Diverse Outcomes: Social Citizenship and the Inclusion of Skilled Migrants in Australia
The sociology of citizenship is concerned with the social and economic conditions of citizens of a national community. Drawing on T. H. Marshall’s contribution to the theory of social citizenship this article argues that some groups of migrants and ethnic minorities in Australia, particularly those from non-British and European Backgrounds, face a number of social and institutional barriers which prevent them from reaching their full potential as members of Australia’s multicultural community. Evidence from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data shows different socioeconomic outcomes for migrants from British and European backgrounds compared with migrants from Asian backgrounds, despite having similar educational qualifications and length of time living in Australia. As such, it is argued that achieving social membership and inclusion continues to be a struggle for particular groups of migrants. A deeper commitment to the core principles of citizenship that is beyond mere notions of formal equality is needed if Australia is to address this important social issue.
Australia; inclusion; migrants; social citizenship; socioeconomic status
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