Collective Action of 'Others' in Sydney

Walter F Lalich


Various ethnic communities undertake collective action to satisfy their social needs in a place of settlement. Collectively created social resources are representative of the patterns of fragmented ethnic collective actions that differ in their capability to appropriate human and material resources, orientation, outcome, form and intensity. Through collective creation of social space migrants add a new and dynamic dimension to the social environment. During the dramatic post-1945 changes in Sydney demographic and cultural structures, over 450 “other” (ethnic) collectives mobilised through grass-roots efforts their scarce resources and created needed collective goods, such as places of worship, clubs, schools, age care facilities. In this way, through creation of communal roots ethnic collectives navigate the path between exclusion and the various forms of inclusion in a dynamic culturally diverse society. Ethnic communal places signify collective conscience, participation, and the embeddedness of transplanted cultures in a transforming social environment and transnational social space.

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