The United States and Australia Compared
Edited by John Higley, John Nieuwenhuysen and Stine Neerup
Chapter 7: Second Generation Incorporation and Inclusion in Australia
Loretta Baldassar INTRODUCTION This chapter considers the impact of recessionary conditions on immigrant incorporation and inclusion in Australia, with a special focus on the second generation. The complex question of how to best define the second generation is considered, along with an analysis of how particular historical and political contexts colour and shape interest in, and understandings of, immigrant generations. The bulk of the literature on second generation measures social inclusion through objective indicators of social mobility like education, employment and intermarriage. Indeed, there is little doubt that difficult economic conditions hinder the social and economic incorporation of both migrants and their children, in particular through lower rates of employment and higher costs of living, often leading to increased poverty and segmentation into the lower ends of the job market. This said, a fuller understanding of second-generation incorporation requires an analysis that goes beyond an examination of economic conditions to consider the subjective experiences of immigrant identity and belonging, which are equally relevant, although more difficult to measure and define. Of particular importance to the lived experiences and perceptions of belonging is the role of public sentiment towards immigrant groups. In this chapter I consider the impact of both economic conditions and public attitudes towards migrants on second-generation incorporation through a comparison of an older, long-established community, namely Italians in Australia, and a more recently arrived group—the Lebanese. Italians are thought to be well settled, with high rates of incorporation on all indicators, particularly for the second generation (Baldassar...
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