The Second Generation in Australia: Socio-Economic Outcomes, Identity and Belonging

UTS Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre
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This paper explores some issues related to second generation immigrants in Australia. It first looks at data from the 2006 national census on some of the key dimensions of the socio-economic outcomes of the second generation. This data confirms the earlier picture of the second generation doing well in the Australian labour market and education system, although there is considerable variation in terms of ancestry or ethnic origin in this regard that is often overlooked in insufficiently disaggregated data comparisons. However, recent riots involving youth of immigrant minorities and non-immigrant youth in recent years in France, the UK and Australia underscores the importance of inter-ethnic social relations of youth and of more subjective issues such as identity and belonging to an understanding of the second generation in western societies today. This paper also presents some findings of a recent pilot survey of immigrant youth in Sydney that sheds some light on aspects of the social adaptation of the Australian second generation today.
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