Understanding the factors that underpin social cohesion is crucial to maintaining a functional society and positive future outlook. Since 2007, the Scanlon Foundation has supported Australia’s largest study, monitoring the nation’s attitudes on the issues influencing our cohesion. The Scanlon Foundation has released a discussion paper on Citizenship in order that we might address the concerns about social cohesion.
The Mapping Social Cohesion research series – undertaken in collaboration with Monash University and in partnership with the Australian Multicultural Foundation – has captured the views of more than 24,000 people on topics from immigration, multiculturalism and trust in government, to discrimination and belonging.
It provides a solid foundation for analysis of key issues affecting our nation at government, business and community levels.
From this comprehensive research series, we know that overall, Australia remains a highly cohesive society by international standards. Yet, challenges in maintaining this and a successful immigration program remain.
This discussion paper builds on the National Mapping Social Cohesion research series and aims to inspire deeper consideration and discussion about some of its key themes. In particular, it draws a focus on citizenship, and how our idea of citizenship influences our sense of belonging and social participation.
This paper reflects on the notion of being a citizen in the genuine, rather than the technical sense – as a member of society including one’s duties, obligations and functions.
It explores how relationships – economic, social, political and personal – are being transformed through the ubiquitous nature of social media and online connectivity, and questions the influence of multiple citizenships on the rise of the global citizen.
In an era of globalisation, the factors influencing our sense of national identity are certainly interesting topics worthy of broader, inclusive community discussion.
It is hoped that this discussion paper provides a basis for further thought and debate that may help to shape productive initiatives that contribute to maintaining and protecting social cohesion in Australia.
Citizenship Discussion Paper
The Scanlon Foundation is proud to announce the release of our first discussion paper, building on the findings of the Scanlon Monash Index of Social Cohesion.
By exploring the concept of citizenship, we want to pose the questions: what makes a good citizen?; and does citizenship support a sense of belonging in Australia?
Click here to access the full electronic version of the citizenship discussion paper.
The Scanlon Foundation is eager to hear your thoughts after reading the paper. Join the conversation on Twitter using #AusCitizen.