Multiculturalism at play: Young people and citizenship in Australia

Lesley Pruitt

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This article analyzes an Australian theatre program that engaged diverse youth in (re)visioning citizenship and multiculturalism by creating new notions of belonging and altering perceptions of Aboriginal culture and its value in Australia. This kind of work - where young people's understandings of inclusion and diversity can be unsettled, critiqued, and developed - is crucial because current approaches to Australian multiculturalism. tend to rely on Anglo-centric norms and fail to account for indigeneity. Drawing on participant observation and semi-structured interviews, I argue that youth theatre based on reflexive practices and crosscultural sharing may offer a useful tool for young people's education for inclusive citizenship in a multicultural, super-diverse context. When practiced thoughtfully, such programs can offer space for rethinking citizenship and belonging in ways that recognize the centrality of Indigenous culture and critically reflect on the limitations of the dominant culture's reliance on Anglo cultural norms and ideas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-285
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • youth
  • Australia
  • multiculturalism
  • citizenship

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