Photographic essay: What are the benefits (e.g. cultural maintenance, provision of services) and challenges (e.g. exclusion, stereotyping/prejudice) of ethnic residential concentration in the suburb of Cabramatta?
Subject: People, Place and Social Difference
Assignment: Photographic essay
• Word limit: 1000 (+/- 10%)
• Times new roman / 12 font / double space
• MUST include 3 photos (use ‘virtual’ field trip)
• You must use at least five (5) academic sources (journal articles, book chapters or books) to write your essay. This should include at least two (2) sources that you find yourself (i.e. not on the list of suggested readings for Assignment 2).
• Harvard Style
Important information due to Covid-19
Given the current circumstances regarding social distancing, as well as if you live outside NSW or have another reason for not being able to do the field trip in person, it is encouraged you do the alternative assignment in the form of a 'virtual' field trip. Details for this can be found in PPSD Assignment 2 alternative (attachment 1).
In Theme 2: Australia's migration story you have been examining the impacts of immigration in Australia on a national and local scale. In addition, you have also explored the experiences of people immigrating to a new country. This assignment requires you to draw upon the knowledge you have developed in both the learning materials and readings to write a photographic essay on the following question:
What are the benefits (e.g. cultural maintenance, provision of services) and challenges (e.g. exclusion, stereotyping/prejudice) of ethnic residential concentration in the suburb of Cabramatta?
Your essay must include three (3) of your own illustrative photographs. Your essay should, in addition, be 1000 words. This does not include your reference list, figure captions or photograph source information.
After successfully completing this assignment, you will be able to:
1. identify the impacts of migration upon social and cultural landscapes in Sydney
2. identify the benefits and challenges of ethnic residential concentration
3. understand the challenges presented by migrating to a new country
4. use photographic evidence to illustrate social and cultural processes
5. effectively and safely conduct fieldwork to gather data/evidence
6. identify, evaluate and utilise academic sources to produce a scholarly piece of writing.
In order to meet the requirements of this assignment, work your way through the following information:
Self-guided field trip:
To complete this assignment and to collect data for your essay, you will need to conduct a self-guided field trip to Cabramatta in south-western Sydney. For this assignment, you have been provided materials that will allow you to complete this field trip in your own time. Here are some resources to help you:
• Self-guided field trip manual: Read this field trip manual carefully. The self-guided field trip manual gives you instructions about what to do in the field - Self-guided field trip manual (attachment 2).
• Self-guided field trip instructions: This document has a map and suggested itinerary for the self-guided field trip to Cabramatta. It provides additional information and explains where you are expected to watch each field trip video - Self-guided field trip instructions (attachment 3).
Cabramatta self-guided field trip
The sites of the recommended walking route listed in the self-guided field trip to Cabramatta:
• Location 1: PaiLau Gateway, Freedom Plaza, Cabramatta
• Location 2: ‘Welcome to Cabramatta’ sign
• Location 3: Cabramatta Station
• Location 4: Cabravale Memorial Park
• Location 5: The Cabramatta Multi Centre, Uniting Church
• Location 6: Sydwest Asian Christian Church
• Location 7: Chau-Vo Temple
• Location 8: Hughes Street Park
• Location 9: Ni Vien Thien Hoa (Thien Hoa Nunnery)
• Location 10: Russian Orthodox Church
• Location 11: Statue of Pigs, John St
Cabramatta historical data (attachment 4)
Photographic evidence (compulsory)
The essay requires you to use three (3) photographs taken during your self-guided field trip to Cabramatta. The photographs are a form of primary data which you will use to explain and illustrate the key arguments that you make. You should ensure that you have completed some background reading about ethnic residential concentration and Cabramatta before the field trip so that you know what type of photographs you will need. The photographs must be yours and must be taken during the 2020 field trip. You will be required to record the location of each photograph, along with the direction you were facing, the subject, and the date/time each was taken. This information is to be included in a source statement for each photograph in your essay. A table is located in the fieldwork manual to assist you with collecting this data.
Note: Not all of the key arguments you make in your essay need to be supported with photographs (indeed, you should have more than three key arguments). In previous years, students have found it difficult to represent the challenges of ethnic residential concentration using photographs. It is okay if you choose to only use the photographs to illustrate the benefits of ethnic residential concentration. However, your photographs should illustrate different points within your essay. For example, if you have a paragraph in your essay that discusses exclusion as a challenge of ethnic residential concentration, you should not use three photographs to illustrate this one point.
You must use at least five (5) academic sources (journal articles, book chapters or books) to write your essay. This should include at least two (2) sources that you find yourself (i.e. not on the list of suggested readings for Assignment 2).
• Ethnic concentrations: the Vietnamese experience (Birrell 1993, pp. 26-32) (attachment source 1)
• Immigration, ancestry and residence in Sydney (Burnley 1994, pp. 69–89) (attachment source 2)
• The Vietnamese concentration in Cabramatta: site of avoidance and deprivation, or island of adjustment and participation? (Dunn 1993, pp. 228–245) (attachment source 3).
• Rethinking ethnic concentration: the case of Cabramatta, Sydney (Dunn 1998, pp. 503–27) (attachment source 4).
• Understanding where immigrants live (Hugo 1995) (attachment source 5).
• Changing spatial patterns of immigrant settlement (Hugo 2011, pp. 1–40) (attachment source 6).
• Chapter 2 Changing geographical approaches to cultural landscapes (Winchester, Kong & Dunn 2003, pp. 10–34) (attachment source 7).
• Ethnic residential segregation (Boal 1976) (attachment source 8).
As well as the photographs that comprise the primary data of your essay, we encourage you to use secondary data to add rigour and value to your argument. Cabramatta contains a number of different cultural groups. As discussed in Theme 1, the best way to understand an Australian suburb is to draw upon Census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This information could act as secondary data for your essay.
Here are two exemplars submitted from 2016. These examples show one page from the essay and highlight some of its strengths - including the integration of photos and effective writing techniques.
Remember that no essay is perfect. There are aspects of these samples that could be improved upon.
• Exemplar 1. Effective writing techniques (attachment 5)
• Exemplar 2. Integrating photos in your essay (attachment 6)
Also of interest is the SBS-created fantastic documentary series about Cabramatta called Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta.
The series provides a really interesting overview of the history of Cabramatta, with a particular focus on the period following the 1970s. The series documents the changes that this suburb has gone through to become the vibrant precinct it is today.
FAQ: How do I reference this series in my assignment?
A: The generic format for a video or audio source is: Author, Initial(s) Year of publication, Title of video or audio, Date issued (excluding the year), format, Date viewed, Name of database.
To reference Episode 1 from Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta, you would therefore use the following format: Hickey, J 2014, Once upon a time in Cabramatta: Episode 1 of 3, 8 January, online video, viewed 19 September, EduTV database.
• Half of the marks in the essay will be allocated according to your presentation of the data, the standard of the data collected, and its integration into the text. The other half of your marks will be determined by the structure and content of your argument (e.g. coherence of your argument and appropriate reference to relevant literature).
• Acknowledge all sources. Even if you are paraphrasing or summarising, a citation including author and date is still needed.
• Use proper paragraph structures: ‘A fairly typical paragraph begins with a topic sentence that makes a general statement. The sentences that follow support or develop that statement with details, examples and evidence (Australian Government Publishing Style Manual, 1988, p. 6).
• Structure your essay: have an introduction that is aligned with a conclusion. The introduction should be a road map for the essay, and present your key argument and/or theory and define your case study. The conclusion must address the points raised in the introduction.
• Address the essay question being answered and ensure your essay actually responds to the question being asked. Pick out keywords.
• Do not use symbols in text (e.g. use 'per cent', rather than ‘%’; ‘and’, rather than ‘&’; ‘at’, rather than ‘@’, etc.)
• Do not start a sentence with a numeric. Write 'Fifteen per cent of people ...’ not ‘15 per cent of people ...’.
• Data is plural.
• Full stops only at end of sentence, unless an abbreviation stop. (e.g., ‘... according to Dunn (2004).’ and not, ‘... according to Dunn. (2004)’.).
• Do not use personal pronouns to describe Sydney or Australia. ‘Sydney has become polarised’. Not, ‘we have become polarised’.
• Do not use conjunctions in formal text (e.g. ‘cannot’, rather than ‘can’t’, ‘do not’, rather than ‘don’t, ‘should not’, rather than ‘shouldn’t’, etc).
• Explain what acronyms stand for at their first use (e.g. New South Wales (NSW), ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics), GWS (Greater Western Sydney), etc).
1. Understanding of issues.
2. Coherency of the argument.
3. Use of academic literature: journal articles, book chapters and books.
4. Structure: Organisation of essay (we strongly recommend subheadings) and argument (with use of evidence and conclusion).
5. Writing style: Readability including English expression, spelling, grammar (sentence structures) and paragraph structures.
6. Image caption and sources: Follow the recommended guidelines discussed in the discussion in module 7.10.
7. Integration of images.
8. Referencing and citations: Correct referencing and citing in the Harvard format.
Benefits of Ethnic Concentration: The example of Cabramatta
Ethnic concentration is usually seen as a matter that has all to do with the landscape and geographical difference that is occasioned by the existence of a given ethnic group and composition of people within a given area. Many cities, towns or settlements often take the ethnic identity of a particular group and continues to grow and expand with a high concentration of a particular ethnic group. Cabramatta, located outside Sydney Australia is one such centre where the immigrants from Vietnam particularly and the Far East nations in general have found a home in Australia, contributing to the steady development of this location and the emergence of a unique identity for the residents and other members of the country. The residential concentration of these immigrants in Cabramatta has led to a number of benefits and challenges to the population that has continued to grow and thrive here.
First and foremost, several studies have argued for the socio-biological benefits of ethnic concentration and the ingrained desire for the communities to protect their genetic lineages (Dunn, 1998). Cabramatta is mainly inhabited by people of Vietnamese-Chinese origin. In this Sydney suburb, they are an ethnic minority. In every community among whom a minority exists, the minority is always in danger of getting assimilated into the majority culture and ethnicities. There have been many minority ethnic groups that no longer exist because they have been absorbed into the larger genetic pool. Thriving ethnic concentrations like Cabramatta all but ensure that the minority lineage is assured and that even far away from their ancestral home, they can maintain their culture. With these concentrations, it is easier to intermarry, socialize and develop deeper social ties (Jupp, 1993).
Secondly, the fact that Cabramatta has emerged and maintained its status as a centre of ethnic concentration is in itself a reaffirmation of an ethnic diversity. It is not true that prior to their settling in Cabramatta, the area was a desolate empty land. There indeed were already pockets of ethnic minorities that were living in this place long before the Vietnamese-Chinese domination of the area. In Figure 1, the “Discover Cabramatta” sign is an example of an emblem of this cultural and social diversity. Even though the sign is welcoming visitors to have a taste of Asia, it does so in English, a language spoken all over Australia. This in itself is an affirmation that Cabramatta is not a homogeneous populace; on the contrary, it is an area characterised by several ethnic minority identities among which the Asian populace is quite dominant.
Figure 1. The Discover Cabramatta sign seen here at the heart of the Cabramatta town centre, 25th November, 2020. It has elements of the minority culture and also a sign of diversity within the town.
Thirdly, ethnic concentrations make service delivery a lot easier within the given population in Cabramatta (Burnley, 1999). The concentration of people within this locality makes the delivery of various services both by the government and among themselves easier and more convenient. It is easier to reach them through services like roads, health services, public transportation and information dissemination. Figure 2 shows The Pig statue in Cabramatta, and in the background, we can see that this is the business district of Cabramatta at which people buy, sell and exchange various goods and services. The collection of people of similar ethnic sensibilities has made it possible to deliver services much more conveniently to the residents of Cabramatta.
Figure 2. The Statue of the Pigs at the central business district of Cabramatta, 25th November, 2020. The location is an emblem of service delivery and survival in Cabramatta.
Service delivery is also seen in the businesses that the Cabramatta residents have ventured into (Dunn, 2003). Importing the business practices from faraway Vietnam, China, Cambodia or Taiwan, the people living within Cabramatta have made a big mark in providing services not only to the members of the settlement but also to those who visit Cabramatta for various reasons. It has become a place of near-uniform service demand because of the similar ethnic identities of most of the residents.
In addition, ethnic concentrations have a big role to play in maintaining the cultural essence of the minority populations that live in the areas (Dunn, 1993). Walking through Cabramatta, one is left with the feeling of a deep rooted Asian culture and a way of life that is eerily different, yet just as exciting as any other within the nation of Australia. When minorities are concentrated within one place, and they happen to be immigrants in a land far away from their home like Sidney, the only hope of maintaining their distinct cultural identity is through coming together and practicing their culture as they used to in their former nations. In Cabramatta, there are various landmarks which through their commercial, social or religious functions work to preserve the cultural essence of the minority population from the rest of Asia. In Figure 3, the statue of the monster-headed creature reminds one of the Asian cultural fascinations with snakes and monsters, bringing an essential part of the Vietnamese and Chinese lore into the mainstream Cabramattan way of life.
Figure 3. The statue of the monster-headed creature on pedestal, 25th November, 2020. It is a symbol of culture and continuity of the minority culture in Cabramatta.
The preservation of cultural artefacts and symbols of culture for the people who live in Cabramatta is a sign of assertiveness in terms of the culture itself and a reaffirmation that above all, the people who live here are interested in their continuity and not the forgetting of their own culture and history.
Burnley, I. (1999). Levels of immigrant residential concentration in Sydney and their relationship with disadvantage. Urban studies, 36(8), 1295-1315.
Dunn, K. M. (1998). Rethinking ethnic concentration: the case of Cabramatta, Sydney. Urban studies, 35(3), 503-527.
Dunn, K. M. (1993). The Vietnamese concentration in Cabramatta: site of avoidance and deprivation, or island of adjustment and participation?. Australian Geographical Studies, 31(2), 228-245.
Dunn, K. M. (2003). Using cultural geography to engage contested constructions of ethnicity and citizenship in Sydney. Social & Cultural Geography, 4(2), 153-165.
Jupp, J. (1993). Ethnic concentrations: a reply to Bob Birrell [Birrell, Robert. Ethnic concentrations: the Vietnamese experience; in v. 1, no. 3, 1993]. People and Place, 1(4), 51.