Studies of Slovene Immigrants in Australia
Our ethnologic studies of Slovene immigrants in Australia date back to a good ten years ago. Given that the volume of scientifically elaborated material on the subject is still modest, the article offers a condensed review of the findings to date by the related disciplines which deal with the problem of emigration from Slovenia and former Yugoslavia and which contain data on the Slovenes in Australia. The article also presents some of the most important migration studies published in post-war Australia. As for the methodological aspect, the author presents the autobiographic method of research into immigrant's daily life.
Migration studies have long tradition in Australia. Some of them, above all those that serve best the ethnologic study of Slovene immigrants in that part of the world, are presented in the introduction to the article. They testify to a gradual transition from first reports on the settlement of people from all over the world in the Australian continent, toward monographic and problem-oriented research studies. They help the ethnologist studying the past and present daily life of Slovenes in Australia to shed light on their new environment.
Domestic and foreign studies on the time, ways and causes of migration of Slovenes to Australia are very few. The reports on emigration from the former Yugoslav territory still represent the best source of data on this process. But they provide general data on the migration of all Yugoslavs as the category which encompassed all inhibitants of former Yugoslavia, regardless of their ethnic origin, and it is difficult to single out the data on Slovene emigrants from others.
Ethnologic studies of Slovene immigrants in Australia are, therefore, only in the initial stage, and the study of the first generation of immigrants relies in part on the autobiographic method of identification. This method makes it possible to indentify in a natural (chronological) way individual phases in the life of an emigrant-immigrant, of which little has so far been known.
The condensed bibliography at the end of the article lists the publications relating to the aforesaid problems (the new - immigrant - environment, the process of emigration, methodological approach)