Social cohesion survives Howard, multiculturalism etc etc

The Age tried hard to find negatives in the Mapping Social Cohesion report released today, but

…while [co-author] Professor Andrew Markus said the study had “highlighted some issues which can be taken up”, he said the overall picture was a “very positive one”.

Despite all the fuss about ‘dog whistles’ and ‘divisiveness’ during the Howard years, and from the other side about the supposedly dire consequences of ‘multiculturalism’ during the Hawke and Keating years, attitudinal research suggests that ‘social cohesion’ remains high. Australians overwhelmingly have a ‘sense of belonging’, whether born here (96.9%) or overseas (94.4%). Pride in the Australian way of life is high whether the respondent was born here (94.4%) or overseas (90.4%). Migrants are slightly more likely (81.4%) than those born here (79.6%) to think that Australia is a land of economic opportunity and that their life will be improved in three or four years (55.6%/46%).

This isn’t to say, of course, that things go smoothly all the time. A quarter of respondents had experienced discrimination at some time in their lives because of their ethnic or national background, and 8% on the basis of their religion. 6% say they experience discrimination on a regular basis of once a month or more. This is broadly consistent with previous research.
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As Andrew’s longtime webhost I thought I should let you all know I’ll be moving this site to a new server in the coming week.

Andrew has been volunteered by yours truly to be the first guinea pig for a blogging service I am putting together aimed at Australian bloggers. This is not quite an official announcement as I am still ironing out various tedious kinks, but in the coming weeks and months I hope to bring some more ozbloggers on board before opening it up to the public.

You will almost certainly experience disruption as a consequence. Probably the biggest change you’ll see is that the /blog/ hanging off the URL will get dropped, as it’s vestigial. Existing links should continue to work as I will be putting a redirection script in place to handle the required black magic.

Another thing that will probably happen is that I will have to disable comments while dumping and reloading the database, to ensure nobody’s gems go missing in the transition.

That’s it for now. See you all on the other side.