Problematic futures: Speaking race and ethnicity in globalised times

Year: 2002

Author: Arber, Ruth

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Over the last decades, Australian society has been transformed by changed immigration patterns and globalising trends. Changed demographic patterns as well as changed communication and information technologies and administrative and marketing practices have irretrievably altered schools in large cities such as Melbourne, Australia. In this paper, I examine the ways that teachers and parents in one particular Melbourne school speak about race and ethnicity in the midst of these changes. I argue that beneath the ironic relation between difference and sameness that underpins multicultural debate are different understandings that determine ways some belong and some do not belong within the school community. This paradoxical relation remains despite increasingly post-modern definitions of identity that underpin the field of this debate. I conclude that the examination of multicultural debate in globalised times remains profoundly concerned with the normalised ways of making one identity against an - other to which these conversations about race and identity are profoundly implicated.