Linguistics Essay Example
Australia is considered a diversified cultural country with minimal cultural discrimination imminent in the region. The people of Australia use English as their modest language of communication. The colourful accent, slang (‘Strine’), phonetic system and use of vocabularies make their communication interesting. The use of English language in Australia have been perceived to be influential as it has taken the centre stage in the reduction of the number of languages and dialects that are spoken in the region. In the ancient times, Australia had more than 250 different Aboriginal languages. Currently, only two thirds of the languages are surviving and over the next decades, it is presumed that none will be surviving in the region. Despite this superiority in cultural adversity in Australia, cultural discrimination has been felt in parts of the region with the still ‘superior’ cultures imposing discrimination to the ‘inferior’ cultures. According to Mail online, it was reported on November 2007 that a hairdresser woman refused to hire an Aboriginal Australian individual. The claim imposed by the lady was that she did not want inferior cultures to work in her premise.
Aussies are known to be modest individuals who are down-to-earth as they uphold the integrity of the different individual’s cultures. They are considered mindful when showing their impression publicly on the differing perception of cultures. In accordance, they value sincerity, loathe pretentiousness and authenticity when addressing individuals in the society. Although their modesty is unquestionable, the article on cultural discrimination denotes that there is a still superior and inferior or ‘Other’ culture in Australia (Moran, 2007). In addition the case conducted in 1997 on Joan Martin vs. Homewest which was on discrimination of the Aboriginal artist Joan Martin by Housing Provider Homewest, was a clear picture of the existence of the cultural discrimination in Australia.
According to the article published in July 2006 on the refusal of membership due to racial and cultural discrimination among the Aussies. Here, Aboriginal Elder Matilda and the daughter-in-law applied for an interview to be included in QBN-FM 96.7 which is situated near Canberra but their application was rejected citing they ‘lived in different addresses’. Aboriginals are considered inferior and, according to the article, one cannot be heard or make a judgmental decision that will have an impact on the general economic welfare of the Aussies. The phonetic and phonology system of the Aboriginals depicts a lot why they are considered inferior. Their language is different and they rarely use the ‘characteristic’ slang language in their communication (Tony, 2001). They are considered to be non-entrepreneurs and upon being considered in a job vacancy, they will ultimately cause a drop in the revenue outlay. From the argumentation imposed on the ‘inferior’ culture by the hairdresser, it is clear that they are perceived to be illiterate and less knowledgeable on the changes imminent in the society.
The ‘other’ cultural group is considered non-culturist and non-essentialist. They are perceived to perform their activities in cohesive manner where they are entangled in small social grouping. On the other hand, the ‘superior’ cultures are considered culturists and essentialist as there cultural factors are considered as essential in daily operations in the society. Their culture is determined as the most vital part of the national, political and ethnic cohesion. The inferior cultures, like Aboriginals, articulate to the superior cultures for their containment and upon regressive actions from the inferior cultures, they can be banished form enjoying the country’s economic endeavours. As such they are contained by the superior cultures in a relationship of the form ‘onion-skin’ one (Dirk, 2006).
The theory put forward on the concept of cultural differences and the cultural discourse available includes the Sapir and Whorf theory which provide that ‘the social world is segmented into varied discrete internally homogenous culture and language’. It shows that the language use in a particular ethnic group mirrors the community’s perception and reality, and has gone to an extent of influencing debates in the political arena. This theory has faced critique from various scholars including Gumperz who argue that currently language divisions, unlike in the past, have become more permeable (Gee, 1999).
The ‘Other’ cultures in the region are portrayed by media (even the Mail online), academic literature, and political rhetoric. Australian cultures encompass both the immigrants form Italy, Germany among others and the origins of Australia. The concept of ethnic reductionism is felt in most parts of the Australian region and also in the academic journals that prominent leaders have published. In the case of Aboriginals public expression, their sentiments are highly scrutinized by the media and the consequent decision was that they were airing their views in conformance with the inferiority of their culture, and ethnic identity of their community. The various agencies are perceived to be culturally imprisoned in their cocoons and they had a determining force that precariously placed the ‘other’ cultures in their economic and regional perspective.
The common discourse imminent in the cultural diversity of the individuals in Australia is that their community was considered with the birth place. The children that were born, brought up and ultimately educated in Australia were considered to be the second generation Aboriginals Aussies. They were considered to be suspended between differing cultures; inferior and superior cultures.
The extent of discourse among the Aussies ranges from the political dominance, intentions, beliefs, historical ‘baggage’ and attitudes of the individuals. Specifically, the Aussies dedicate their consciousness to their culture which is the baseline of the dominancy of discourse in the region. The authenticity and preciseness of the usage of language in the region equates culture that is predetermined to the community in which the individuals are perceived to live in. In accordance, the individual community is equated with the prevalence ethnic identity (Philip, 1998). Despite this, most Aussies perceive that the ethnic classification is embodied with absurd features. Ethnic identity usage is also equated to the individual’s course of actions with imminent concern on the person’s deeds and sayings. For instance, the Aboriginals are considered to be less modest and the decisions that they undertake is usually based on ethnic cocoon. Therefore, Aussies do not consider this ‘other’ cultures to be in the top most positions of the organization or business hierarchy. This phenomenon of cultural non-essentialism in the economy was depicted by the Aussie hairdresser lady when employing the workers to her hairdressing business.
Discourse among the Aussies is achieved by analyzing the varied ways of thinking by the different communities, interactions among the individuals in the cultural setting, values bestowed to them, feelings they possess towards an opinion or concept, and beliefs. This human stuff among the Aussies is integrated with non-human stuff which includes symbols that is use of tools, symbols, and objects at the right time and place in order to recognize the different activities and identities of the Aussies.
The discourses that are imminent in Australia superimpose superior cultures to ‘other’ cultures in the society. The inferior cultures are disadvantaged in the society. The political activists and the xenophobia activists use the cultural differences to imbibe understanding on the discourse imminent in the society. Individuals who are in the ‘superior’ culture framework are provided with the better ‘economic cake’ unlike the inferior ones. The issue of community in the development of the cultural discourse has been magnificently analyzed by various writers with reference to ‘symbolic’ community. Individual subjectivity and discrimination concerning their inferior culture has seen even the political class constituting of only superior class (Docker, 2000).
The superior cultures are considered advantageous among the Aussies. They can make decisions that can affect the general well being of the society, impose stratified measures in an attempt to uphold superiority of their culture and conform to the cultural discrimination without hindrances from the political class. On the other, the disadvantaged group is the ‘other’ culture as they are not given the chance to air out their perception on the situation in hand. The economic and political decision arrived at do not incorporate their decisions but rely immensely on the decision of the superior cultures.
In conclusion, the concept of cultural discrimination in parts of Australia has not been fully recuperated and admonished in an attempt to achieve unity and free communication among Aussies. Despite the incorporation of common language, English, in the region in an attempt administer language tranquillity; most Australians are still isolated by their differing cultural interest. The positive implication is that the cultural discrimination is being sabotaged on a daily basis and, accordingly, in the next few decades the region will have no superior or inferior culture. The English language used in the region is spreading faster and is being appreciated by the localities in Australia.
Adrian, A. 2002. Linguistics: an introduction to language and communication. Pearson Education: New York.
Charles, D. 2010. Cultural Discrimination. A butchered case of discrimination causing defamation , 21-22.
Dirk, G. 2006. Cognitive linguistics: basic readings. Giessen: Walter de Gruyter.
Docker john, F. G. 2000. Race, colour, and identity in Australia and New Zealand. Sydney: UNSW Press.
Gee, J. 1999. An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method. London: Routledge pp. 74-82
Moran Robert, H. P. 2007. Managing cultural differences: global leadership strategies for the 21st century. London: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Philip, B. 1998. Americanization and Australia. Sydney: UNSW Press.
Tony, B. 2001. Culture in Australia: policies, publics and programs. London: Cambridge University Press.
Victoria, F. 2000. Linguistics: an introduction to linguistic theory. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
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