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Exclusionary Politics and the Question of National Belonging

[journal article]

Anderson, Kay; Taylor, Affrica

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Abstract This article builds on recent efforts to cast the understanding of ethnic and racialized tensions less in terms of a coarse logic of racism than within an analytical frame of struggles over national belonging. This theme is developed with respect to intercultural relations in Australia, in all the complexities of its white settler, migrant, and indigenous formations. The article develops a ‘multiscalar’ focus that takes in the global circuits of movement and relationship linked to British colonialism and international migration, through to contests over the meanings, management and stewardship of local places. In so doing, we also highlight some contextually specific versions of ‘whiteness’ whose various mobilizations help to undo a sense of their fixed status as core attributes of Australian nationhood. The article concludes with a case from Jervis Bay, New South Wales, where contested imaginings of, and investments in, appropriate land uses, have given rise to disputes that are productively conceived in terms of a multiscalar politics of national belonging. Although thus grounded in the circumstances of Australian culture, we believe the core argument can be extended (with all the normal caveats) to other ex-British colonial, immigration nations.
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords Australia; belonging; geographies; postcolonial; postnational; whiteness;
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 460-485
Journal Ethnicities, 5 (2005) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)