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Title: The dilemma and assimilation: a case study of the Temple Society Australia
Contributor(s): Bouzo, Irene Anne (author); Eckermann, Anne-Katrin (supervisor); Tisdell, Mariel (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2007
Copyright Date: 2007
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: This thesis examines the dilemma of adaptation and assimilation and language maintenance or shift in the faith-based, immigrant community, the Temple Society Australia (TSA). The case study is of German-speaking Templer 'accidental immigrants', many displaced and unrepatriable, who arrived in Australia from the 1940s to 1960s, and includes their locally-born partners and children. The study challenges the assumption that the Templers assimilated successfully. Assimilationist thinking has been revisited recently through the government's push for a national identity based on national values. Australia is a country with a wide diversity of languages, still characterised by a monolingual mindset (Clyne 2005). Explored are the rich community languages resources and multiple identities of an immigrant community that has shaped and been shaped by Australian institutions for 65 years. Ordinary Templers tell the extraordinary stories of how they adjusted, the cultural and linguistic choices that impacted on their community building and how their transnational identities were formed. This ethnographic case study, conducted from an insider participant-researcher perspective, was located around Melbourne. The data were collected from personal profile and language use surveys, internal TSA archives, interviews of 69 Templers in Swabian, German and English, as well as researcher-participant observations at religious and community events. The analysis used Ethnograph computer software. The findings illustrate that the Templer immigrants went through nine ways of thinking about adaptation rather than assimilating. Three distinct profiles of Templers and their offspring are evidenced: the first generation of inward-lookers, the one-and-a-half generation of assimilation experts and the second generation of adapters. A positive expression of multiple collective identities of the Templer community emerges that consists of religious, diaspora, bilingual and transnational identities. The results reinforce the need for inclusion of immigrant stories and complementary multiple identities as community builders that shape Australia's nation-building and national identity.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 2007 - Irene Anne Bouzo
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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