Dissonant discourses : othered voices from Australia's workworld, 1994-2002

Pearce, Amanda (2004) Dissonant discourses : othered voices from Australia's workworld, 1994-2002. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


This thesis arose from a series of questions about a group of retrenched non-English speaking background (NESB) workers whom 1 interviewed in 1994-95 and again in 2002. NESB workers lost jobs in large numbers in the 1990-92 recession, but in the recovery period and as employment improved over the 1990s, the employment figures for particular groups remained comparatively poor. Yet there was little public and policy debate about the fate of these people as a group. The reason, I argue, lies in a discursive transformation that has occurred since the 1980s through the formation and implementation of policy in the areas of work; education and training; English language and literacy, race and ethnicity; and the role of the state. Through dominant .discourses that shape what it is possible to say, do and even think, NESB workers as a group have been constructed as 'other' and thereby marginalised and problematised. Through this process their exclusion from social citizenship - entitlements to employment, education and welfare - has been normalised.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/16074
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Historical > FOR Classification > 2002 Cultural Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords non-English speaking background, NESB, immigrants, foreigners, foreign workers, migrant workers, minorities, employment, employment policy, English literacy, discrimination, exclusion, neo-liberalism, racism, social citizenship, Australia
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