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Immigrant Families in Australia


  • Jock Collins

    () (University of Technology, Sydney)


Australia has a larger and more diverse immigrant population than most Western societies. Australia's immigration history is linked to the story of family migration as Australia sought immigrants for permanent settlement. However, it is important to aviod over-generalisation when studying immigrant families in Australia today. The main hypothesis is that in order to understand the immigrant family in Australia today it is necessary to study the intersection of factors such as ethnicity, class, gender and racism. This article approaches the study of Australia's immigrant families by first making the distinction between immigrants from English-speaking countries and those from non-English-speaking countries. It then looks to differences that emerge from a more detailed study of the immigrant family by ethnic origin before exploring the impact of social class on the lives of immigrant families, viewed through the prism of the social construction of immigrants in Australia. The conclusion is that the immigrant family in Australia is an elusive concept, with immigrant families experiencing a wide variety of situations due to particular intersections of ethnicity, class, gender and racism. Nevertheless, immigrant families from non English-speaking backgrounds tend to be relatively disadvantaged - according to the socio-economic indicators - compared to immigrant families from English-speaking countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Jock Collins, 1992. "Immigrant Families in Australia," Working Paper Series 12, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:uts:wpaper:12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jock Collins, 2006. "The Changing Political Economy Of Australian Immigration," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 97(1), pages 7-16, February.
    2. Piore,Michael J., 1980. "Birds of Passage," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521280587, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lufanna Lai & Robert Cummins & Anna Lau, 2013. "Cross-Cultural Difference in Subjective Wellbeing: Cultural Response Bias as an Explanation," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 607-619, November.

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