important and often unseen dimension of multiculturalism. Resentment should be analysed more thoroughly, notably its possible blending with established resentments shaping the economic and political landscape of the new society where immigrants settle.

Professor Patrick Imbert, Chair of University Research, Canada: Social and Cultural Issues in a Knowledge Society, Ottawa University, Canada

Patrick Imbert studied semiotics and literature at the University of Ottawa, and obtained his PhD. In 1974 for his research on "Semiotique de la description chez Balzac". He started his academic career in 1974 as an assistant professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. In 1975, he taught at the University of Ottawa where he became a Full Professor in 1984. He was professor of the year of the Faculty of Arts 1998, and has a University Research Chair entitled: Canada: Social and Cultural Challenges in a Knowledge-Based Society. He was Executive Director of the International American Studies Association (2005-2009), and has been the President of the Academy of Arts and Humanities of the Royal Society of Canada from 2009 to 2011. He is co-founder and vice-president of the City for the Cultures of Peace. He is director of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada funded project (2010-2013) entitled Etablir des paradigmes operatoires pour comparer les variations discursives dans les Ameriques menant des identites enacinees, de leur inclusion ou exclusion, aux identites transculturelles dans le contexte de la glocalisation.

While working on interdisciplinary problematic, his main areas of research are inclusion/exclusion, multiculturalism, cultural and discursive changes in the context of glocalization, and the dynamic of a knowledge-based society, particularly in the context of Canada and the Americas.


Peter Kivesto Multicultural Incorporation Confronts Anxieties about National Identity

Multiculturalism is a mode of incorporation that in modern liberal democracies is predicated on the core values of those societies.  Contrary to those who have contributed to the backlash against multiculturalism, it is not a means for promoting group self - segregation, for advancing an “anything goes” sort of cultural relativism, or for hardening group boundaries. Multiculturalism differs from assimilation, at its most basic level, insofar as it is predicated on the moral assertion that solidarity at the level of the societal community (or nation) can be achieved and simultaneously difference (ethnic and religious) can be recognized and embraced. At a moment when multiculturalism is on the defensive, having as Kymlicka puts it, been “demonized” by its most vociferous critics, those seeking to reclaim it find it necessary to address anxieties about perceived threats to national identity and the role it is presumed to have played in generating that threat. Using the United States as a case for analysis, this paper will indicate how differing views about the prerequisites for solidarity separate the two camps, with critics of multiculturalism contending that homogeneity is such a prerequisite, while proponents contend that what is fundamental is what the late Iris Marion Young described as the decision of “dissimilar actors...to stand together for one another.” The argument advanced here, based on an empirical assessment of the embedded impact of U.S. history on contemporary interethnic relations, is that multiculturalism is viable, but not inevitable, its future being the outcome of political contestation between these two camps.

Professor Peter Kivisto, Chair of Sociology, Augustana College, United States of America

Peter Kivisto is the Richard A. Swanson Professor of Social Thought and Chair of Sociology at Augustana College and Finland Distinguished Professor at the University of Turku.

His current research involves a collaborative project on multiculturalism with colleagues in Finland. His interests include immigration, social integration, citizenship, and religion.

Among his recent books are Key Ideas in Sociology (Pine Forge, 3rd edition, 2011), Illuminating Social Life (Pine Forge, 5th edition, 2011), Beyond a Border: The Causes and Consequences of Contemporary Immigration (Pine Forge, 2010, with Thomas Faist), Citizenship: Discourse, Theory and Transnational Prospects (Blackwell, 2007, with Thomas Faist), Intersecting Inequalities (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007, with Elizabeth Hartung), and Incorporating Diversity (Paradigm, 2005).

He is the immediate past editor of The Sociological Quarterly and the current President of the Midwest Sociological Society. He serves on the editorial boards of Contexts, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and Journal of Intercultural Studies and on the publication committee for Sociology of Religion.


Gabriele Marranci

Enclaving Multiculturalism: A Reflection Started in Singapore and Continued in Sydney

What are the relationships between multiculturalism, religion and secularism in cosmopolitan cities? How do ordinary people live "multiculturalism" and make sense of it? Starting from two different models of multiculturalism, the so called "hard" model of Singapore and the "softer" Australian one, the paper discusses how  increasingly the dynamics of religion and secularism and the consequent tensions influence the social political debate about multiculturalism. After presenting ethnographic examples from both countries, the paper suggests that what we are witnessing is a slow but progressive 'enclavement' of multiculturalism which, in other words, is no longer seen as shared space of interaction but rather as a space of power to deconstruct

Associate Professor Gabriele Marranci, Department of Anthropology, Macquarie University, Australia

Gabriele Marranci has recently joined the Department of Anthropology, Macquarie University. He is also an Honorary Associate Professor at the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, Cardiff University and was until recently Associate Professor within the Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore. 

A/Prof Marranci is an anthropologist by training working on youth, religion and cosmopolitan society and multiculturalism with a specialization in Muslim societies. His main research interests concern youth identity, religion, extremism, political Islam and secularization processes. Dr Marranci has widely published on these topics in peer-reviewed journals and in book chapters.

He is the author of four monographs, Jihad beyond Islam (2006, London, New York: Berg), The Anthropology of Islam, (2008, London, New York: Berg), Understanding Muslim Identity, Rethinking Fundamentalism  (2009, London, New York: Palgrave Macmillan) and  Faith, Ideology and Fear: Muslim Identities Within and Beyond Prisons (2009, London: Continuum Books).

He is the founding editor of Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life, published by the international publisher Springer and the Chief Editor of the Handbook of Contemporary Islam, which is part of Springer Live Reference works. He has established (with Prof. Bryan Turner) the book series Muslims in Global Societies (Springer).


Crossing Boundaries: Acts of Citizenship among Migrant Youth in Melbourne

Crossing boundaries between home and external societal structures is a contested socio-cultural process characterised by constant interactive negotiation. Migrant youth in Melbourne, whose experience of migration is either direct (they migrated themselves) or indirect (they grew up in migrant families) engage on a daily basis in negotiations between different cultural and social settings. A common thread to their stories is their desire to ‘step out’ ‘into the world’, connect with other people, ‘tune’ themselves to the broader environment, get recognized and then ‘return’ home, bringing their newly acquired knowledge back to their families and communities. These circular processes mark personalised journeys of young people dealing with the uneasy questions of displacement, identity and belonging. This paper draws on qualitative data from a large longitudinal study on social networking among migrant youth, and argues for a more meaningful recognition of these fluid processes as acts of citizenship.  In so doing, migrant youth become political agents, actively joining and adjusting different layers of citizenship and belonging in their everyday lives.

Professor Fethi Mansouri, Director, Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Australia

Professor Mansouri, Director of the strategic research Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, holds a Chair in Migration and Intercultural Studies, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University. He is the editor of the prestigious Journal of Intercultural Studies (Routledge) and an expert advisor to the United Nations (Alliance of Civilizations) on cultural diversity and intercultural relations.

His recent publications include: Political Islam and Human Security (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008); Islam and Political Violence: Muslim Diaspora and Radicalism in the West, (I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd, 2007); Identity, Education, and Belonging: Arab and Muslim Youth in Contemporary Australia (MUP, 2008); Youth Identity and Migration: Culture, Values and Social Connectedness (On Diversity, 2009); Australia and the Middle East: A Frontline Relationship (I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd, 2011, second edition); Migration, Citizenship and Intercultural Relations: Looking Through the Lens of Social Inclusion (Ashgate, 2011), Muslims in the West and the Challenges of Belonging (MUP, 2012) and The Arab Revolutions in Context: Socio-Political Implications for the Middle East and Beyond (MUP, 2012). His forthcoming book is entitled Reframing Multiculturalism for the 21st Century (2013). His 2004 book Lives in Limbo: Voices of Refugees under Temporary Protection was short-listed for the 2004 Human Rights Medals and Awards.

Dr Masa Mikola, Research Fellow, Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Australia

Dr Mikola has a PhD in intercultural studies and a background in journalism, communication and migration studies. Her doctoral work focused on migration, diversity rhetoric and the issues of space, place and social interaction in Melbourne. She is currently a research fellow on an ARC Linkage project: "Social Networks, Belonging and Active Citizenship among Migrant Youth in Australia".

Dr Miklola's research interests are in urban anthropology, space, place, citizenship, identity politics and the politics of emotions.


K McDonald

What is Happening to Multiculturalism?

As we move into the second decade of the new millennium, it is evident that major shifts are occurring in relation to multiculturalism. Some analyses highlight a ‘backlash’, pointing to a desire to return to homogenous national societies and to a rise of anti-immigration politics in Europe and North America. Others argue that the politics of multiculturalism increasingly takes the form of authoritarian communitarianism, in particular associated with the changing place of religion in public life. Political and social theorists are increasingly questioning a politics of recognition that they suggest involves an impoverished approach to social life. To engage with these debates we need to recognise that the two core building-blocks from which multiculturalism was constructed, identity and community, are both in a process of profound transformation. What we now term ‘identity’ was to a very significant extent a product of North American social science, emerging out of the ‘national character studies’ undertaken during the Second World War, and may be less and less adequate to understand the relationship between culture and actors in contemporary societies. Forms of community linked to models of ‘collective action’ are giving way to new types of ‘connective action’, highlighting a break with an older type of community as a vehicle for action. Is there a future for a multiculturalism disassociated from its once secure location in identities and communities? This paper suggests that there is, and begins to explore other building blocks that may be part of its reconstruction: memory, embodiment, and vulnerability.

Professor Kevin McDonald, Director of the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing, Victoria University, Australia

Kevin McDonald is sociologist and director of the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing at Victoria University. He has held appointments at the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Goldsmiths College in London and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He recently completed a Marie Curie International Fellowship exploring paths into jihadi-related activism in Europe, and is currently completing an ARC-funded study into Muslim activism. The themes explored in this paper are drawn from a book to be published by Polity Press in 2013.


Paul MorrisRitual Male Circumcision, Minors and Multiculturalism: The Human Right to Belong to a Community

This paper begins with the recent Cologne District Court decision (2012) to ban the circumcision of male minors and examines the responses from Muslim and Jewish communities, governments, and NGOs. These debates, clothed in the discourse of the politics of competing human rights, reveal usual hidden dimensions of prejudicial legal, cultural and political norms that can serve to restrict the freedoms of minority communities.

The second part of the paper examines these discourses in terms of their inadequacy in comprehending religious communities in contemporary multicultural and formally "secular" societies and advocates a more nuanced and plausible framework for the appreciation of the formation of generational religious identities.

The final section develops a "new" model of cultural human rights, determined at the individual rather than collective level, focussed on a child’s right to full participation in a religious community and this implications this might have for our of understanding of multiculturalism and human rights.

Professor Paul Morris, Professor of Religious Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Paul Morris is Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington,New Zealand. He is the holder of the UNESCO Chair in Interreligious Understanding and Relations in New Zealand and the Pacific. His current research interests include: conceptualising religious diversity and human rights in modern nation-states; religious change in the Pacific; and, the accommodation of religious diversity in health systems. Recent publications include a volume on Islamic Studies in the modern university (forthcoming, Routledge, 2014); Religious Diversity in the New Zealand Workplace (2011); and essays on religious education in New Zealand; Biblical justice and restorative justice; and, LDS (Mormons) in the Pacific.


Adam PossamaiLegal Pluralism and Shari’a in Australia: Post-Secularism Within a New Multi-Faith Pragmatic Modernity or Within a New Australian Conservative Modernity?

In Australia, there has been debate in the last few years about the role of Shari’a in the context of domestic family law. This paper reflectsthe extent to which matrimonial settlements by Muslims in divorce cases in Australia reflect a variety of personal practices and strategies towards Shari’a and family law, and situates the debate about Shari’a in Australia within the multiple modernity thesis. I argue that to facilitate Habermas’ post-secular proposal, we should work towards a new multi-faith pragmatic modern project. This paper discusses the fact that this ‘new modern project’ has already started in the field of finance, but not in that of domestic family law.

Associate Professor Adam Possamai, Associate Professor in Sociology, University of Western Sydney, Australia

Adam Possamai is Associate Professor in Sociology. He is the author of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach (Pearson, 2010 with James Henslin and Alphia Possamai-Inesedy), Sociology of Religion for Generations X and Y (Equinox, 2009), Religion and Popular Culture: A Hyper-Real Testament (Peter Lang, 2007) and In Search of New Age Spiritualities (Ashgate, 2005). He is the editor of The handbook of Hyper-Real Religion (Brill, 2012) and, with Jack Barbalet and Bryan Turner, of Religion and the State: A Comparative Sociology (Anthem Press, 2011). He is the current President of Research Committee 22 on the Sociology of Religion from the International Sociological Association, was a former President of the Australian Association for the Study of Religions, and was the 2002-2007 co-editor of the Australian Religion Studies Review. He has been Associate Head of School in the School of Social Sciences, UWS, specialising in research, and he is currently Acting Director of the Religion and Society Research Centre. His work has been published in English, French, Spanish, Romanian and Slovakian. His fictions have been published as Perles Noires (Nuit d’Avril, 2005; Lokomodo, 2011) and Le XXIeme Siecle de ickerson et Ferra (Asgard, 2012).


Elizabeth RataAccess to Knowledge in Pluralist Societies

Culturalist and postcolonial theories promote the idea of ‘localised knowledges’ as a tool of decolonisation and liberation and regard disciplinary knowledge as ‘Western’ cultural knowledge. This confuses the historical origins of knowledge with its epistemological status. Young people who are denied access to powerful disciplinary knowledge in the belief that such knowledge is ‘Western’ are denied both the means to move beyond experience and the means with which to criticise and change the localised world of experience, i.e. culture. They are left in the binaries of self and other, colonised and coloniser, ethnic and ‘Western’; reified and ahistorical categories that confine young people to the world of experience and deny them the means to transcend the limits of culture. A way forward for multiculturalism is to ensure that young people in pluralist societies have access to the powerful disciplinary knowledge required for educational success while at the same time being able to maintain or eschew cultural affiliation with the historical ethnic group as they wish.

Associate Professor Elizabeth Rata, Director of the Knowledge and Education Research Unit, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Elizabeth Rata is associate professor in the School of Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland. She is also the Director of the Knowledge and Education Research Unit in the School. Her current research is into the effects of globalisation on the socio-political organisation of multi-ethnic liberal democracies. Her most recent book is The Politics of Knowledge in Education, published by Routledge which argues that increasing inequalities and limited access to conceptual knowledge for the working-class and minority groups are consequences of the retreat from scientific knowledge for localised ‘knowledges’.


K McDonald

Are ‘Asians’ Bad For Other Students? - School Choice and the Racialised Construction of Academic Excellence

Neo-liberalism now drives education in many countries. The logic of the market is applied and parents are positioned as consumers with responsibility for choosing the right school for their children. Websites make evident student results on national tests, which position schools as more or less successful in the public gaze. Schools need to provide desirable cultures of success. When markets and school choice are critical educational drivers, ethnicity takes on new meaning in marking some students as more or less desirable.

‘Asian’ students are often represented as extremely diligent and policed by overly ambitious parents who pay more attention to their academic achievements than their overall development and happiness. This understanding of ‘Asian’ students has been fueled by exposes of so-called Tiger mothers. Yet despite their reputed academic prowess, these students have been seen as a trigger for ‘white flight’. A high percentage of ‘Asian’ students is understood as a threat to the culture of a school premised on the virtues of an all-rounded liberal education. The character of the student population is critical to the market ethos that dominates education. With regard to the constitution of a ‘good’ school, some ethnicities are seen as more valuable than others because they achieve good results. However, if high-achieving ‘non-white’ students are seen as ‘taking over’ a school this can shift the balance the other way.

Current debates in the Australian press about school choice are explored as a means of understanding racism. What makes a school desirable focuses attention on the future parents imagine for their children and the community and who is constructed as a threat to an imagined way of life.

Professor Georgina Tsolidis, School of Education, University of Ballarat, Australia

Professor Georgina Tsolidis joined the academy after working with the Ministry for Education where she conducted research, policy analysis and professional development related to multiculturalism and gender equity. Her research is concerned with the relationship between gender and ethnicity with reference to education policy and practice and cultural reproduction in the diaspora. She has been the Chair of the Monash Centre for Intercultural Studies, a former Editor of the Journal of Intercultural Studies and is currently an executive member of the International Sociological Association Research Committee on Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations. Some of her monographs include Reproducing Cultures : Borderless identification as women’s work, Fishponds UK: Intellect Ltd (forthoming); Youthful Imagination - schooling, subcultures and social justice, Peter Lang Publications, New York; Schooling, Diaspora and Gender - Being Feminist and Being Different, Open University Press, Buckingham and Philadelphia. She is editor of Living Diaspora - family, education and identity, Springer (forthcoming) and Interculturalism, Meaning and Identity, Interdisciplinary Press, Oxford.


Ian Woodward

Language Learning, Intercultural Understanding and Cosmopolitan Citizenship

Historically, Australia has been characterised by relatively high levels of monolingualism amongst its citizens. While this situation may be historically understandable, in the contemporary world it is also increasingly anachronistic. The relationship between language learning, bilingualism and intercultural understanding represents an apposite question of relevance to both educational and social policy. In the field of language pedagogy, the importance of developing language learner’s intercultural communicative competence, and the notion of the intercultural speaker, has been at the centre of debates in recent years. In the field of cosmopolitanism studies, the study of actual practices as the basis for a viable and critical understanding of the cosmopolitan subject is essential. Language learning constitutes a valuable and interesting case in this regard, which can help us arbitrate important theoretical questions, as well as address matters which help us to understand some ways of promoting and managing cultural diversity in Australian society. This paper explores the potential benefits of bilingualism for intercultural understanding and evaluates its possibilities in regard building forms of cosmopolitan citizenship.

Dr Ian Woodward, School of Humanities, Griffith University, Australia

Ian Woodward is Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Humanities, Griffith University, Australia, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Cultural Research at Griffith University. His research on material culture, consumption, taste and material performativity is widely published. His reconstruction of the field of consumption studies via a sociology of materiality, 'Understanding Material Culture', was published by Sage in 2007. Woodward also researches dimensions and practices of cultural openness and his research on cosmopolitanism has been published in journals such as Theory, Culture and Society, The Sociological Review, Journal of Sociology and The British Journal of Sociology. His collaborative research in this area, which connects classical sociological theory to ideas on mobility, hospitality, technology and community, ‘The Sociology of Cosmopolitanism’ (with Gavin Kendall and Zlatko Skrbis), was published by Palgrave in 2009.  A further book in this area, ‘Cosmopolitanism: Uses of the Idea’ (with Zlatko Skrbis), will be published in the Sage TCS Book Series in early 2013. With a group of Griffith colleagues and an international team of authors, he is a co-author of the book ‘Cultural Sociology: An Introduction’, published by Blackwell (2012). Woodward has served on the Executive Board of The Australian Sociological Association. He is a board member on the new journal outlet, the American Journal of Cultural Sociology, and an Editor of The Journal of Sociology. In 2010-2011 he was a Fellow of the Kulturwissenschaftliches Kolleg, University of Konstanz, Germany.


Zlatko Skrbis Ameera Karmishah and Melinda ChimnetBeyond Ethno-specific Networks: Belonging and Engagement among Pacific Islander Youth in Brisbane

Much of the existing literature on Pacific Islander culture focuses on the importance of family and community for norms of reciprocity and mutual obligations (Vasta 2007; Tamasese et al 2010; Francis 1995). Using data from ARC Linkage project “Social networks, belonging and active citizenship among migrant youth in Australia" our research clearly affirms these assumptions by demonstrating that for Pacific Islander youth in Australia, their ethnic community plays an integral role in how they cultivate sense of belonging. However, our research also finds that for young people of Pacific Islander background, strong family and community connections promote bonding capital and mutual obligation amongst their families and Pacific Islander peer groups. This leads to closely bonded networks  being challenged and transformed through the settlement experience as young people seek engagement beyond their immediate, ethno-specific networks. As young people are exposed to different cultures through school, work and the media, and form competing networks their sense of identity is challenged, as is their sense of intra-group belonging.  The result is a nuanced mix of dense ethno-specific networks intertwined with a growing desire for outward engagement. This paper will explore this process in greater detail, suggesting implications of inter and intra group belonging negotiation for young people’s social participation.

Professor Zlatko Skrbis, Professor of Sociology and Dean, Graduate School, The University of Queensland, Australia

Zlatko Skrbis is Professor of Sociology and currently Dean of the Graduate School at The University of Queensland, Australia. He is the author of Long-distance Nationalism (1999), Constructing Singapore (2008, with Michael Barr), and The Sociology of Cosmopolitanism (with Kendall and Woodward, 2009). His articles have appeared in various journals, including the Sociological Review, Nations and Nationalism, Theory, Culture and Society, Ethnic and Racial Studies and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. He is currently a chief investigator on the longitudinal study of young people in Queensland, and a study of social networks, belonging and active citizenship among migrant youth in Australia. His most recent monograph titled Cosmopolitanism: Uses of the Idea (with Woodward) is currently in print.

Ms Ameera Karimshah, Research Assistant, The University of Queensland, Australia

Ameera Karimshah is a research assistant on the ARC Linkage project 'Migrant Youth, Social Networks and Belonging', a project in partnership with Deakin University, Australian Red Cross and Centre for Multicultural Youth. Ameera has a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in policy from the University of Queensland and is active in the community sector in Brisbane.  Her research interests include, social policy, youth studies, culture, religion and education. 

Ms Melinda Chiment, PhD Canidate, The University of Queensland, Australia

Melinda Chiment is currently a PhD student in the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland and received her Bachelor of Arts with honours from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Melinda is a research assistant on the ARC Linkage project “Migrant youth, social networks and belonging,” a project in partnership with Deakin University, Australian Red Cross and Centre for Multicultural Youth. Melinda is active in the social service sector in Australia and the United States and her research interests include youth wellbeing, migration, culture and health and social policy.

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

9th November 2012