The cultural significance of Italian migrants’ houses built in Brisbane, Australia
The post-World War II period witnessed a large flow of emigrants from Italy to Australia, facilitated by the assisted passage scheme funded by the Italian and Australian governments. Italian and other migrant groups brought cultural practices and a way of life with them that are now part of the multicultural Australian society. First-generation Italian migrants’ houses are embedded with cultural meanings. This research study investigates the symbolic realm of post-WWII domestic dwellings built by Italian migrants in Brisbane — that is, the various meanings migrants associate with their homes. Data were collected from a focus-group discussion and in-depth interviews with 20 Veneto first-generation migrants who came to Australia in the post-WWII period, as well as 10 of their friends who still lived in Italy (for covalidation). The data were subjected to thematic and hermeneutic analysis, which identified various meanings embedded in Italian migrants’ houses in Brisbane. The findings explore a historically significant process of Australian domestic architectural development and expose the symbolic realm preserved in the built environment, which represents the multicultural heritage of Australia. © 2018, Locke Science Publishing Company, Inc.
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