Migrant youth and social policy in multicultural Australia: exploring cross-cultural networking

Libby Effeney, Fethi Mansouri, Maša Mikola

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter explores the extent to which the direction of Australia’s official multicultural and civic integration policies, reflects the social attitudes and networking practices of migrant youth. The chapter pays particular attention to the Federal Government’s “Anti-Racism Strategy” announced in 2012 as part of its Multicultural Policy. On a theoretical level, direct efforts to mitigate racism have the potential to augment strategies that reaffirm pluralism and address disadvantage often associated with the migrant experience. On an empirical level, it is important to explore the extent to which such top-level discourses have actual founding in the social lives of migrant youth. Therefore this chapter presents the empirical findings of an empirical longitudinal on “Social Networks, Belonging and Active Citizenship among Migrant Youth” (Australian Research Council Linkage project 2009–2013). Migrant youth in this study pointed to a number of instances of racism, which act as significant barriers to cross-cultural networking. Analysis of the data shows, among other things, that there is a persistent tendency among migrant youth to point to their social distance from the metaphorical “Aussie Aussie” people of Anglo origins who are perceived as symbolising Australia’s mainstream. Such manifestations of racial discrimination preclude the emergence of a genuinely inclusive society that supports and nurtures cultural diversity as a significant part of the Australian national identity, as well as the stated objectives of its social policy repertoire.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural, Religious and Political Contestations
Subtitle of host publicationThe Multicultural Challenge
EditorsFethi Mansouri
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319160030
ISBN (Print)9783319160023
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-racism strategy
  • Civic integration
  • Migrant youth
  • Multicultural policy
  • Multiculturalism
  • Racism
  • Social inclusion

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