Social Relationships of Indian and Filipino Residents in Planned Housing Estates in Australia.

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:30
Location: Hörsaal 07 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Christian ROGGENBUCK, RMIT University, Australia
This presentation focuses on the social relationships of Indian and Filipino migrants living in planned housing estates in Melbourne, Australia. Drawing on empirical research that explores their aspirations towards everyday social life and community involvement in regards to the built and social environment, it shall be argued that previous experiences of community can be conceptualised as a ‘learnt capacity’ influencing local social interaction.

Planned housing estates have become a dominant structure of developing residential land on the urban fringe of Australian cities. As these are developed around ideas of establishing a local community the estates are not only assemblages of houses, but construct a specific narrative for social life. However, these structures may differ from the aspirations of residents with diverse values, lifestyles or backgrounds.

With detached housing being the main form of residential provision and social activities being primarily based in the backside of the house, informal street life and everyday interaction between neighbours is limited. Thus, local relationships are rather formed through existing social facilities or organised community events or networks. For Indian and Filipino migrants this has meant a modification of their ‘learnt capacity’ towards ‘perceived’ Australian behaviours even though more neighbourhood contact is sought after. The lack of direct neighbourhood interaction and extended family around has meant that involvement in community groups has become more important for the maintenance of social relationships. Various cultural groups have been established and social relationships with co-ethnics have been fostered at the same time as existing communities have been adapting to a more diverse population. Integration in this context is a more complex process than merely a dichotomy of assimilation or segregation. Therefore, settling in a different social environment is a stressful life event, affecting well-being and requiring a transition of the ‘learnt capacity’ in everyday social interaction.