Behind the 'Big Man': uncovering hidden migrant networks within Scandinavian-Australian sources

Paper


Emmerson, Mark. 2010. "Behind the 'Big Man': uncovering hidden migrant networks within Scandinavian-Australian sources." Hayes, Anna and Mason, Robert (ed.) Migrant Security 2010: Citizenship and Social Inclusion in a Transnational Era. Toowoomba, Australia 15 - 16 Jul 2010 Toowoomba, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

Behind the 'Big Man': uncovering hidden migrant networks within Scandinavian-Australian sources

Presentation TypePaper
Authors
AuthorEmmerson, Mark
EditorsHayes, Anna and Mason, Robert
Journal or Proceedings TitleMigrant Security 2010: Refereed Proceedings of the National Symposium Titled Migrant Security 2010: Citizenship and Social Inclusion in a Transnational Era
Number of Pages5
Year2010
Place of PublicationToowoomba, Australia
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttp://ebookbrowse.com/mcneill-migrant-security-2010-pv-pdf-d77274709
Conference/EventMigrant Security 2010: Citizenship and Social Inclusion in a Transnational Era
Event Details
Migrant Security 2010: Citizenship and Social Inclusion in a Transnational Era
Event Date
15 to end of 16 Jul 2010
Event Location
Toowoomba, Australia
Abstract

This paper is a reflective piece discussing several issues that have arisen during historical research regarding Scandinavian migration to Australia. The paper discusses some of the issues that historical sources have thrown up while researching Scandinavian Diasporic communities, namely the way in which networks of belonging and community have remained hidden behind sources controlled and produced by elite members of migrant groups and the figureheads of Scandinavian Australia – the 'Big Men'.1
The 'Big Men' phenomena and associated problems of source bias and record incompleteness are examined, to point out reasons for a past historical focus that has been built upon exaggerated and contributionary material and, as such, fails to give proper credit to other community members that were often involved in the creation of stronger and lasting social networks than these figureheads themselves. In particular, the role of Scandinavian women and their networks will be examined to point out alternatives to previous positivistic approaches to the impact of Scandinavians in Australia. The paper argues that for a more complete understanding of those involved in the creation of ethnic migrant communities, scholars must view all historical material in a way that focuses on not only the 'Big Men' that are fixed in the foreground of the sources, but those figures and groups that have until now remained in the peripheral vision, unexamined and uncelebrated.

KeywordsAustralia; big men; community building; migration; networks; Scandinavia; women A BLURRED IMAGE OF THE
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470211. Migrant cultural studies
440599. Gender studies not elsewhere classified
520599. Social and personality psychology not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsStudent Management Division
Department of Humanities and International Studies
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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