Idea in History

Topics: Culture, Multiculturalism, Australia Pages: 11 (3159 words) Published: March 25, 2014
CIDH Assessment 2:

“Choose a site, space or installation in Sydney and analyze it through key ideas in the two themes (modernity and post modernity) that are the focus of this subject. Build your argument around what you see as the connection between the site, the two themes and the present moment in which we live”.

Considering the ways in which people are living and based on the combination of traditional and modern values it is possible to evaluate multiculturalism in Australian society. It is the combination of both traditional cultural values and modern cultural values that make up the diverse cultures of the East and West. The Europe colonized Australia and transformed the traditional Aboriginal society to a civil and modern society that represents Western ideals. However immigration of other peoples from different nations such as, China, Vietnam and Africa now make up multicultural Australia. A case study of Campsie suburb will reveal the modern values of the ‘West’ such as technological development, the urbanized architecture and public infrastructure that facilitate people to live a convenient life. The suburb of Campsie also represents traditional lifestyles of immigrant populations, exemplified by religious spaces, traditional stores and so on that embody the diversity of contemporary Australian society. This essay will argue that multiculturalism is a great idea in theory but in reality it is difficult to attain.

Campsie suburb may be an appropriate example for the two rubrics modernity and post-modernity. This suburb may present the ‘modern environment’ in terms of modernity because the life in there is the mingling between people from not only Australia but also various nations, cultures and religions. Berman argues that “modern environments and experiences cut across all boundaries of geography and ethnicity, of class and nationality, of religion and ideology…modernity can be said to unite all mankind” (Berman 1982, p 15). Moreover, according to Berman:

“To be modern is to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and the world – and, at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are” (Berman, 1982,p15)

Further, Campsie suburb can also exemplify the theories of postmodernity. According to Morley postmodernity can be defined based on modernity its “the three processes of industrialization, urbanization and mechanization” (Berman 1983, cited in Morley 1996, p 52). He also believes that “the transition to the information society” in which new services, new products and new beliefs replace the old items step by step (Morley 1996, p52). Moreover, Morley argues that in the postmodern period, we can see not only “the rise of regional cultures across Europe” but also “a contradictory process of globalization”, in which advertising, marketing and satellite television, with its international movements of information and culture exceeded the geographical borders of the country (Morley 1996, p52). Referring to Campsie, the transformation of this suburb is significant over time because of the cutting edge technology as well as the development of industry. Also, the immigration of foreign people with multiple cultures associates with the life of Australians to create a mingling of communities in Campsie.

A key idea of modernity is colonialism, which refers to political controlling, occupying, and economical exploiting of settler to colonies. Gillen and Ghosh (2007, p7) argues that:

“In one sense, a colony is a community of emigrants to a new territory, the previous inhabitants, if any, being killed, driven out, enslaved, assimilated or accommodated in some way. In a different, but closely related sense, colonization includes situations in which states impose sovereignty on foreign peoples, even when there is little or no permanent settlement by the foreign rulers. This meaning of...
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