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Category: Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »

Joe Caputo about ethnic groups and political parties

Joe Caputo.

Joe Caputo describes the relation between ethnic groups and political parties



Date Added:

17 February 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

7.9 MB




When the communities first arrive – they tend to settle and be primarily near and within their own group for – I think – for obvious reasons. People when they move into an area, they like a certain amount of security and stuff and they find it within their own group because of the language. And that’s why people tend to gravitate to one area more than another. So certain areas became known as the Italian area, or Greek area or whatever.

Because people generally tend to go where their friends are or people from their same town or their same area and they go to those areas. So – at the beginning, there were not very much, if you like, intermingling between the various groups. But there were other things that brought people together, you know, and there were the various political parties. You know, there were left-wing parties, brought a lot of different people together. I was a member of the Communist Party and in an area like Brunswick, you had people, you know, from the all over the wold– you had Jewish who had migrated here in the ’50 – you know in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s making up a strong part of that party.

And then you had people from all over the world, it was genuine internationalist party, small but definitely reflecting the – if you like, the emerging multicultural nature of our area.

Non English speaking people were not however joining very much to the Labor Party in those days. It was only after - later on after the demise of the Communist Party in the ‘70s and in the early ‘80s that virtually the – the Communist Party became non-existent or that people resigned for whatever reason, whether an ideological reasons or whatever. And then they got involved themselves with other bodies.

In terms of people mixing, there has to be something which goes beyond, just its own group. And I think that parties are a good. They are good mechanism if you like, that do bring people together from different backgrounds. Parties – such as the Labor Party and in the Labor Party you do find people from different backgrounds – and it also becomes if you like, mechanism to – for changes.

End transcript