The ‘Southern question’ in Australia: the 1925 Royal Commission’s Racialisation of Southern Italians

Article


Dewhirst, Catherine. 2014. "The ‘Southern question’ in Australia: the 1925 Royal Commission’s Racialisation of Southern Italians." Queensland History Journal. 22 (4), pp. 316-332.
Article Title

The ‘Southern question’ in Australia: the 1925 Royal Commission’s Racialisation of Southern Italians

ERA Journal ID41986
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorDewhirst, Catherine
Journal TitleQueensland History Journal
Journal Citation22 (4), pp. 316-332
Number of Pages17
Year2014
PublisherRoyal Historical Society of Queensland
Place of PublicationBrisbane, Australia
ISSN1447-1345
1836-5477
Web Address (URL)https://search.informit.com.au/browseJournalTitle;res=IELHSS;issn=1836-5477
Abstract

Thomas Arthur Ferry (1877-1963) conducted several Royal Commissions in his role as under-secretary for Queensland’s Premier and Chief Secretary’s Department. His now frequently cited first Report remains the most controversial. While racialising Southern Italians, he articulated the ‘Southern Question’, but this Royal Commission was also symptomatic of systemic racism in Australia. Drawing from Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s theory of ‘racialized social systems’ and Thomas Guglielmo’s application of this framework in his analysis of Italian-Americans in Chicago, this article focuses on the racialist origins, continuities and implications of the Ferry Report which crystallised the racist attitudes of the day.

KeywordsSouthern question; Royal Commission; racialisation; Southern Italians
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020430302. Australian history
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Arts and Communication
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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