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Questions of identity: An Italian sonata

Lindsay, Elizabeth (1996) Questions of identity: An Italian sonata. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Perceptions of a multicultural Australia involve many questions about identity. Ideas about national, ethnic, community and individual identity are discussed and applied to the experience of migrants from Italy to a small rural Australian town: Collie. The research has been informed and inspired by interdisciplinary sources and generates a multiplicity of themes: religion, language, food and family all provide bases for reconstructing notions of hybridity, ethnicity and identity, as well as multiculturalism itself. The interdisciplinarity is further developed by practices such as the use of sonata form, taken from music, to present the research.

The multiple aspects of individual identity are theorised as being mediated and elaborated by the interplay of a multiplicity of layers of influence. This process enables identity to be perceived as always being in transition, rather than having an absolute and/or immutable character. It also facilitates the validation of ideas of difference and suggests that new logics and methodologies are necessary in order to circumvent implications current in present perspectives.

My case study uses the words of Italo-Australian migrants to elaborate this theoretical orientation to layered identity. The qualitative methodology is intended to open the words of participants to freely take the direction and construction of their own dialogue, enabling a critical understanding of the migrant experience. The research's interactive approach was aimed, through minimising invasiveness in the research process, to maintain a fluidity within and between research findings and their conceptualisation.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Booth, Michael and Stocker, Laura
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