Identity in multicultural societies: who do we think we are?
Kennedy, Wendy L. and Hall, John 2006, Identity in multicultural societies: who do we think we are?, International journal of diversity in organisations, communities and nations, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 123-134.
This paper examines identity issues in multicultural Australia. In its extreme, negative form, assumptions that certain characteristics apply to all members of an ethnic group can be attributed to racism. However, the belief that individuals who share the same ethnic background have similar needs, interests and perceptions is also reflected in business, government policy and academic research. Often, ethnic groupings used for research and policy formulation are very broad and fail to take into account within-group differences. The criteria used to assess an individuals membership of an ethnic group can be problematic. Criteria based purely on objective measures such as country of birth or ethnic ancestry do not take into account acculturation processes or the degree to which individuals consider themselves to be 'ethnic '. These objective measures are complicated further as individuals may have ethnic roots from multiple countries depending on their family composition over several generations. This theory-focused paper proposes that ethnic identity should be viewed as a subjective phenomenon where individuals are likely to align themselves with the ethnic background to which they most identify. This has implications for research and policy making in multicultural societies.
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Field of Research
150599 Marketing not elsewhere classified
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970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
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