Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin university
Place of publication
This paper redresses common misconceptions concerning the origins of Australian Multiculturalism by returning to the thought of Jerzy ‘George’ Zubrzycki (1920–2009). Zubrzycki’s view of multiculturalism is based on Durkheimian sociology, and thus needs to be conceived as a philosophy and policy of effectively managing integration, the goal of which is the minimizing of anomie. The concern with building a well integrated and cohesive society around a pluralist cultural framework was paramount to Zubrzycki. I see an understanding of Zubrzycki’s thought as essential to an understanding of the way the policy has been articulated by successive governments. However, this paper also points to the need to move beyond the theoretical framework and concepts used by Zubrzycki in directions that can better respond to new social challenges and realities. Section One gives a description of the central intellectual features underpinning Zubrzycki’s thought. Section Two then looks at Zubrzycki’s original conception of multiculturalism and the features that remain relevant to contemporary policy and public debates. Section Three moves beyond Zubrzycki’s more conservative thought in order to conceive of a cultural pluralism more responsive to and inclusive of the increasingly non-Western demographic changes in Australian society.