Australiaâ€™s National Identity.
When such questions as â€œWhat is an Australian? What does an Australian look like? Or behave?â€ are analyzed, it raises a degree of ambiguity, especially when we try to define the boundaries of being an Australian.
National Identity can be defined as, a claim made about the collective personality of a culture, with distinctive attitudes and values- leading to forms of different behaviors. The definition should include; common language, common perceptions, sharing of traditions, how people perceive them and more importantly, how they see themselves when placed amongst other nations. An identity cannot be adopted; instead it is created, within a certain space, in a certain period of time. .
Now with a clear definition, it would seem relatively easy to determine Australiaâ€™s National Identity. Yet, we as Australians still have trouble identifying ourselves, in saying what we are and we are coming to be, which follows much of what David Williamson is saying in his article â€œA richer tapestry of many identitiesâ€. The reason to this uncertainty is because the very nature of Australia itself. Australia is continually evolving; and this evolution will continually shift our identity in some way or another. .
Understanding the fabrics of Australian community will help us achieve this national identity, and an important aspect is multiculturalism. (Culture, language, ideas, values and attitudes) It is a dynamic force- it brings cultures together thus having an impact on local community some way or another. This contribution due to the sharing of cultures ultimately leads to an evolution of Identity.
Many attempts have been made to construct this Australian Identity. But when we try to rigidly define the characteristics of an Australian, we fall into the trap of using stereotypes.