Multiculturalists, monoculturalists and the many in between: attitudes to cultural diversity and their correlates

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The most comprehensive survey of Australian attitudes to multiculturalism has been variously interpreted as showing that multiculturalism enjoys a high level of support or very little support at all. A re-analysis of the data suggests that both views are mistaken: while multiculturalists appear to outnumber monoculturalists, many Australians - perhaps most - are caught somewhere in between. Attitudes to multiculturalism correlate strongly with several things: views about assimilation, equal opportunity, government support for ethnic organisations and multicultural programs; the teaching of European as well as Asian languages; and the number, source and kinds of migrants Australia should accept. Attitudes are also related to age, party preference and place of birth. Support for multiculturalism is strongest amongst those who came of age after the official birth of multiculturalism, among those who support Labor or the Australian Democrats, and especially among those born in Europe or Asia. This suggests, other things being equal, that support for multiculturalism is likely to grow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-253
Number of pages28
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1993

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