Consider an area of Sydney that is considered an “Entho-burb”. Look up its history and current “Ethic entrepreneurship,’ and think about whether it is more than an ethic enclave.

When considering the area of Sydney which is a city rich with diversity, the suburb Cabramatta, stands out the most. Cultural heritage is developed in this community and, “Rather than assimilate and hide their cultural differences away… they were asked to reveal it and put it on view” (Ang I, 2016, p.258).  This suburb is a network of one’s culture and entrepreneurship in an area where a different culture is predominant. Through this hyperlink, you can see a visual of the different ethnicities that makeup sydney, and practically Cabramatta…   

Cabramatta in Sydney, Australia has a strong East Asian community as it has started to come more dominant than the Australian culture that used to be there. Cabramatta used to be an improvised city infested with drugs. It has now developed into a “ethno-burb” of East Asian people and a tourist attraction (‘Holiday in Little Sagion, 2012, p.72). Immigrants moved into Cabramatta because it is affordable and this caused a decrease in violence within the city. As criminals and drug attics move out, many businesses started flowing in as tourists were attracted to the Asian culture. The commissioner praises officers after crime stats release,” decrease in crime in Cabramatta, where armed robbery has dropped by 58 percent” (AAP General News). The immigration of East Asians transformed Cabramatta from a violent culture into a peaceful one.

photo of red paper lanterns
Photo by mentatdgt on

Cabramatta is more than just an ethnic enclave, because of the massive impact the Asian culture had on the suburb’s living conditions. Instead of just having a concentration of Asian people in a suburb, the “Asian culture snaking through the parallel threads of poverty and crime…” transformed Cabramatta into a new friendly atmosphere (‘Holiday in little saigon’, 2012, p.72). The Asian network spread into Cabramatta’s workforce, drawing tourist’s attention so they can see a little piece of Asia in Australia. An ethic enclave is a concentration of a particular ethnic group in a community, however an entho-burb is when an ethnic group creates their own network that spreads to the community around them (Miles and Linling, 2017, p.84). Cabramatta has been transformed into a tourist attraction because of immigration and social change.

Ang, I 2016, ‘At home in Asia? Sydney’s Chinatown and Australia’s “Asian Century”, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 257-269.

Anon, 2018. Sydney Race Map (2016) – voomMAPS. [online] voomMAPS. Available at: <; [Accessed 13 Aug. 2018].

Gao‐ Miles, Linling (2017) ‘Beyond the Ethnic Enclave: Interethnicity and Trans‐ spatiality in an Australian Suburb’, City & Society, 29(1), pp.82-103.

‘Holiday in Little Saigon’, 2012, Overland, no. 207, p. 72.

N.A. ‘NSW: Commissioner praises officers after crime stats release’, AAP General News.






The Process of ‘Othering’

How is the representation of public space implicated in the process of ‘othering’? Use an example from the set readings, or your own research to explain.

Heteronormativity causes public spaces to undergo the process of ‘othering’. Society tends to forget to take in account other sexualities besides heterosexuality, and in public spaces it leaves individuals to feel uncomfortable some environments. The lack of unisex bathrooms in public places is an example of how a person could be affected by the process of othering. Some people go through their day worrying about when they will find the next unisex bathroom, or travel far from their location to use a unisex bathroom because they are uncomfortable by using a single gendered bathroom. On the other hand, the fear of not being able to find a bathroom does not even cross some people’s minds. This video demonstrates the struggle of the lack of unisex bathrooms some people face…


Another form of ‘othering’ is through sex and gender norms. Society has classified some public spaces as masculine or feminine spaces, leaving those who do not conform to gender norms feeling like an outsider. In Asia, migrant Chinese women are a part of an anti-marriage movement, because they do not want to conform to gender norms and seek to take on a more masculine role in society (Ehrkamp, 2013, p.584). The workplace is considered a masculine environment, leaving women feeling out of place. These migrant Chinese women want to embrace women in the workplace and fight for women’s rights by participating in the anti-marriage movement. The uncomfortable feeling women face in the workplace is same feeling non-gender conforming people may feel in a room without a unisex bathroom: a sense of that they do not belong.  This process of othering excludes whoever does not fit into a certain stereo-type that matches an atmosphere of a public space.

Oftentimes when individuals do not conform to social norms, they face oppression through society and their personal life. When a gender non-conforming individual comes out about their identity, they risk facing oppression. People who are gender non-conforming can be oppressed by not being accepted by their family, losing their job, and losing safety in public spaces. This oppression affects non-conforming women because they are viewed as different from the norm. For example, “those who do not conform to such ideals of what makes a ‘good’ migrant women citizen, in turn, are too often deemed unworthy of membership and acceptance” (Yeoh, Brenda S.A. and Huang, 1998, p.20). Migrant women who do not conform to their role as women in society could lose their family and their entire life. Awareness of the process of ‘othering’ in public spaces would help these spaces to become more inclusive, and would greatly reduce the oppression of non-conforming people. (2018). Chicago Tribune – We are currently unavailable in your region. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Aug. 2018].

Coyote, I. (2018). Why we need gender-neutral bathrooms | Ivan Coyote. [online] YouTube. Available at: [Accessed 13 Aug. 2018].

Ehrkamp, Patricia (2013) ‘“I’ve had it with them!” Younger migrant women’s spatial practices of conformity and resistance’, Gender, Place & Culture, 20(1), pp.19-36.

Yeoh, Brenda S. A. and Huang, Shirlena (1998) ‘Negotiating public space: Strategies and styles of migrant female domestic workers in Singapore’, Urban studies, 35(3), pp.583-602.

woman in gray formal coat sitting near black full glass panel window
Photo by Christina Morillo on

The Conviviality Toolkit amongst Friendship Networks

What aspects of the ‘conviviality toolkit’ do you see amongst your friendship networks? How can these capacities be further developed?

As an exchange student, my friendship networks have grown more diverse. Through living with other Australian students and being part of a multicultural student community I have been amerced in Australian culture. Differences like cars driving on the opposite side of the road and walking on the other side of a path, seem minimal but have massive effects on my experience. Multicultural friendships are formed by conviviality, which is everyday friendly interactions and civil co-existence (Harris, 2018, p.606). Conviviality is a part of my everyday life, not only because I am learning more about other cultures, but also my friends are learning about mine.

While forming friendships with my Australian roommates, aspects of Back’s and Sinha’s (2016) “Conviviality Toolkit” are demonstrated through understanding and accepting the differences between us. Being open-minded and understanding of other’s backgrounds allows our friendships to be successful. When obstacles do arise, we are able to overcome them by “Resisting the pleasures of hating or laying blame…” (Back and Sinha, 2016, p.530). Once I accidentally left the sink water dripping, this infuriated my Australian roommate because I was wasting water. Even though she was frustrated, she explained to me that in Australia there are droughts and they have to be selfless when using water. Our friendship was able to continue because I understood how I upset her. Now I am cautious about how much water I use because I understand that in Australia it is considerate to limit water.

University of Wollongong is multicultural but still has a strong student community. New exchange students come every semester and change the dynamic of the social scene. In order to adapt Back’s and Sinha’s (2016) idea of, “An aptitude for connection and building home in a landscape of division…”, I implemented their idea within everyday life. In order to build a “home” within a multicultural community cultural difference like beliefs, clothing, education, etc., have to be acknowledged and respected.

So far, my experience as an exchange student has been cohesive, but there are still aspects where multicultural cohesion could be developed. People tend to stick with others of similar backgrounds and I tend to do the same. Although I am friends with some non-American students, I feel it is easier to communicate in American friend group because it is what I am used to. To increase cohesiveness amongst other cultures, people have to be willing to get out of their comfort zones and interact with different people. This will open student’s eyes to new cultures and global networks.


Back, L., and Sinha, S. 2016, ‘Multicultural Conviviality in the Midst of Racism’s Ruins’, Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 37, no. 5, p. 517-532.

Harris, Anita. 2018, “Youthful socialities in Australia’s urban multiculture.” Urban Studies, vol. 55, no. 3, 605-622.