|Title:||International students: a history of race and emotions in Australia|
|Authors:||Indelicato, Maria Elena|
Race and National Sentimentalism
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
Department of Gender and Cultural Studies
|Abstract:||In the aftermath of Indian students’ protest in Melbourne in 2009 a heated international debate between Indian and Australian media brought a question at the core of Australian national identity to the centre of national and international attention: is Australia racist? In Australia, public responses to this question have ranged from denial to acknowledgment of the continued existence of racial discrimination in Australia. This binary has been reflected and reproduced in public responses to the problems that international students have been seen to face during their stay in the country: emotional distress, social exclusion and exploitation. Those who have denied that Australia is not a racist country are also those who have depicted international students as “bogus migrants” making themselves vulnerable to exploitation by taking advantage of the loopholes in the Australian migration system. Meanwhile, those who have acknowledged racism in Australia have been also those who, in advocating in favour of international students, have represented them as “victims” of unscrupulous migration and education agents as well as racist Australians. This somewhat generalised overview of the debate highlights what both positions have in common: the absence of critical engagement with the history of international students’ presence in Australia. With no reference to this complex history, the national “problem” of international students has been almost always regarded as an isolated object of worried analysis and anxious governmental intervention in public discourse. To go beyond this binaristic mode of representing international students, this thesis first and foremost aims to historicise the debate erupted on the occasion of the protest of Indian students by undertaking a genealogical account of international students’ history of presence in Australia. In unfolding this history, this thesis also seeks to reveal how internationals students have been the privileged subjects of a doubled economy of discourses, one economic the other affective. In the process, it sheds light on the role of emotions in shaping the territorial and social borders of the Australian nation as well as in sustaining an international order of racialised positions dominated by Western nations due to their alleged capacity to control and act upon their emotions instead of being subsumed by them. To do so, this thesis analyses how the historical investment in the representation of international students as melancholic subjects has created the very conditions for the conversion of sympathetic feelings such as compassion into resentment. Conversely, this thesis will examine how the articulation of resentment into discourse regarding the governance of international students has established over time the level of inclusion of international students in the nation by aligning them with or against other population groups such as skilled migrants and asylum seekers. This thesis concludes by arguing that both the naming of international students as object of national compassion and resentment have stemmed from the same “white fantasy” that social problems and inequalities can be overcome without taking into account the history of structural and symbolic inequalities that has characterised race relations in Australia since its colonisation.|
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Access is restricted to staff and students of the University of Sydney . UniKey credentials are required. Non university access may be obtained by visiting the University of Sydney Library.
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this thesis. It may only be used for the purposes of research and study. It must not be used for any other purposes and may not be transmitted or shared with others without prior permission.|
|Type of Work:||PhD Doctorate|
|Type of Publication:||Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D.|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (University of Sydney Access only)|
|Indelicato, Maria Elena - Thesis.pdf||5.05 MB||Adobe PDF|
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