Multiculturalism: Perspectives from Australia, Canada & China

Monday 21 & Tuesday 22 November 2011 | The University of Sydney, Australia

Download the program (426KB PDF) | Download conference proceedings (2.6MB PDF)

Scholars from universities across these three nations will be sharing ideas, experiences and innovations within the theme of multiculturalism. Speakers will explore how we might engage the possibilities as well as meet the challenges facing Australia, Canada and China as we grapple with diversity and equity issues in the provision of educational experiences and social services to our diverse populations.

Students of diverse ethnicity

Monday 21 November
8.15 Registration (tea and coffee provided)

9.00

Acknowledgment of Country: Robert J Tierney, The University of Sydney

Opening Address: Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC GVO, Governor of NSW;

9.15

Keynote: THE GLOBALISATION OF PLURALISM | Joe Lo Bianco, The University of Melbourne

For four decades Australian public policy has pursued a fragmented agenda of civics, Asia literacy, multiculturalism and Indigenous reconciliation. Originating in different realms and responding to different but pressing needs, public policy has at times stressed one or other of these ideals. In recent decades a human capital based neo-liberal construction of schooling and curriculum has further fragmented the public response to the needs for recognition of difference in the context of social unity and economic opportunity. Australia has at times imagined that the nation's economic and security integration into the Asian region carried cultural and linguistic repercussions summed up in the term Asia literacy. The Indigenous reconciliation agenda was constructed as an amalgam of awareness of Indigenous culture among mainstream Australians, initiatives in Closing the Gap of achievement differentials for Indigenous students, and a troubled history of first language provision. The response to immigration derived diversity has equally fluctuated between specialist provision for integrating or assimilating new arrivals and longer term immigrants, with a light spread of cultural diversity themes for all learners. All these themes have jostled with civics education and occasional efforts at 'international studies' as responses to pluralism from sub-national (immigrant and indigenous) and extra-national (region and globe) pressures. The fragmentation of responses to pluralism has seen one emphasis replace and substitute for earlier conceptualisations so that Australian studies was replaced by multiculturalism, which was replaced by Asia literacy, which has ceded to global studies, some of which revive and return in new guise and with new energy. All the while it has become apparent the world over, no less across the Asia Pacific region, that globalisation has produced immense diversity in all nations of the world. The flows of people, goods, ideas and technologies have led to a proliferation of differences so that education systems from Korea to New Zealand, Sri Lanka to China, Canada to Chile all grapple with the increasingly pressing agendas to craft educational responses that convey skills and opportunity to individuals for economic participation, dispositions and knowledge for civic participation, openness and curiosity for their lives as participants in a world of ever decreasing distance, ever increasing contact, and ever more urgent need of inclusion. This paper will discuss this proliferation of responses to diversity, proposing a world mindedness goal for all schools, and all learners, that retains the focus on educational equity and high standards of achievement while stressing civic participation and shared common life in a context of the recognition of multiple layers of difference and identity in a global time.

10.15 Questions and moderated discussion
10.30 Morning Tea

11.00

Parallel Session 1

Policy: THE CHALLENGE OF MUSLIM COMMUNITIES IN MULTICULTURAL STATES | Ghena Krayem, The University of Sydney

Diversity: MULTICULTURAL INTERNATIONAL MINDEDNESS: PEDAGOGIES OF INTELLECTUAL E/QUALITY FOR AUSTRALIAN DIALOGICAL ENGAGEMENT | Michael Singh, University of Western Sydney

Language/Education: A CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY OF TEACHER CREDIBILITY IN RELATION TO TEACHER CLARITY AND NONVERBAL IMMEDIACY | Wang Weirong, Beijing Normal University

11.30

Parallel Session 2

Policy: BETWEEN "DEATH OF MULTICULTURALISM" AND HEGEMONIC MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION: THE AWKWARDNESS OF THE CANADIAN CASE | Handel Wright, The University of British Columbia

Diversity: CURRENT TRENDS IN ETHNIC YOUTH MEDIA AND THE ROLE OF NEW MEDIA IN LIVES OF MIGRANT YOUTH | Ekaterina Loy, The University of Adelaide

Language/Education: MOTHER TONGUE, IDENTITY AND COLLEGE LIFE: A CASE STUDY ON CHINESE MINORITY NATIONALITY STUDENTS IN NORTHEAST CHINA | Zhu Hong & Ma Yunpeng, Northeast Normal University

12.00

Parallel session 3

Policy: HOW DOES VOCATIONAL EDUCATION THREATEN CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN MAINLAND CHINA? A CASE STUDY ON A NGO-FOUNDED VOCATIONAL SCHOOL FOR MIGRANT YOUTH | Wang Xi, Beijing Normal University

Diversity: CONNECTING AND CELEBRATING DIVERSITY THROUGH MULTICULTURAL ARTS EDUCATION | Dawn Joseph, Deakin University

Language/Education: PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY FORMATION OF TEACHERS FROM NON-ARABIC BACKGROUNDS WORKING IN ARAB-ISLAMIC SCHOOL COMMUNITIES | Lynn Sheriden, The University of New South Wales

12.30

Parallel Session 4

Policy: NATIONAL IDENTITY AND CIVICS CLASSES: THE LIMITATIONS OF THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA – AUSTRALIA'S MULTICULTURAL POLICY | Benjamin Herscovitch, The University of Sydney & Debopriyo Bal, Institute for Economics and Peace

Diversity: HOW TO BRIDGE TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS: A CASE STUDY OF SOCIAL IDENTITY OF MIGRANTS FROM A LOWER-GRADE CLASS AT A PUBLIC SCHOOL IN BEIJING | Kan Wei, Beijing Normal University

Language/Education: EXPLORATION OF PERCEPTIONS AND APPLICATIONS OF SPOKEN REGISTER AT A SOUTH AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITY IN RELATION TO IRAQI STUDENTS | Hayder AlHamdany, The University of Adelaide

1.00 Lunch

2.00

Parallel Session 5

Policy: 'MULTICULTURALISM WITHIN A BILINGUAL FRAMEWORK' AND 'A COHESIVE, UNITED, MULTICULTURAL NATION': MULTICULTURAL POLICIES IN CANADA AND AUSTRALIA, 1970s – THE PRESENT | Jatinder Mann, King’s College London

Diversity: CULTURE AND HEALTH: AN INVESTIGATION OF ILLNESS PERCEPTIONS IN IMMIGRANTS AND ANGLO-AUSTRALIANS WITH CANCER IN AUSTRALIA | Ming Sze, The University of Sydney

Language/Education: CHINESE LANGUAGE IN AUSTRALIA – DIVERSITY, PERSPECTIVE AND PRACTICE TOWARDS MULTICULTURALISM | Li Wang, The University of Sydney

2.30

Parallel Session 6

Policy: "OUR RESPONSIBILITY WAS TO THE LAND, THE WATER, THE ANIMAL AND HUMAN PEOPLES; TO THE SOURCES OF LIFE ITSELF": COAST SALISH UNDERSTANDINGS OF SPACE, POWER, AND THE HISTORY OF COLONIZATION ON THE BORDERLANDS | Michael Marker, The University of British Columbia

Diversity: CROSS-CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS AT THE ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES: THE FIRST EMPORER: CHINA'S ENTOMBED WARRIORS | Anna Lawrenson & Chiara O'Reilly, The University of Sydney

Language/Education: CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS TRAINING FOR MIGRANT PROFESSIONALS IN AUSTRALIA: CHALLENGES FACING OVERSEAS-TRAINED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS | Clarice Chan, The University of New South Wales / The University of Hong Kong

3.00

Parallel Session 7

Policy: SOCIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL COHESION IN CANADA | Charles Ungerleider, The University of British Columbia

Diversity: INITIATING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN: MULTICULTURALISM, WOMEN, CHILDBIRTH AND RESILIENCE | Angelique Edmonds, University of South Australia

Language/Education: ASIAN LANGUAGES PROGRAM IN AUSTRALIA: RATIONALE AND IMPLEMENTATION | Thi Minh Phuong Nguyen, The University of New South Wales

3.30 Afternoon Tea
4.00 Launch of the Tri-Nations Network

4.15

Keynote: TRANSNATIONAL FEARS AND LOCAL ANXIETIES ABOUT MARGINALIZED YOUNG PEOPLE AT THE BORDERS OF THE NATION | Jo-Anne Dillabough, The University of British Columbia / University of Cambridge

The nation is imagined as limited because even the largest of them has finite, if elastic boundaries, beyond which lie other nations (Anderson, 1991: 7).
You can be a citizen or you can be stateless, but it is difficult to imagine being a border (Green, 2002).

Much urban youth research conducted in recent years highlights a heightened emphasis upon highly mobile narratives of panic and risk management which have infiltrated and changed the nature of youth cultural activities and associated multicultural policies in relation to ideas about the nation, race, and migration (eg London Riots). Intimations of the scale and capability of such mobile panic narratives and associated threats have been relayed with great force through an increasingly sophisticated global visual, electronic and print media (eg Levi & Wall, 2004; Lyon, 2004; Mason, 2004). The agents of this rapidly growing threat, which is now presumed to be levelled at global cities worldwide, are seen largely to be young, disaffected individuals, characteristically from ethnic or religious minorities, often economically disadvantaged, and who were once presumed to constitute a 'homegrown' problem, comprising – to use the symbolically charged words of the former British Prime Minister Thatcher – an 'enemy within'. In a post-9/11 and 7/7 context and in the changing ideological arena of migration politics, the 'Arab Spring', and global economic insecurities, one learns that these dilemmas or apparent 'threats' no longer represent a 'homegrown' or purely nationalist agenda and perhaps never did. Rather, in transnational contexts we can begin to witness the workings of what Balibar refers to as border anxiety and its role in producing ideas about the young 'enemy' of the nation and the constitution of its ideological borders (see Ahmed, 2003; Hage, 2009; Nayak, 2003; McLeod, 2011). In some contexts, these threats are seen by some national leaders as exacerbated by the mobile effects of egalitarian educational policies such as 'state multiculturalism' or diversity politics: as David Cameron remarked in his first speech as Prime Minister to the Munich Security Conference: "State multiculturalism has failed", and could promote terrorism among young people (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12371994).

How might we conceptualize the comparative dimensions of this combination of institutionalized anxiety and highly mobile anxiety thought to be generated by post-9/11 and 7/7 youth, and how is this institutionalized anxiety manifested in different 'social texts' (including research texts and multicultural policies) of the nation in comparative contexts, which might include media, educational curricula, oral histories of youth and the forms of border anxiety that have shaped them? How might we think beyond a perhaps somewhat too fluid ideal of the mobility and flow of ideas about such young people and towards a more complex notion of the relation of young to people to forms of moralizing border anxieties and the role that borders – as both a geographical reality and in the form of a national imaginary (as they might related to highly situated yet still transnational and sometimes distant national ideas) – might play in producing particular notions of young people and certain moral norms about the role of multiculturalism in the 21st century (see Rumford, 2006)? In particular, how might different national borders work as a form of power to either transform or accommodate some of the dominant narratives of economically disadvantaged youth in research and the public record across time and place? How might we assess this largely un-investigated phenomenon drawing upon an interdisciplinary apparatus which might afford some purchase upon the genesis of how ideas about global fears and marginalized young people 'move', or are seen as mobile, and upon any possibility for some sustained understanding of their impact on young people's relation to the state, citizenship or multicultural policies? As Balibar and Hage (2008) argues, how can we imagine these representations of young people in relation to the idea of a border, border patrol, or even a border dwelling where the border functions to establish identities which are seen as legitimate or as foreign? In other words, how might we read these comparative representations of young people as a form of border work where legitimacy and citizenship are established not only through the use of legal principles such as residency, human rights legislation but through sometimes invisible cultural forces which appear to most observers as normal or even as equality? I will seek to respond to some of these questions as a partial response to the problematics associated with economically disadvantaged youth, border anxiety and associated links to transnational thinking on multicultural policy in the 21st century.

5.15 Questions and moderated discussion
5.30 Close of Day 1
6.30 Conference Dinner at the Grandstand
Tuesday 22 November
8.15 Registration (tea and coffee provided)
9.00 Welcome

9.15

Keynote: MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION IN CHINA: POSSIBILITIES AND PATHS | Jin Yule, Southwest University (Download Bio 66KB PDF)

The intrinsic appeal for ethnic cultural development, the increasing cultural exchange during social/economic transition and the foreign culture shock of globalisation highlight the necessity of conducting multicultural education in China. This continuous penetration of globalisation has shaken China's multi-ethnic, social and cultural foundations highlighting global issues such as educational value and practice standards. The opening up of China to the world, and China's own deep-rooted diverse cultural backgrounds, show that it is not only possible, but necessary, to construct a homogenous education model. This model must carry on the multicultural education of China, while maintaining "Unity without Uniformity" and the socialist core values that have driven the successful growth of China into the 21st century. Multicultural education needs to be reformed as these are important issues for Chinese education to deal with right now.

10.15 Questions & moderated discussion
10.30 Morning Tea

11.00

Parallel Session 8

Policy: MORAL PANIC IN A NEW AGE: SUSPICION, DREAD AND EVOLVING CONCEPTIONS OF YOUTH AND THE 'DANGEROUS CLASSES' IN URBAN SPACE | Jo-Anne Dillabough, The University of British Columbia / University of Cambridge

Diversity: NEW PATTERNS IN HIGHER EDUCATION CROSS-CULTURAL LEARNING: THE CASE OF A POSTGRADUATE ENGLISH INSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN CHINA | Ma Yunpeng & Zhu Hong, Northeast Normal University

Language/Education: DEVELOPING PROFESSIONAL LEARNING FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS IN VERY REMOTE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER COMMUNITIES | Alison Elliott, The University of Sydney & Christine Tayler, Charles Darwin University

11.30

Parallel Session 9

Policy: WHY MULTICULTURALISM IS A DIRTY WORD FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES: SOME THOUGHTS ON A GLOBAL DISCOURSE | Autumn Knowlton, The University of British Columbia

Diversity: FLORIAN ZNANIECKI'S HUMANISTIC SOCIOLOGY IN AUSTRALIAN STUDIES ON CULTURAL AND LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION | Vegneskumar Maniam, University of Adelaide

Language/Education: BENDING THE SCHOOL LADDER: AN EFFORT TO DETRACK SCHOOLS IN BEIJING | Kai Yu, Beijing Normal University

12.00

Parallel session 10

Policy: Symposium cont. | Jo-Anne Dillabough & Autumn Knowlton, The University of British Columbia

Diversity: BLURRING THE BOUNDARIES: A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO LANGUAGE AND LEARNING SUPPORT FOR SOCIAL WORK STUDENTS | Marty Grace, Angela Daddow & Pauline O’Maley, Victoria University

Language/Education: MUSIC PERFORMANCE AND CREATIVITY OVER BROADBAND NETWORKS: THE NEW BOUNDARIES OF MULTICULTURALISM | Ivan Zavada, The University of Sydney

12.30 Close of Conference

Please note, the University reserves the right to alter this program without notice. Any changes will be promptly updated on this web page.

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Ms Nina Goodwin | T: +61 2 9351 6329 | E: nina.goodwin@sydney.edu.au

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