©2018 by polity.

  • Alex Wok

Racial Enclaves


  • Racial enclaves are geographic areas in which there is a relative demographic concentration of an ethnic group which is otherwise a racial minority. Although the precise threshold of ethnic concentration required for an area to be deemed an ‘enclave’ is unsettled, an Australian suburb which might meet this definition is Eastwood. According to the 2016 Census, 38.4% of Eastwood residents had Chinese ancestry. Equally, Chinatowns have long been perceived as ethnic enclaves. Enclaves are fundamentally imagined communities where emotionally-charged debate surrounding crime, immigration and economic empowerment are the norm.

  • In Denmark, an enclave is a neighbourhood in which at least 50% of the residents are immigrants from non-Western countries, at least 40% of residents are unemployed or at least 2.7% of residents have criminal convictions. In Australia, an electorate such as Wentworth in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs with around 70% Anglo-Australian ancestry is not termed an enclave. Rightly or wrongly, enclaves invoke inherent connotations of race and class.


Do racial enclaves promote multiculturalism?

read more:

  1. SBS News, ‘Migrant Business Owners Help Drive Economy’; SBS News, ‘Do Chinese-Australians prefer living in Chinese districts?’

  2. The Conversation, ‘Suburbs ‘swamped’ by Asians and Muslims? The data show a different story

  3. Triple J Hack, ‘Race Commissioner: Australia is going backwards on racism

  4. The Australian, ‘Our cities harbour a lively patchwork of ghettos, enclaves

  5. SBS News, ‘Call to speak out against race 'hysteria'

  6. Sydney Morning Herald, ‘The Sydney schools becoming Anglo ghettos

  7. Herald Sun, ‘Academics label western suburbs 'ghettos'; News.com.au, ‘Four shootings in two weeks and a gang war on the rise: Inside Australia’s most dangerous suburb

  8. The Australian, ‘Complex truth of “White Flight” revealed in data’; Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Is Sydney a City of Enclaves?’

  9. ABC News, ‘NSW Labor leader Luke Foley apologises for 'white flight' comments as Pauline Hanson backs him in’; Herald Sun, ‘HOW WE'VE CREATED ANOTHER INSTANT ARAB GHETTO’; The Australian, ‘NSW Labor leader Luke Foley backs Tony Abbott on migration rollback’; Herald Sun, ‘Academics label western suburbs 'ghettos'.

  10. Herald Sun, ‘ETHNIC COLONIES: HOW DO WE STAY AUSTRALIANS TOGETHER’; UNSW Social Impact Blog, ‘Would you pay extra to live among people who share your background?