Samuel Finch
Samuel Finch

Project Title: "From the Oder and the Rhine": Germans in South Australia, 1838-1914

Principal Advisor: Associate Professor Andrew Bonnell

Project Abstract: Obstructed by a plethora of commemorative literature and family histories that concern the German community of South Australia, few studies have ventured outside of the 'pious Barossa Lutheran pioneer' framework. For the few that do, historians frame their analyses within the dichotomy of one-way assimilation and an uncritical celebration of Australian multiculturalism. Furthermore, scholars on the subject of German migration to South Australia have yet to test their findings against the body of German and migration history that has developed outside of Australia. This PhD shall adapt these approaches in a study of German migrants in South Australia (1838-1914). The concept of milieu frames the thesis. Milieu (developed by Lepsius and Rohe) addresses the formation of social groups, bound together by associational cultures, patterns of public discourse and electoral behaviour. In sum, the thesis shall demonstrate the nature of division and interaction amongst German migrants in South Australia prior to the outbreak of WWI.

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