Alfred Deakin Institute
The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI) is a leading humanities and social sciences research institute based at Deakin University, Australia. Our researchers aim to understand the complex meanings of citizenship, social inclusion and globalisation, and investigate the imp

Mobilities, Diversity Multiculturalism

The Mobilities, Diversity and Multiculturalism stream critically addresses the opportunities and challenges of the movement of peoples, ideas, information and capital in a global, and digital world. Our work spans issues about migration and diverse societies; racism and racialisation, social inclusion and cohesion; the plurality of mobile identities; interconnectedness and mediation of local, national and global relationships; and the changing nature of place and communities, from local neighbourhoods to digital platforms.

Mobilities, Diversity and Multiculturalism Image.jpg

Our Research

Our research sits within studies of colonialism, migration and mobility, and engages with anthropological, sociological, economic, and political questions about the diversity of cultural, political, social and religious practices, as well as places and relationships in changing times.

Specifically, we focus on how intersectional identities and subjectivities are formed, negotiated and contested across time and space; how communities, communications and networks are challenged by mobilities and diversification; and how the articulation and re-articulation of such ideas as multiculturalism, religiosity, difference, place, indigeneity, and the digital are played out in a neo-liberal and global age.  The stream includes scholars across the humanities and social sciences and is committed to promoting multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research, collaborations and conversations.

Key Research Questions

How do considerations of local and transnational everyday practices and spatial and temporal mobilities provide insight into different kinds of connections that may challenge normative ideas of identity and belonging?

How can multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research contribute to in-depth analyses of social and cultural changes facing communities to support more inclusive and equitable futures?

What new concepts, theories and methods are needed to account for different worldviews that now encounter and challenge each other in local, global and digital forums?

How do different theoretical perspectives, including cosmopolitanism, interculturalism and transnationalism, and the ways in which these concepts travel and are (re)interpreted across and within different local and regional contexts, serve us in understanding mobilities, diversity and multiculturalism today?

How are opportunities and ideas regarding citizenship, rights and justice changing in a globalised, interconnected, and increasingly stratified world?

Our Projects

The Effect of Transnational Mobility on Youth Transitions

Young people increasingly migrate abroad for work and education, and Australia is a significant hub for sending and receiving. Migration and education policies encourage this mobility, which is expected to provide youth with enhanced life chances and competitive skills. However, very little research examines its effects on young people’s transitions: that is, its impact on their establishment of ongoing social and familial ties, capacity for engaged citizenship and sustained belonging, and efforts to make adult identities and imagine and enact longer term plans and life trajectories.

Learn more about this ARC Discovery project co-led by Professor Anita Harris.

Navigating difference: Children’s experiences of an Australia – South Korea school partnership

International and intercultural education are globally recognised as critical to students’ development as global citizens. However, to date there is limited research about how primary school students engage in international education activities, including international school partnerships, also known as ‘sister school’ partnerships.

This project aims to develop a greater understanding of how students on both sides of a global partnership in Australia and South Korea experience racial, ethnic and cultural diversity in daily life and how participation in their schools’ partnership activities might help encourage positive relations between people from diverse backgrounds.

Learn more about this ARC DECRA Fellowship led by Dr Jessica Walton.

Labour, race and belonging: strengthening Rural Workforces and Communities

This project aims to strengthen understandings of race and labour relations in Australia’s horticultural industry. Horticulture is Australia’s third largest agricultural industry and the seasonal nature of work in this industry poses challenges for workforce recruitment and development. Such challenges are often framed in terms of economic and policy considerations, but debates about the ‘backpacker tax’ and exploitation suggest that there are also complex racial dimensions associated with the industry. Using an innovative historical-anthropological approach, this project will generate new insights into race and labour relations that can improve the equity and sustainability of horticultural industry workforces, and strengthen belonging within rural communities.

Young Australians’ perspectives on religions and non-religious worldviews

By generating the first robust empirical basis for understanding Australian young peoples' intercultural, interreligious understanding this project intends to enhance our capacity to apprehend political and cultural change in our region. Using surveys and interviews, this research aims to provide a strong foundation for developing education about religions and non-religious worldviews, as well as aspiring to enhance the ability of schools to promote wellbeing, religious tolerance and inclusion.

Learn more about this ARC Discovery project from Deakin’s Chief Investigators A/Professor Andrew Singleton and Dr Anna Halafoff.

Fostering Global Digital Citizenship: Diaspora Youth in a Connected World

This project will identify the global digital citizenship dimensions of diaspora youth’s everyday digital media use. It will investigate how these practices can be fostered through digital citizenship policy and programs to improve the inclusion and participation of culturally diverse youth and maximise their effectiveness. This approach is new and important because it advances understandings of the opportunity and capacity of diaspora youth experience, rather than a more common focus on risks and vulnerability. Findings will be used to strengthen digital citizenship initiatives in Australian secondary schools, to connect them more closely to global citizenship education programs, and to enhance the engagement of a diverse student body.

Chief Investigators: Dr Amelia Johns (University of Technology Sydney), Dr Jessica Walton (ADI), Dr Gilbert Caluya (the University of Melbourne) & Professor Anita Harris (ADI).

Strengthening Intercultural Relationships among Australia’s Rural Youth

This project aims to investigate what strengthens and hinders intercultural relationships among young people in rural Australia. New patterns of migrant rural settlement, while crucial to economic and social stability, have created urgent challenges to intercultural relationships among rural youth from diverse local, refugee and migrant backgrounds living under conditions of economic precarity. Using an innovative ethnographic and longitudinal approach, the project expects to generate new insights into the conditions, capacities and identity resources which help and hinder intercultural relationships among such youth. This will support policies and programs that aim to strengthen youth community cohesion in Australia's rural communities.

Lead Investigator: Dr Rose Butler.


Recent Stream Activities

ADI Public Seminar - Youth Transition and Transnational Mobility: Rethinking Conceptual Frameworks for Lives on the Move

20 June, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

The ADI Public Seminar Series is a forum for members of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation to share emerging research and exchange ideas on a wide range of topics.

The June seminar will be delivered by Anita Harris.

The 2nd Oceania Ethnography and Education Conference

16 – 17 August 2018 9.00 am to 5.00 pm

This conference will continue to build and strengthen the Oceania Ethnography and Education Network (OEEN) by bringing together scholars from diverse disciplines who are interested in a socio-cultural analysis of education and the specific affordances of ethnographic research in educational settings.

This conference will be convened by ADI’s Jessica Walton, and Julian Sefton-Green, Deakin University, Martin Forsey, University of Western Australia.

National Narratives and Encountering Migrant Architecture in Australia Workshop

1 & 29 October 2018

Building on last year’s project, the Symposium on Aesthetic Anxiety or Performative Subjectivity. A symposium that aimed to generate a cross-disciplinary discussion on architecture related to migration and the multicultural representation of Australian society.

This year’s event will be organised by Mirjana Lozanovska, Louise Johnson and Michele Lobo.

Australasian Association of Buddhist Studies Conference 2018

8–9 November 2018

This interdisciplinary conference, provides a forum for scholars and students of Buddhism to explore the rich tapestry of Buddhist cultures, philosophies, and practices in traditional settings and in modern social life.

This has been organised by Anna Halafoff, John Powers, Gillian Tan and Leesa Davis.

Youth Futures: Connection and Mobility in the Asia Pacific

15-16 November 2018

The Alfred Deakin Institute’s flagship conference for 2018 will explore the increasingly interlinked, complex and uncertain world that young people across the Asia-Pacific live in.

This conference is convened by MDM affiliated staff: Rose Butler, Anita Harris, Amelia Johns, Jessica Walton and Andy Zhao.

Our Recent Books

Marotta VP. 2017. Theories of the stranger: debates on cosmopolitanism, identity and cross-cultural encounters. Abingdon: Routledge.

Boese M, Marotta V (eds). 2017. Critical Reflections on Migration, ‘Race’ and Multiculturalism: Australia in a Global Context. Abingdon: Routledge.

McCosker A, Vivienne S, Johns A (eds). 2016. Negotiating Digital Citizenship: Control, Contest, Culture. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

Jackson S, Porter L, Johnson L. 2017. Planning in Indigenous Australia: From Imperial Foundations to Postcolonial Futures (RTPI Library Series). Abingdon: Routledge.

Barry J. 2018. Armenian Christians in Iran. Ethnicity, Religion and Identity in the Islamic Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Powers J. 2016. The Buddha party: how the People's Republic of China works to define and control Tibetan Buddhism. New York: Oxford University Press.

Tittensor D, Mansouri F (eds). 2017. The Politics of Women and Migration in the Global South. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.