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Dr Christina Ho

Biography

Christina Ho is a Senior Lecturer & Discipline Coordinator, Social and Political Sciences, within the Communications program, based in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  

Christina researches migration, cultural diversity, citizenship and identity, and has focused particularly on Chinese migration, Muslim diasporas and migrant youth and belonging. She is currently working on projects investigating ethnicity and education and community building in urban areas. 

Image of Christina Ho
Senior Lecturer, Social and Political Science
Core Member, CCS - Cosmopolitan Civil Societies
PhD (University of Sydney)
 
Phone
+61 2 9514 1946

Research Interests

  • Multiculturalism, diversity politics and cosmopolitanism
  • Migration policy and migrant experiences
  • Cultural and national identity formation among migrants
  • Chinese migration to Australia, including Chinese international students
  • Muslim diasporas and gender
  • Cultural citizenship and community arts
  • Segregation and schooling
  • Ethnic concentration and community building in urban areas
Can supervise: Yes
I supervise Honours and Postgraduate students in the areas of multiculturalism, migration, gender studies, education, and related areas. 
  • Citizenship & Communication
  • Self and Society
  • Investigating for Change
  • Professional Pathways Project

Books

Jakubowicz, A. & Ho, C. 2014, 'For those who've come across the seas...' Australian Multicultural Theory, Policy and Practice, Anthem Press.
Ho, C. 2008, Migration and Gender Identity: Chinese Women's Experiences of Work, Family and Identity in Contemporary Australia, VDM Verlag Dr. Muller, Saarbruecken.
Throughout the Western world, governments increasingly view migration through the lens of economic efficiency, arguing that skilled professionals are the \'best\' or most successful migrants. This book critically analyses this assumption. It focuses on one group of skilled migrants in Australia, Chinese women, showing that they do not always experience the prevailing \'success story\'. After migrating, Chinese women\'s employment falls while their domestic workloads rise. This often changes their sense of gender identity, as they shift from \'career women\' to traditional \'female\' roles as wives and mothers. Thus this book shows that migration is highly gendered. Of women in the workforce, those from China fare much worse than those from Hong Kong, despite similar levels of qualifications, showing that migrants\' birthplace can dramatically affect how their qualifications are valued. Ultimately, this book argues that governments\' economistic approach to migration fails to understand the complexities of migrants\' experiences as social beings, whose cultural and gender identities can make all the difference to their settlement in a new country.

Chapters

Ho, C. & Schofield, T. 2015, 'Ethnicity and Health' in A Sociological Approach to Health Determinants, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, pp. 83-98.
Ho, C. & Jakubowicz, A.H. 2013, 'The Realities of Australian Multiculturalism' in Jakubowicz, A. & Ho, C. (eds), 'For those who've come across the seas': Australian multicultural theory, policy and practice, Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne, pp. 3-14.
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Ho, C. 2013, 'From Social Justice to Social Cohesion: A History of Australian Multicultural Policy' in Jakubowicz, A. & Ho, C. (eds), 'For those who've come across the seas': Australian multicultural theory, policy and practice, Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne, pp. 31-41.
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Jakubowicz, A.H. & Ho, C. 2013, 'Conclusion: An Agenda for the Next Decade' in Jakubowicz, A. & Ho, C. (eds), 'For those who've come across the seas': Australian multicultural theory, policy and practice, Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne, pp. 277-289.
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Nelson, J. & Dunn, K.M. 2013, 'Racism and anti-racism' in Jakubowicz, A. & Ho, C. (eds), For Those Who've Come Across the Seas: Australian Multicultural Theory, Policy and Practice, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 259-276.
Ho, C. 2012, 'Can Careers Cross Borders? Chinese Women in the Australian Workforce' in Devleena Ghosh (ed), Shadowlines: Women and Borders in Contemporary Asia, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle-on-Tyne, pp. 98-119.
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Ho, C. 2012, 'Can Careers Cross Borders? Chinese women in the Australian workforce' in Ghosh, D. & Leigh, B. (eds), Women in Asia: Shadowlines, Cambridge Scholars Press, UK, pp. 98-119.
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Ho, C. 2009, 'The Hidden Politics of Harmony Celebrations: Where has all the racism gone?' in Giugni, M. & Mundine, K. (eds), Talkin' Up and Speakin' Out: Indigenous and multicultural voices in early childhood, Pademelon Press, Sydney.
Dreher, T.I. & Ho, C. 2009, 'New conversations on gender, race and religion' in Dreher, T. & Christina, H.O. (eds), Beyond the Hijab Debates: New Conversations on Gender, Race and Religion, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK, pp. 1-15.
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Ho, C. 2008, 'Chinese Nurses in Australia: Migration, Work and Identity' in Connell John (ed), The International Migration of Health Workers, Routledge, New York, pp. 147-162.
Ho, C. 2008, 'Introduction' in Dreher, T. & Ho, C. (eds), Beyond the Hijab Debates: New Conversations on Gender, Race and Religion, Cambridge Scholars Press, UK.

Conferences

Ho, C. 2006, ''A Christian, a Muslim and a Jew walk into a room': Inter-faith dialogue and the desecularisation of Australian multiculturalism', Everyday Multiculturalism Conference Proceedings, Everyday Multiculturalism, Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, Macquarie University, Macquarie University, Sydney, pp. 1-10.
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This paper grew out of something I kept noticing in my own life. Over the last couple of years, I have been getting more and more invitations to inter-faith activities, usually involving Christians, Muslims and Jews. At first I wondered why I was getting invitations to religious events, seeing I am not religious and have never been a member of any religious organisation (except for being an escapee of the Catholic school system). Gradually it dawned on me that these events were the same kinds of things that used to be called anti-racism workshops or general discussions about some aspect of cultural diversity or race relations. This got me thinking about the role of religion in current activities around multiculturalism in Australia.
Ho, C. 2007, 'Father still knows best: The new paternalism and Australian multicultural policy', Throwing the baby out with the bathwater: Curriculum as activism, Throwing the baby out with the bathwater: Curriculum as activism, Social Justice in Early Childhood Group, Sydney.
Ho, C. 2007, 'Building community capacity in a hostile climate: Working with culturally diverse communities', Local Community Services Association Conference, Sydney.
Ho, C. 2007, 'Hijacking feminism: The politics of women's rights in contemporary Australia', Bankstown Town Hall.
Ho, C. 2006, 'Muslim Women's new defenders: Womens rights, nationalism and Islamophobia in contemporary Australia', Borderpolitics of Whiteness, Macquarie University, Sydney.
Ho, C. & Dreher, T.I. 2006, 'Where has all the anti-racism gone?', New Racisms, New Anti-racisms, Research Institute for Humanitie and Social Sciences.
Ho, C. 2006, 'A Christian, a Muslim and a Jew walk into a room ...: Inter-faith dialogue and the desecularisation of Australian multiculturalism', Everyday Multiculturalism, Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, Macquarie University.
Ho, C. 2005, 'Women crossing borders: Chinese women, migration and gender identity in Australia', Eighth Women in Asia Conference, UTS, Sydney, Australia.
Ho, C. 2005, 'Violence as social exclusion: CALD women in multicultural Australia', Refocusing Womenâs Experience of Violence conference, Bankstown Town Hall.
Ho, C. 2004, 'Seeking Sanctuary: Muslim Women and ' Security' in Australia post September 11', First International Sources of Insecurity Conference, International Sources of Insecurity Conference, RMIT Publishing, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-9.
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Ho, C. 2004, 'Doing Feminist Economics', Third Society of Heterdox Economists, University of NSW.
Ho, C. 2003, 'Success or Sacrifice? Chinese women's employment experience in Australia', Society of Heterodox Economists, University of NSW.
Ho, C. 2003, 'Skilled Migration: Behind the Success Story. A critical look at current Australian literature on migrant employmnet experiences.', Creating Spaces: Interdisciplinary Writings in the Social Sciences, Australian National University.
Ho, C. 2002, 'Migration Experiences of Chinese Women in Australia', Australian Migration & Ethnic Relations in a Period of Changing International Relations, University of Sydney.
Ho, C. 2001, 'Migration as Feminism? Experiences of Settlement and Employment of Chinese Migrant Women in Australia', Australian Sociological Association, University of Sydney.
Ho, C. 2001, 'Immigration, Multiculturalism and Australian National Identity', Australian Malaysia and Singapore Association, Sydney.

Journal articles

Ho, C., Vincent, E. & Butler, R. 2015, 'Everyday and cosmo-multiculturalisms: doing diversity in gentrifying school communities', Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 658-675.
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Gentrification is transforming the class and ethnic profile of urban communities across the world, and changing how people deal with social and cultural difference. This paper looks at some of the social consequences of gentrification in Sydney, Australia, focusing on local schools. It argues that in this urban Australian context, the influx of middle-class Anglo-Australians into traditionally working-class, migrant-dominated areas is significantly changing how people relate to each other within local schools, often fragmenting and dividing school communities. These shifts are intensified by the public policy of school choice, which has enabled some parents to bypass their local school for a more 'desirable' one. This paper presents a close local study of two schools within one gentrifying Sydney suburb, examining how the schools have become more polarised. In particular, we examine how this demographic polarisation has given rise to two distinct modes of 'doing diversity', namely, 'everyday' and 'cosmo-multiculturalisms'. While the former is about daily, normalised encounters across difference, the latter is a form of multiculturalism based on strategic and learned 'appreciation' and consumption of difference, characteristic of gentrified communities.
Ho, C. 2014, 'Creativity, Culture and Cosmopolitanism: Community arts in multicultural Sydney', Japan Social Innovation Journal, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1-8.
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Ho, C. 2014, 'Everyday Diversity', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: an interdisciplinary journal, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 134-150.
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Ho, C. 2012, 'Western Sydney is hot! Community arts and changing perceptions of the West', Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 35-55.
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This article examines the cultural renaissance of Western Sydney, long considered a crass, working-class cultural wasteland. In the last two decades, the region has experienced a proliferation of new artistic initiatives, and advocates now hail Sydneys West as the true face of multicultural Australias cultural vitality. This article also documents how community arts and development programs have contributed to these shifting perceptions, analysing these contributions in terms of social impact evaluation. It argues that evaluating social impact expands the parameters of conventional evaluation techniques, which typically focus on program-level outputs and outcomes. It presents a case study of a Western Sydney community organisation, Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), which, for 20 years, has delivered community cultural development and professional development programs for Western Sydney artists. Engaging with historically disadvantaged communities, the organisation has specialised in art forms that have resonated with the region, including hip hop, digital storytelling, and filmmaking, and in the process has played a key role in re-imagining Western Sydney as a cutting edge, multicultural hub of creative vibrancy.
Onyx, J., Ho, C., Edwards, M., Burridge, N. & Yerbury, H. 2011, 'Scaling Up Connections: Everyday Cosmopolitanism, Complexity Theory & Social Capital', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 47-67.
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One of the key questions of contemporary society is how to foster and develop social interactions which will lead to a strong and inclusive society, one which accounts for the diversity inherent in local communities, whether that diversity be based on differences in interest or diversity in language and culture. The purpose of this paper is to examine three concepts which are used in the exploration of social interactions to suggest ways in which the interplay of these concepts might provide a richer understanding of social interactions. The three concepts are everyday cosmopolitanism, complexity theory and social capital. Each provides a partial approach to explanations of social interactions. Through focussing on social networking as a significant example of social interactions, we will demonstrate how the concepts can be linked and this linking brings potential for a clearer understanding of the processes through which this inclusive society may develop.
Ho, C. 2011, 'Respecting the Presence of Others: School Micropublics and Everyday Multiculturalism', Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 605-621.
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This paper critically engages with the concept of `everyday multiculturalism, which advocates argue is a more productive way of understanding the reality of multiculturalism in contemporary Australia, as opposed to moral panics about `home-grown terrorism, ghettoes and ethnic crime. Everyday multiculturalism, it is argued, can be found in `micropublics of cross-cultural encounter, in many of the social settings of everyday life, including schools, workplaces and neighbourhoods. This paper focuses on schools in particular, to show that everyday multiculturalism is highly uneven in its distribution, and that significant cultural polarisation is occurring within Sydneys secondary schools. However, it reiterates the importance of schools as potential micropublics, as they are ideal sites for fostering a respect for the presence of Others, which can coexist with tension and conflict.
Ho, C. 2010, 'Responding To Orientalist Feminism', Australian Feminist Studies, vol. 25, no. 66, pp. 433-439.
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As Hester Eisenstein shows in her essay in this issue, the sudden concern for women has come from neo-conservatives like George W. Bush, who are not known for their support for feminism. Yet feminism is `essential to the war on terror, Eisenstein writes, enabling Islamic societies to be condemned as `uniquely oppressive to women (Eisenstein this issue). I explore this appropriation of feminism as Orientalist feminism, a feminism that is ultimately about constructing a binary opposition between a civilised West and an uncivilised East. My main goal is to explore how feminists can respond to this discourse.
Ho, C. & Dreher, T.I. 2009, 'Not Another Hijab Row: New Conversations on Gender, Race, Religion and the Making of Communities', International Feminist Journal of Politics, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 114-125.
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Ho, C. 2009, 'Cross Cultural Collaboration: Opportunities and Challenges', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 52-62.
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This paper introduces the next section of this special issue, which examines the politics of cross-cultural collaboration to resist racism and war. In an era defined by a `War on Terror which has transformed both foreign policy and domestic community relations, social movements need to find more effective ways of bringing activists together to respond to the Islamophobia and aggressive forms of nationalism that have emerged in countries like Australia. However, as the paper shows, collaboration across cultures is a fraught and potentially dangerous process. In outlining some of the challenges of cross-cultural collaboration, the paper aims to contribute to more informed and critical practices within social movements mobilising against the `War on Terror, whether internationally or at home
Ho, C. 2008, 'Diversifying Feminism: Migrant Women's Activism in Australia', Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 777-783.
Ho, C. 2008, 'Diversifying feminism: Migrant women's activism in Australia', Signs, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 777-784.
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Ho, C. & Dreher, T.I. 2007, 'Not another hijab row: New conversations on gender, race, religion and the making of communities', Transforming Cultures eJournal, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1-14.
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Headscarves in schools. Sexual violence in Indigenous communities. Muslim women at public swimming pools. Polygamy. Sharia law. Outspoken Imams on sexual assault. Integration and respect for women. It seems that around the world in the media and public debate, womens issues are at the top of the agenda. Yet all too often, support for womens rights is proclaimed loudest by conservative politicians intent on policing communities and demonising Muslims during the war on terror. This edition of the Transforming Cultures eJournal offers critical reflections on the contemporary politics of gender, race and religion, and provides a platform for those perspectives which are too often sidelined in the debate, perspectives that seek to go beyond simplistic debates such as hijab: to ban or not to ban? or Muslim women: oppressed or liberated?
Ho, C. 2007, 'Muslim women's new defenders: Women's rights, nationalism and Islamophobia in contemporary Australia', Women's Studies International Forum, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 290-298.
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In recent years, Australian nationalism has been increasingly framed against a dangerous Muslim other. This article offers a gendered analysis of this nationalism, arguing that a discourse of protecting women's rights has enabled Islam to be portrayed as inherently misogynistic and therefore a threat to Australia's egalitarian culture.
Ho, C. 2007, 'How the Chinese became Australians', Australian Review of Public Affairs, vol. November.
Ho, C. 2007, 'How the Chinese became Australians', Australian Review of Public Affairs, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 1-1.
Ho, C. 2006, 'Migration as feminisation? Chinese womens experiences of work and family in Australia', Journal Of Ethnic And Migration Studies, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 497-514.
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Like many Western governments, the Australian government increasingly views migration through the lens of economic efficiency, arguing that skilled professionals achieve the best employment outcomes and therefore constitute the ideal migrant. This paper
Ho, C. 2006, 'Women Crossing Borders: The Changing Identities of Professional Chinese Migrant Women in Australia', Portal, Journal of Multidisciplinary international Studies, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 1-16.
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Around the western world, migration programs are increasingly targeting skilled professionals as governments view migration through the lens of economic efficiency. The majority of Australias migration intake now comprises skilled migrants, chosen for their human capital attributes. However, once skilled migrants arrive in Australia, they confront many barriers to re-establishing their careers in a new labour market. This paper uses qualitative and quantitative data to explore the consequences of this career disruption for professional women from Hong Kong, who often find themselves reorienting their identities and values away from the world of work and towards non-market-based spheres of life, such as family, leisure and self-development. This evolution challenges the Australian governments economistic definitions of social citizenship, where migrants are seen almost exclusively as economic beings. Despite the governments objectives, for many new arrivals, migration to Australia is an opportunity to explore other, non-economic, aspects of life.
Alcorso, C. & Ho, C. 2006, 'Migrant Women and the Australian Information Communications and Technology Sector: A Special Case?', Labour and Industry: a journal of the social and economic relations of work, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 109-131.
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Ho, C. 2006, 'Gang Rapes and the "cultural timebomb"', Australian Review of Public Affairs, vol. September.
Ho, C. 2006, 'Cronulla, Conflict and Culture', Wo Magazine, vol. 4, no. Dec/Jan.
Ho, C. 2006, 'Girls like us, boys like them', Australian Financial Review, vol. 29 Septemb.
Ho, C. 2006, 'China's brain drain is our brain waste', The Sydney Morning Herald, vol. 21 Septemb.
Ho, C. 2004, 'Migrants and employment: Challenging the success story', Journal of Sociology, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 237-259.
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Reports

Ho, C. Queensland Department of Industrial Relations 2003, Clothing Industry and Outworker Profile, Brisbane.
Ho, C. 2002, A statistical, ethic and geographical profile of clothing outworkers and the clothing industry in New South Wales.