How has multiculturalism impacted and influenced social capital in Auburn and Lidcombe?

Introduction

After World War 11 the cultural population of Auburn was mainly Anglo Celtic of the working classes. In the 1900’s Auburn was a successful industrial town but the de-industrialization from the 1980’s led to high unemployment rates in the area. As the cultural balance in Auburn LGA changes several changes took place socially and culturally and in the types of employment that were readily available in Auburn for the working classes. The local community of Auburn was reshaped because of globalization which provided opportunities for the town and changed the demography of the town. Multiculturalism in Auburn also shows the policies of the government and their current viewpoint on permanent migrants being permitted into the country for cheap labor. ( Molloy,1993)

The Demographic Statistics

Impacts of multiculturalism: besides the change in demographic quality of Auburn, it is also evident from the languages that are spoken in Auburn. 58% of the population in the town, speak languages other than English. 1.96% speak Vietnamese, 5.88% speak Urdu, 15.69% speak Mandarin, 11.76% speak Persian, 9.8% speak Arabic and 41.18 speak English. From here it is evident that the impact of multiculturalism in the town has first had an impact on the languages that are being spoken currently in Auburn. ( Hugo et al,2008)

The group with the largest ethnic presence in Auburn is the Chinese migrants who make up 45.1% of the total population in Auburn. When the population is a different majority other than Australian, then the retail stores change the products on sale to the needs of the majority of customers and the general vegetable stores will also sell what the majority population requires for their daily needs.

The Lebanese people make up 27.5% of the Auburn population and are the second largest group of people living in Auburn.

The Middle Eastern population is 7.6% contributing to the pockets of similar community living in an area together within the town.

This has increased the cultural diversity of the town and has radically changed the previous culture of the town. As things today, Auburn has 27.5% Asian culture, 23.5% Middle Eastern culture, 17.6 Anglo Celtic culture, 13.7% European culture, 7.8% Pacific Islander culture, 5.9% African culture, 2% American culture and another 2% of other cultures. With this type of cultural diversity it is only natural that the area will show the positive and the negative impacts of multiculturalism in the town. ( Lyle,1983)


The Important Findings

The most important revelation of this study is that the majority in Auburn claim that multiculturalism should be accepted and embraced because it has had a positive impact for the town. 39.2 percent strongly feel that multiculturalism should be embraced. 33.3% agree that multiculturalism in the town is a reality and should be embraced. 19.6% remained neutral and had no viewpoint on the impact of multiculturalism. 2.0% of the Auburn population disagreed that multiculturalism should be embraced believing that the identity and the history of the town is disappearing because of the cultural diversity. 5.9% strongly disagreed to multiculturalism.

These view point reflect the stand of the Australian government policies on immigration. The immigration laws are strict but it appears that is so only for the Indians. For other Asian and South East Asian countries including Japan the policies are more liberal and relaxed. What can be understood from this i that the population of Auburn is divided in their opinion. The diversity has increased the tolerance of the people residing in Auburn by 7.9% feel that it has increased conflict and intolerance in the town. This is eroding the base of the social capital of the Auburn. In this particular town it is evident that the levels of tolerance have increased with the diversity. 93.3% of the population says that they have friends from other cultural backgrounds other than their own community and the differences are negligible when they are together in the social circle or the friends’ circle.


Survey Results

The comfort levels of Australians in a multi-cultural environment are high with most of the Anglo Celtic population having no problems with the diversity showing that this diversity is increasing the strength of the social capital over a period of time in Auburn based on relationships and trust. 7.8% are not comfortable in with other ethnic groups in the town. 17.6% are comfortable but in a formal way and there is no particular interaction where they would go out of their way ion a store to greet the other person. 27.5% are comfortable and 47.1% are very comfortable with the diversity in the town. It can be seen from the survey results that opinions are divided in Auburn amount the diversity in the town but the majority feel multiculturalism is good for the tow and has a positive impact on the economy of Auburn. ( ABS,2014)

The social capital erosion which is always the key question when a study is being done on multiculturalism, has in Auburn, proved that despite the percentage of the population that agree and disagree the general trend is that the population feel secure and safe when they are with groups of other ethnicity. This shows that the social capital even though it had eroded has gained strength in Auburn and this has made it possible to increase the levels and the standards of the social capital in the town. This is one of the major positive impacts that multiculturalism has had in on the town.

The following survey results will prove that there has been no negative impact on the social capital of the town because of diversity. 19.6% don’t feel safe at all or feel very unsafe in another ethnic group. 39.2% feel safe only when they stay alert when in another ethnic group. 23.5% feel very safe. What needs to mentioned here is that 61% of the survey results are from samples between the age groups of 18 and 25 years of age. As a result the younger generations have more scope and less barriers to be able to mingle and make friends which would be different for the older age groups in any ethnic community. ( Iggulden,2008)

The religious expressions of different groups are allowed and are free from hostility as it appears from the survey results. The official level of 14.5% having no religion appears to have gone up

with the younger age group samples in the survey studies that have been undertaken in the town. The percentage of no religion differed from the official records and it was placed at 35.3%.


Effects of Exposure

Diversity has opened up the Auburn community and increased the exposure to the different types of cultures, the different types of cuisine and the different tradition and religion. This in fact is a process of education that is only possible in a town like Auburn where the level of diversity is high. It creates an understanding of the type of other beliefs, patterns of living and social structure exist which would not have been possible in short visits to the countries that are represented in the diversity in Auburn.

Keeping faith in the existing religion of a community it is possible for the population of Auburn to understand the beliefs and the typical areas that are shunned by some religions, with respect to foods and forms of worship. This creates a greater understanding in the different types of religions that exist in the world and there is no blind loyalty to the religion of birth. In a diverse background the faith in a person’s religion increases by understanding other religions. The opposite also happens when watching other religions the faith in one’s own religion decreases and then individuals convert to religions where they find peace, prosperity and happiness.

The one good impact of multiculturalism is that the trends of family life in ethnic groups are strong and this helps the younger generation to learn, value and understand the importance of family values and the support base that living with family provides to single members of the family. The people of Auburn and Lidcombe are not against the immigration policies of the Australian and generally feel safe and secure when living among other ethnic groups in the neighborhood.

The quality and the exposure that one get living in a diverse town is perhaps the best from of development in any individual which provided a clear understanding of the traditions, the beliefs and the understanding of why one ethnic groups is the way they are and why another is also the way they are. The commonalities and the dissimilarities seem to form a cohesive force where it keeps the community together in the town because of an external balance that is created by multiculturalism.

From the diverse groups it is possible to understand how trade is done and organized. What are the types of processes that the government needs to implement to maintain a balanced harmony that is not only crucial to the harm, only of the community in a town like Auburn and Lidcombe but a greater understanding is available as to how the trade organization steps and stages of other ethnic groups leads to the ability to develop successful businesses.

The art and the architectural understanding of a particular ethnic group help others to identify and understand the reasons why a particular group is the way it is and why it is different from another group that has a different culture. ( Birell,1978)

The social impact can be considered from the social justice policies of the Australian government where they are ensuring that the white man rule is no longer relevant as it was in the 1990’s which had an adverse impact on the Australian economy. Even today the payment of wages to Australian’s is so high and if the worker is unionized the costs are even higher, that it becomes unprofitable to do business with white labor. On the other hand the other communities are willing to work for less wages at lesser rates and sometimes it is only 50 cents per hour that, which has given the Australian economy a chance to get over losses and start afresh to be able to produce and compete with the imported goods that are available in Australia. This provides the social justice that creates a sense of gratitude and loyalty to the Australian government giving them the chance to be able to support the economic efficiency of the country by contributing their labor at cheaper rates.

There has been criticism about the multiculturalism that exists in Australia and many experts have pointed out the weak areas which may be considered by some as the disadvantages or the dangers of multiculturalism. The dangers that have been pointed out tis the extensive expenditure on the barely 2% population of Australia and the fact that the ideology of Islam is a political ideology. The segregation of the Islamic student population in Australia and the special demands has made it difficult for them to integrate with the mainstream of society in Australia. However, these dangers are not very evident in Auburn and Lidcombe. According to a few residents the muslim a grocery shops are selling a special kind of meat called halal meat that I culled in a different way without informing the customers. What is therefore evident is that the entire face of Auburn and Lidcombe as it was earlier has changed and the current pictures and photos of Lidcombe will show that the changes in the form of restaurants, pedestrians, retail shops and outlets and the student population in the town. What this has resulted in is that the actual original identity of the town has faded and in its place is a new culturally diverse Auburn and Lidcombe that is very different from the times when there was an Anglo Celtic majority during the period of industrialization in Auburn in the 1900’s. ( Hughes,1997)

Multiculturalism has had an impact on the population of Auburn and Lidcombe, but more than the negative impact of the situation there have been positive impacts of multiculturalism proving that the Australian government policies towards immigration has helped in reviving the economy and support Australia’s participation in the global market with goods that can be competitive because the immigrant labor costs are lower than the costs of white Australian labor. The unionized labor in Australia has closed down many production units as it was no longer feasible or profitable to pay the rates that the unions demanded and still manage to keep the businesses open.

From the social point of view these people have migrated to Australia as there was a lack of social equality, justice and respect in their own countries for them. Here the immigrant communities have been given social justice and in return they have contributed to the growth of the Australian economy providing the much needed relief of cheap labor that has made the Australian production units more competitive from a position of almost closing down permanently. A grateful ethnic community will never endanger the security of a country, instead they will contribute with their skills and their labor to show their gratitude and their thanks to the Australian government and the people of Australia by working towards the improvement of the community in which they live and also in their profession.

The level of tolerance increases towards the different peoples of the world and educates those who are exposed to a multicultural society like Auburn and Lidcombe to be able to understand, interact and work in a diver environment which they can turn to their benefit and in the process make good friends who will be there in times of need.

Social Impact on the Culture

From the diverse groups it is possible to understand how trade is done and organized. What are the types of processes that the government needs to implement to maintain a balanced harmony that is not only crucial to the harm, only of the community in a town like Auburn and Lidcombe but a greater understanding is available as to how the trade organization steps and stages of other ethnic groups leads to the ability to develop successful businesses.

The art and the architectural understanding of a particular ethnic group help others to identify and understand the reasons why a particular group is the way it is and why it is different from another group that has a different culture. ( Birell,1978)

The social impact can be considered from the social justice policies of the Australian government where they are ensuring that the white man rule is no longer relevant as it was in the 1990’s which had an adverse impact on the Australian economy. Even today the payment of wages to Australian’s is so high and if the worker is unionized the costs are even higher, that it becomes unprofitable to do business with white labor. On the other hand the other communities are willing to work for less wages at lesser rates and sometimes it is only 50 cents per hour that, which has given the Australian economy a chance to get over losses and start afresh to be able to produce and compete with the imported goods that are available in Australia. This provides the social justice that creates a sense of gratitude and loyalty to the Australian government giving them the chance to be able to support the economic efficiency of the country by contributing their labor at cheaper rates.

There has been criticism about the multiculturalism that exists in Australia and many experts have pointed out the weak areas which may be considered by some as the disadvantages or the dangers of multiculturalism. The dangers that have been pointed out tis the extensive expenditure on the barely 2% population of Australia and the fact that the ideology of Islam is a political ideology. The segregation of the Islamic student population in Australia and the special demands has made it difficult for them to integrate with the mainstream of society in Australia. However, these dangers are not very evident in Auburn and Lidcombe. According to a few residents the Muslim a grocery shops are selling a special kind of meat called halal meat that I culled in a different way without informing the customers. What is therefore evident is that the entire face of Auburn and Lidcombe as it was earlier has changed and the current pictures and photos of Lidcombe will show that the changes in the form of restaurants, pedestrians, retail shops and outlets and the student population in the town. What this has resulted in is that the actual original identity of the town has faded and in its place is a new culturally diverse Auburn and Lidcombe that is very different from the times when there was an Anglo Celtic majority during the period of industrialization in Auburn in the 1900’s. ( Hughes,1997)


The Positive Impacts

Multiculturalism has had an impact on the population of Auburn and Lidcombe, but more than the negative impact of the situation there have been positive impacts of multiculturalism proving that the Australian government policies towards immigration has helped in reviving the economy and support Australia’s participation in the global market with goods that can be competitive because the immigrant labor costs are lower than the costs of white Australian labor. The unionized labor in Australia has closed down many production units as it was no longer feasible or profitable to pay the rates that the unions demanded and still manage to keep the businesses open.

From the social point of view these people have migrated to Australia as there was a lack of social equality, justice and respect in their own countries for them. Here the immigrant communities have been given social justice and in return they have contributed to the growth of the Australian economy providing the much needed relief of cheap labor that has made the Australian production units more competitive from a position of almost closing down permanently. A grateful ethnic community will never endanger the security of a country, instead they will contribute with their skills and their labor to show their gratitude and their thanks to the Australian government and the people of Australia by working towards the improvement of the community in which they live and also in their profession.

The level of tolerance increases towards the different peoples of the world and educates those who are exposed to a multicultural society like Auburn and Lidcombe to be able to understand, interact and work in a diverse environment which they can turn to their benefit and in the process make good friends who will be there in times of need.

Conclusion

There are many arguments and debates about the impact that multiculturalism has in a country. But, having completed the study for Auburn and Lidcombe, it is very clear that the impact of multiculturalism in the town has been positive from all sides. The evidence is in the number of restaurants that have opened up, the number of ethnic retail outlets that have opened, the number of successful handcrafted garment stores and the number of people who visit the stores and spend money. The employed younger generations are always seen with the influence of multicultural influences that are positive. The levels of relationships and friendships are taken to higher levels and some culminate in long term relationships with children and some culminate in marriage as well. Relationships culminating in marriage are relatively few in percentage as it is seen that in the older generations the trend was to marry within the ethnic community. The current trends show that the trend is to marry a person irrespective of ethnicity in order to have a successful relationship. This shows the impact and the education that cultural diversity has provided in Auburn and Lidcome and perhaps the changes are evident through Australia. All types of changes in a society is to make the social capital strong and to allow the social relationships to be long lasting. This is evident in Auburn and Lidcombe which is a town that has inculcated the best of the cultural diversity.


References

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 3101.0 Australian Demographic Statistics

Australian Immigration Bureau (2103)"National Agenda for a Multicultural Australia". immi.gov.au.

Birrell, T. (1978), 'Migration and the Dilemmas of Multiculturalism,' in Robert Birrell and Colin Hay (eds.), The Immigration Issue in Australia, A Sociological Symposium, Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, pages 132-146

Hugo,G., Paul Callister, Juthika Badkar (2008). Graeme Hugo, Soogil Young, ed. Labour Mobility in the Asia-Pacific Region: Dynamics, Issues and a New APEC Agenda : A Survey and Analyses of Governance Challenges on Labour Migration for APEC Economies. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. p. 148. ISBN 978-981-230-895-5

Iggulden, Tom (2008). "Immigration intake to rise to 300,000". Lateline (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Lopez, M. (2000),The Origins of Multiculturalism in Australian Politics 1945-1975, Melbourne University Press, Carlton South, Victoria (ISBN 0-522-84895-8)

Lyle, A. (1983), 'A Selective Annotated Bibliography of Multiculturalism', in Social Alternatives (University of Queensland), Vol.3, No.3, July, pages 65–72.Molloy, Bruce (1993). "Changing Cultural Channels: SBS-TV, Imparja and Australian Television". Communication Institute for Online Scholarship.








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