The construction of whiteness in Australia: Discourses of immigration and national identity from the White Australia Policy to multiculturalism

Ganley, Nathan Tobias (2007). The construction of whiteness in Australia: Discourses of immigration and national identity from the White Australia Policy to multiculturalism PhD Thesis, School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland.

       
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Author Ganley, Nathan Tobias
Thesis Title The construction of whiteness in Australia: Discourses of immigration and national identity from the White Australia Policy to multiculturalism
School, Centre or Institute School of Political Science and International Studies
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2007
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Roland Bleiker
Barbara Sullivan
Total pages 274
Collection year 2007
Language eng
Subjects 1606 Political Science
Formatted abstract Australia has a diverse population, but to be 'normal' one must be white. This confers unearned and under-criticised privilege upon people identified as white. This dissertation is a theoretical and empirical investigation of the construction of white race privilege in Australian discourses of immigration and national identity. It explores how whiteness has been intimately attached to the Australian national identity by examining texts that contribute to various discourses of immigration and Australian national identity from federation in 1901 to 1988. My genealogical analysis is focused specifically on two key historic moments: the introduction of White Australia Policy and the transition to Multiculturalism. This dissertation also utilises analytical tools and insights from recent critical race and whiteness studies literature.

I demonstrate that whiteness was produced as an imperative in relations of domination exercised through the discourses of the White Australia Policy. The shift to Multiculturalism increased diversity within the Australian population and changed but did not erase white race privilege. The discursive power relations evident in the discourses of Multiculturalism are more akin to governmental power and construct whiteness as normal.
Keyword White Australia policy -- History
Racism -- Australia -- History
Nationalism -- Australia -- History -- 20th century
Australia -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy -- History -- 20th century
Multiculturalism -- Australia -- History
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