Industrial Relations and the Changing Cultural IdentityThere is so much literature presenting the workplace as an avenue for cultural dynamism. Because culture and society is seen as mutually interacting factors, there is basis for saying that both factors are actually “agents” of change. Society changes because of actual change in culture. Institutions in society are restructured to suit the changes in its cultural environment. Inability to change means inability to adapt to important changes. This will lead to social strain. The same applies to culture. Society provides the stimuli to change. Once the prevalent culture becomes inefficient (as what would economists put) or immaterial (as what would utilitarian theorists would put), societal institutions would provide the impetus to change.
Culture must go hand to hand with existing social structures to be semi-permanent. Thus, it can be both culture and social institutions are agents of change. The former is semi-permanent and multifaceted in terms of scope, the former actor-oriented. Thus, in this paper, an examination of “current” Australian identity will be examined. This is necessary in order to assess the importance of the current changes.
An examination of factors will also be presented. An assumption though is made. The primary variable cause here is the overall changes in industrial relations in Australia. The factors will be enumerated and examined. The degree though of correlation will not be discussed in this paper since it would involve highly statistical procedures. The last part is an analysis of the changes in Australian cultural identity. Some important literature on Australian industrial conditions will also be presented. The focus, though, here is the polarization of work families in Australia.
An examination of federal wage differential will also be discussed. Australian Multiculturalism IdentityWhat does it mean to be an Australian? This is a highly complex question that needs an equally sophisticated answer. It can be said that Australian cultural identity is a mixture of different cultures and worldviews. For one, Aborigines in Australia were able to establish permanent homes in the continent centuries before the coming of the British. When the British came, they transformed Australia into a penal colony, and then into a state fashioned after Great Britain. The aborigines were casted away by the new “owners. ” The British introduced a series of assimilation laws that called for granting of Australian citizenship to Europeans (who were living in Australia for at least 10 years and of British descent) – the aborigines were ignored initially.
Many of these “citizens regarded themselves as Australians. They also considered Australia as their natural homeland. Hence, what we call today as Australian culture and identity were initially derived from British culture – songs, literature, poetry, and architecture (language perhaps is the most clear indicator). However, the adherence of Australian identity to British ways changed as European migration to the country increased at the latter half of the 19th century.
Almost a third of the population of Australia at that time was non-British European descent. This created a problem for the Commonwealth of Australia. The problem lies in the redefinition of Australian culture and identity. However, because of the First World War and the preoccupation of the Australian government in addressing its trade deficits, the problem had been totally ignored. Until recently, social scientists found out that Australia is a “hotspot” of different cultures; a kind of melting spot.
The general sense of this geo-cultural definition of Australia is: Australian culture and identity is a multiplicity of different cultures, bringing forth an increasing diversity of institutional patterns, under the guidance of an open society (Holton, 1997).