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Title: The Reappraisal of the White Australia Policy against the Background of a Changing Asia, 1945-67
Contributor(s): Jordan, Matthew Brian (author)
Publication Date: 2006
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8497.2005.00416.x
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Abstract: This paper is concerned with the way in which Australian policy-makers approached the problem of "White Australia" in the years 1945-67. It makes extensive use of original archival material to show how Australia's increasing engagement with Asia in the 1950s and 1960s exercised a direct influence on officials within the Department of Immigration. In response to Australia's changing geopolitical circumstances and the international community's increasing hostility towards racism during this period, Immigration Department officials persuaded the government to introduce a series of piecemeal adjustments which were specifically designed to placate Asian and world opinion. Although cautious, these changes nevertheless involved a corresponding reassessment of the policy's racial assumptions. By accepting in the late 1960s that certain Asians were capable of being integrated into the Australian community, policymakers had discarded the previously inviolable belief that all non-Europeans were unassimilable by virtue of their race. The White Australia Policy, though not entirely defunct by the end of the decade, was nevertheless crumbling under the weight of Australia's new circumstances.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Politics and History, 52(2), p. 224-243
Publisher: The University of Queensland and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Place of Publication: Brisbane
ISSN: 0004-9522
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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