Migration, Multiculturalism and Language Maintenance in Australia

Polish Migration to Melbourne in the 1980s

by Beata Leuner (Author)
©2007 Thesis 336 Pages


The author sets out to examine migration movements to Australia and the role of successive immigration legislation: from the notorious White Australia Policy through to the contemporary multicultural agenda. Her detailed case study sheds new light on the experiences of Polish migrants of the 1980s and their children in Melbourne.
The story of successive waves of migration – particularly following the Second World War – and the influence of these on multicultural Australia provide the context of this study. Of particular interest is the relationship between the policy of multiculturalism and language maintenance among first generation Polish migrants and their children (the second generation).
In her empirical study of language maintenance, the author analyses ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors for migration from Poland to Australia. She examines the costs of migration; Polish migrants’ experiences of Australia’s multicultural policy; an evaluation of parents’ migration by their children; re-migration to Poland; interaction between Polish migrants and Australian-born people; and the influence of domains such as the home, institutions of learning, the Polish Catholic Church, the media and other organisations and spheres of Polish cultural activity.


ISBN (Softcover)
Cultural Study Cultural Ethnology New Zealand Melbourne Polnischer Einwanderer Spracherhaltung Geschichte 1980-1989 Linguistic Australia Sociology of Language Social Politic
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2007. 336 pp., num. tables and graphs

Biographical notes

Beata Leuner (Author)

The Author: Beata Leuner was born in Poland and educated there and in Germany. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Sciences from the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). Her interest in Australian migration issues dates from her first visit to Melbourne in 1999 as a Master’s exchange student at Monash University. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Business and Law and the Institute for Community Engagement and Policy Alternatives at Victoria University, as well as an Honorary Research Fellow in European/German Studies at Monash University. She has also conducted research at the Horwood Language Centre of the University of Melbourne.


Title: Migration, Multiculturalism and Language Maintenance in Australia