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The Yugoslav Diaspora in Australia: from Long-Distance Nationalism to Disengagement

February 2017 | #58

by: Adriano Remiddi
pp: 41
ISSN: 2038-632X

Paper's frontpage


The Yugoslav diaspora constitutes a highly relevant phenomenon in the history of Australia, having contributed to altering the sociocultural landscape of the country. Settled during four main immigration flows, over time Yugoslav immigrants witnessed the fostering of their respective ethno-national identities, leading to the rise of animosity and rivalry, especially among the royalist, anti-communist and secessionist fringes. The isolation from the homeland proved to be a “nursery of ethno-nationalism”, and the term diaspora itself assumed a disparaging and politicized connotation. Nevertheless, challenging the classical theories of long-distance nationalism, this paper argues that,
in the aftermath of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, diaspora members gradually redefined their priorities, opting for disengagement from homeland affairs and softening of inter-ethnic tensions. This dynamic is evident in the Serb and Croat communities and can be understood as a result of the shift from assimilation policies to multiculturalism which occurred in the 1970s-80s, and the arrival of a new immigration cohort in the 1980s-90s; the interplay of these two factors has been reshaping the identity of the communities through the advance of dynamics of cosmopolitanism, hybridization, fluidity and acculturation.


Table of contents

Australia as a Land of Immigration
The Key Inflows from Eastern and Southeastern Europe
Yugoslavia(s) as a ‘sending’ country
Creating a Yugoslav Diaspora
Diaspora and Dynamics of Long Distance Nationalism
The Generational Shift
Impact of the Australian Multicultural Policies
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