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Department of Sociology

Sociology Department Staff

Publication details for Dr Caitlin Nunn

Nunn, C. (2017). Negotiating national (non)belongings: Vietnamese Australians in ethno/multicultural Australia. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 24(2): 216-235.

Author(s) from Durham


Many immigrant-receiving countries are characterised by increasing multigenerational ethnocultural diversity, with associated policies and discourses of inclusion. Yet they often simultaneously resist relinquishing narratives and practices grounded in idealised notions of ethnocultural homogeneity. This results in the circulation of multiple, often competing, ideas of the nation, with significant implications for national (non)belonging among migrants and their descendants. Based on interviews with members of seven Vietnamese Australian families, this article explores their discursive navigation of two competing ideas of Australia: as ethnocultural and multicultural. Applying a conceptual framework of belonging that attends to the relation between the personal and the political, this article demonstrates that, for migrants and their descendants, national (non)belonging is a dynamic and dialogic process of negotiating multiple national spheres, each governed by different politics and offering different possibilities for belonging. The multigenerational interview cohort additionally provides insights into the role of migration generation in mediating this process.