Diversity and Mobility in Australia


in Unequal Chances

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263860
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734953 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Diversity and Mobility in Australia

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The story of ethnic relations in Australia has been very much a story of two groups: the Indigenes and the migrants. One of the major themes evident in this analysis of the Australian ancestry data from the 2001 Census is that, 100 years after the founding of Australia, the same pattern still characterises relations between the non-Indigenes and the Australian-born Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. In contrast to the ongoing evidence of Indigenous disadvantage in Australia, the experience of immigrant groups provides a far more positive picture of the ability of migrants from a diverse range of European and non-European backgrounds to be incorporated into the Australian labour market. While there are clear variations within the first generation, by the second and later generations, ‘ethnic penalties’ suggestive of disadvantage and discrimination have substantially disappeared. The high levels of intermarriage evident by the second generation result in a large number of individuals being from mixed ancestries and are a further pointer to a pattern of non-economic incorporation in Australia that involves limited discrimination and extensive integration.

Keywords: Australia; ethnic relations; Indigenes; migrants; ethnic penalties; discrimination; labour market; second generation

Chapter.  22471 words. 

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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