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Does Multiculturalism Contribute to the Social and Political Life in Australia? Essay

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Updated: Jul 18th, 2021


Contemporary Australian society can be characterized by extreme diversity. However, this trait has always been associated with the country. Due to the peculiarities of the historical development, the land sheltered millions of immigrants from different regions. They brought their unique cultural aspects and contributed to the creation of a society that combined features of different ethnicities. After the years of its development, the collision of various groups of people evolved into a completely new entity that acquired its features and characteristics (Indelicato 55).

Today, Australian people live in one of the most diversified societies that impact their lifestyles and behaviors significantly. However, there are also some opposing claims suggesting that the role of multiculturalism in the countrys social and political domains is overstated and it remains an insignificant factor (Mares 70). Counter to this perspective, there is credible evidence that Australia remains a country with developed multiculturalism that contributes to the rise of its social and political life.


The emergence and existence of this unique environment have always been ongoing issues for multiple social researchers. They are interested in the peculiarities of the process of its formation and evolution along with the effect multiculturalism and collision of ethnicities have on individuals. For this reason, there are many scholarly sources, such as articles, books, and papers devoted to the problem of multiculturalism in Australia.

These works delved into the social, political, and cultural benefits and challenges that might arise because of this unique feature. Despite differences in approaches, methods, and investigated domains, the majority of researchers are united in the opinion that multiculturalism remains the factor that shapes the society and policy of the state by altering people’s mentalities, modes of behavior, and reactions to various issues. There are also many other factors associated with the discussed topic and impacting Australia and its society that are analyzed in the given sources, and that can be used to prove the power of multiculturalism.


Views of the Youth

Thus, there are many social and cultural difficulties concerning this issue, however, it remains a potent factor shaping all spheres of people’s lives in the state. Harris claims that dominant cultural norms can be difficult for minorities and immigrants as they have to alter their behaviors to adapt to them (3). However, the positive contribution to the nations life prevails. This assumption can be proven by the fact that the increased diversification of the society contributes to the decreased number of ethical conflicts and the constant income of new ideas generated due to the clash of ethnicities and unusual perspectives (Indelicato 55).

Analyzing the views of young Australians on the problem of multiculturalism, Blair states that in general, they have positive visions of this unique feature of their motherland (433). Providing evidence collected from research data, the author proves the idea that people are sure that the further development of the issue and its cultivation will have a positive impact on the state’s social and cultural domains (Blair 434). This assumption emphasizes the role of multiculturalism.

Higher Competitiveness

Moreover, the outstanding diversity contributes to the higher national competitiveness of the state and enrichment of its culture. Thus, according to Blair, intercultural citizens correctly realize the importance of the given factor and prefer global interculturalism to the local one (435). There are multiple reasons for this choice. First of all, Ng and Metz assume that the dominance of multiculturalism fosters strategic tolerance among the population (258).

It becomes an important aspect of people who have to live regarding the income of new immigrants representing different countries. In such a way, the enhanced inclusiveness and reduced hostility towards newcomers due to multiculturalism can be observed which becomes the key to Australias successes at the domestic and international levels (Ng and Metz 258). Ozdowski suggests another argument proving the importance of multiculturalism for the social and political domains: the fact is that it cultivates the capability to respect the rights of all citizens regardless of their nationality, religion, or culture (110). It becomes a critical element in the functioning of any society or state as mutual respect creates the basis for improved cooperation in various domains.

Governmental Support

Another evidence proving the role of multiculturalism in the social and political life of the state is multiple regulations and legislation suggested by the government to monitor the state of the issue. Thus, Collins supposes that cultural and demographic diversity that are traditionally associated with multiculturalism is a potent factor impacting Australian policymaking which has been used as a national building aspect for more than 60 years (133). Multiple efforts to cultivate this phenomenon and create a unique society turned out to be a success. At the moment, the Australian public domain is considered one of the most tolerant ones in the world (Salter 45).

For this reason, it attracts talented people from different countries who are informed about numerous opportunities available for them here. Therefore, multiculturalism becomes a basis for the development of the economy, which is also fostered by the government. It cultivates the existing international links between representatives of different states who live in the country with their relatives abroad (Salter 88). It contributes to the gradual improvement of global trade and the creation of the background for further cultural exchange.

Socio-Economic Development

In such a way, another factor proving the importance of multiculturalism for Australian society is its critical role in the socio-economic development of the state. Ozdowski assumes that despite some past problems associated with racism and low attention to national issues, the government of the country managed to create an open, multinational society characterized by the increased inclusiveness and tolerance (115). At the same time, it contributes to the appearance of such important processes as cultural exchange and the emergence of new opportunities for business owners (Abdel-Fattah 97).

It also means the growth of new jobs, a decrease in the level of unemployment, and the rise in living standards (Abdel-Fattah 98). At the same time, according to Jacubowicz, multiculturalism fosters technological exchange which is critical for the society of any state (87). Nevertheless, analyzing the role of multiculturalism in the development of the country, Maginn and Hamnett presume that due to the wise governmental interference and powerful support, the given factor becomes one of the integral elements of the contemporary state-building process that is focused on the further development of Australian society and all factors that promote its further rise (121).

Counter Argument

However, despite numerous arguments suggested by the researchers to support multiculturalism and prove its importance for society, there is an opposite perspective on the issue. Thus, Mares reckons that the growing support provided to the cultivation of diversity poses a threat to the national identity as the country might lose it in several years (76). Investigating the problem, he comes to the conclusion, that there are some population groups vulnerable to this factor.

First of all, young people start to experience problems with their identity (Mares 78). The existence of multiple cultures and the necessity to respect them all without giving preference to a certain one might confuse teenagers or adolescents in their choice of the needed model of behavior (Mares 87). Additionally, the absence of the clearly identified Australian culture means the emergence of problems regarding the value system in the future. Finally, Mares states that despite the idea that multiculturalism fosters international cooperation and attracts newcomers, they might feel problems because of the need to adapt to a complex system of interactions preconditioned by differences in cultures (86).


The given claims are not irrational. For instance, Harris mentions that today’s essential problem for youth lies in their continuous attempts to maintain inert-ethic engagement and cohesion that are demanded to adapt to the existing multicultural environment (54). However, having investigated the problem, the same author comes to the conclusion that despite some issues associated with the discussed phenomenon, the positive contribution to the development of the country prevails (Harris 55). This idea is supported by Mann who assumes that the social and cultural difficulties faced by young people are typical for all societies evolving in the age of globalization (62).

The problem of identity emerges under the influence of other cultures that popularity of which contributes to their dominating roles and strong impact on adolescents’ minds. However, in Australia, the process has other features as the young people live in a diversified society that respects all cultures regardless of their popularity or spread (Ng and Metz 260). In such a way, claims about the pernicious impact of multiculturalism on society should be rejected because of their inconsistency and lack of justification.

Therefore, there is credible evidence stating that modern Australian society significantly benefits from the development of multiculturalism and its dominant role in various domains. Multiple authors revolving around the issue proclaim that regarding the existing processes peculiar to the state, this factor turns out to be a key aspect promoting the evolution of various spheres that play a significant role in the rise of Australia. Thus, the majority of mentioned researchers oppose the idea that multiculturalism might have a pernicious effect on the youth because of the problematic identity. It means that further investigation of the issue can completely destroy the myth that diversification can be dangerous to states because of the problems of identity and new challenges coming from other regions.


Altogether, contemporary Australian society can be described as an extremely diversified one. The peculiarities of the historical development contributed to the constant income of new immigrants and the collision of multiple ethnicities. This process cultivated a new mode of life characterized by the prevalence of multiculturalism which influences all spheres of human activity. First of all, improved tolerance and cooperation observe.

Moreover, the economy of the state evolves due to the international trade and the income of talented people from other countries who are attracted by the positive environment and respect for their cultural values. Finally, the government introduces multiple regulations to ensure that multiculturalism is cultivated at the state level as it provides some benefits to the country.

Works Cited

Abdel-Fattah, Randa. Islamophobia and Everyday Multiculturalism in Australia. Routledge, 2018.

Blair, Kathleen. “Young Adults’ Attitudes Towards Multiculturalism in Australia: Tensions Between the Multicultural State and the Intercultural Citizen.” Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 36, no. 4, 2015, pp. 431–449.

Collins, Jock. “Multiculturalism and Immigrant Integration in Australia.” Canadian Ethnic Studies, vol. 45, no.3, 2013, pp. 133-149.

Harris, Anita. Young People and Everyday Multiculturalism. Routledge, 2013.

Indelicato, Maria. Australia’s New Migrants: International Students’ History of Affective Encounters with the Border. Routledge, 2017.

Jacubowicz, Andrew. “New Australian Ways of Knowing ‘Multiculturalism’ in a Period of Rapid Social Change: When Ibn Khaldun Engages Southern Theory.” Critical Reflections on Migration, ‘Race’ and Multiculturalism: Australia in a Global Context, edited by Martina Boese and Vince Marotta, Routledge, 2017, pp. 47-69.

Maginn, Paul, and Stephen Hamnett. “Multiculturalism and Metropolitan Australia: Demographic Change and Implications for Strategic Planning.” Built Environment, vol. 42, no. 1, 2016, pp. 120-144.

Mann, Jatinder. The Search for a New National Identity: The Rise of Multiculturalism in Canada and Australia, 1890s–1970s. Peter Lang Inc., 2016.

Mares, Peter. Not Quite Australian: How Temporary Migration Is Changing the Nation. Text Publishing, 2016.

Ng, Eddy, and Isabel Metz. “Multiculturalism as a Strategy for National Competitiveness: The Case for Canada and Australia.” Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 128, no. 2, 2014, pp. 253-266.

Ozdowski, Sev. “Australian Multiculturalism.The Roots of Its Success.” Promoting Changes in Times of Transition and Crisis: Reflection on Human Rights Education, 2013, pp. 109-135.

Salter, Frank.The War on Human Nature in Australia’s Political Culture: Collected Essays. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017.

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