National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Dr Giancarlo Chiro
Senior Lecturer, School of International Studies, University of South Australia

A Typology of Cultural Identity: A Study of Tertiary Students of Italian Ancestry in Australia

The paper proposes a typology of the ethnic identity of a group of Italian-Australian tertiary students based on survey data which correlates measures of the Italian language and cultural systems activated by the participants with the ideological value orientations they expressed towards such systems. The two indices produced four general cultural types: active Italophiles, inactive Italophiles, active Italophobes and inactive Italophobes. The survey data also included personal statements which explored the participants' experiences and attitudes towards cultural maintenance and identity. Such evaluations of cultural identity were then compared according to the participants' allocation of cultural type. With few notable exceptions, the analysis of the statements showed that the participants' narrative accounts of their cultural maintenance efforts and their personal evaluation of cultural identity was generally congruous with the cultural categories to which they were allocated by the study.

Giancarlo Chiro (B.A (Hons), Grad. Dip. Ed., Ph D.) is senior lecturer in Italian Studies at the University of South Australia and coordinator of the Languages and Culture Studies Program. He has published internationally on topics relating to cultural identity and the maintenance and loss of minority languages and cultures in ethnically plural societies.

Presentation Type
30 min Paper

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

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