John Warhurst - Eureka Street
Searching for our identity as Australians is more than just an ivory tower exercise. Quantitative research may never provide fully satisfactory answers, but it does make a serious contribution to such searching.
Recently I joined a panel to discuss the latest in a series of ANU Polls, which seek to extend our understanding of Australian society. This one was about 'Australian Attitudes towards National Identity: Citizenship, Immigration and Tradition'.
At one level we Australians are pretty happy with ourselves; perhaps that is why we are also quite traditional and resistant to change. But there is also evidence of some disquiet with aspects of our society and of tensions in attitudes towards ‘big-ticket’ items, like immigration and the republic.