After about 6 months I am back in Australia conducting the second round of my interviews for this project. Thanks to some careful financial planning I have managed to secure a second trip to Australia and this time in Summer. I landed in Melbourne on the 14th January to incredibly high temperatures. While this should go without saying, I am going to say it anyway – don’t try and do numerous interviews on one day, in different parts of a city, in 40C+ temperatures. Or, if you must, make sure your interview kit includes water, sunscreen and plasters for your feet. Oh, and a hotel room with aircon.
Two interviews in Melbourne with women whose motivations experiences of migration to Australia were vastly different. Then I flew to New Zealand for a holiday. A week in the New Zealand sun, with some wine, sea and good company was restorative and set me up for my time in Sydney. Each week day has included interviews, either face to face or via Skype. These interviews are rather different to my first round and I am still considering why that might be. Certainly those academics whose research considers equality or marginalisation in some form seem to have a greater awareness of their position within their host country. Particularly those who identify as white. Indeed, it is clear that a number of ‘white’ participants do not conceptualise themselves as white – specifically they don’t conceptualise themselves as having an ethnicity as such. I am sure this is similar to Kimmel’s argument that men when they look in the mirror see a person, not a gendered being. However, for some ‘white’ participants, there appears to be a hierarchy of whiteness – although the data analysis is in very early stages, it seems that a certain form of Anglo whiteness is privileged. Again the data seems to suggest that those migrants who have an ‘interest’ or hobby such as sport (especially team sports) find settling into their host country much easier than those who don’t.
I am presenting the first round of analysis from the early interviews next week at the AIRAANZ conference. I am interested to hear what an Australian audience makes of this data.
Two more interviews to go, conference and then back to Blighty.