The thesis has examined the charges and continuities' within the Kytherian and Castellorizan family over three generations in Australia. It has documented their lives and has presented 'images' of the Greek family that have not been known before.
The first generation, the early Kytherian and Castellorizan settlers arrived as young unmarried men' worked hard for many years, acquired their own cafes and fish-shops and then settled down and raised a family. Although first generation Kytherian and Castellorizan family life varied due to their different places of settlement, both groups of people still maintained the traditional Greek family patterns in Australia. The first generation parents laid the foundation of 'Greekness'. They inculated within their children an awareness that they belonged to a distinct culture group of people which would be dissipated and destroyed if intermarriage occurred. This awareness was instilled into their children not out of loyalty to Greece but out of loyalty to the family.
Although the second generation Kytherian Greeks attempted to retain a certain between the different generations of Greeks by making their children aware of their Greek background and by warning them of the dangers of intermarriage as they had been warned, they also wrought major structural changes to Greek family life. The second generation took Greek family upbringing and adapted it to fit the Australian and form a completely new subculture which was neither Greek nor Australian but a strange mixture of both. The new Greek-Australian family that emerged had distinctive features which were not present in mainland Greece and were a product of changes within the Australian environment such as industrialisation urbanisation. The character of the new Greek-Australian family that emerged was also determined by changes in occupation and class from one generation to the next. The upbringing, the racism and the prejudice experienced by the second generation coupled with the above factors determined the nature of the new family that emerged.
Even with the third generation, 'loyalty to the family' and endogamous marriages were still very important aspects. Endogamy was supported by the third generation out of inherent loyalty to the Greek family and to their grandparents who were important formative influences in their lives. Although there were continuities from one generation to the next, changes had also occurred between the second and third generation in regard to attitudes toward education and career and attitudes towards Greek morality. The third generation were different from their parents. They were middle class children, born into middle class families and were totally detached from the initial migration experience. Their only contact with Greek culture was through their grandparents who were a major formative influence were not a result of the movement away from the core of the Greek culture but were caused by the different class position of the third generation. Thus 'ethnicity' is far from a sufficient explanation of changes within the Greek family in Australia. Other factors have played an important role in these changes.
Oral History captures... the vast penumbra of doubt; the extraordinary untidiness and ambiguity of life, above all the mystery of human personality...
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|Castellorizan Brotherhood picnic' Clarke Island: 1948.|
'The Illusion of Understanding: Making the Ambiguous Intelligible,' Oral History Review, 1977, p9.
This thesis seeks to fill some of the gaps which exist in the study of the family life of immigrants in Australia. Charles Price writing in 1963 identified this need in Southern Europeans in Australia:
|" Indeed the whole matter of southern European family life in Australia, and the extent to which the family customs and loyalty of each particular group survived amongst the second and third generation, requires considerably more research " (1)|
Studies that have dealt with migrant family life seem to have concentrated on first generation post-war migrants and their family dislocation. (2) They have not looked at the Greek family in Australia over a long period of time in order to see the changes and continuities that have occurred. If one is to look seriously at concepts such as 'assimilation' or 'integration' or 'cultural change' or whatever label one may choose to attach to the process by which an ethnic group changes and affects change in Australia, (3) one must
look at immigrant families over a long period of time. It is totally unrealistic to assume that change can occur within one generation. "Cultural change' is a slow process and cannot occur immediately. In order to examine the extent to which family customs and loyalty' survived and whether cultural change has occurred, the thesis will attempt to examine the Greek family over three generations in Australia. It will examine the life of the first generation' immigrants: the early settlers who came from mainland Greece and the islands. (4) It will discuss the type of life they led in Australian the early 1900s, 20s, 30s and 40s. It will examine how they settled, organised and survived, married and brought up a family. It will also look at the 'second generation'; the children of the early immigrants, who were born in Australia; and how their upbringing coupled with other influences within Australian society determined the family that was to later emerge. Finally the 'third generation', consisting of the grandchildren oft he first generation or the children of the second generation, will also be examined to determine what aspects of Greek culture they have retained and the changes that have occurred between the second and third generation. Although the thesis has focussed on
the evolution and change of the Greek family in Australia, it has also sought to document Greek family l: their recreation, ideas about Australia and Australians, to examine exactly what life was like for migrants living in Australia before the second World War to "...capture...the extraordinary untidiness and ambiguity of life, above all the mystery of human personality..." (5) and by so doing make the 'ambiguous' in life intelligible.
Researchers (6) have assumed and commented on the importance of the 'family' and its effect on the course of migration and settlement but have not sought to document it effectively. Suzanne Ziegler after conducting 87 interviews of Italian born young adults living in Toronto commented: "The importance of the family as an emotional support system, while generally assumed, is not well documented, although the emotional centrality of the family in migration is a dominant motif in descriptions given by young Italian immigrants of their experience". (7)
This thesis will seek to display the importance and centrality of the family in the actions and attitude of the first generation immigrants and their children and grandchildren. Although other issues are important in the history of immigrants in Australia, such as social and economic mobility, changes in occupation, political involvement and affiliation, these become subordinate to the importance of the family in the lives of Greek immigrants in Australia. By regarding the family as the unit of analysis one acquires a better understanding of why first generation immigrants strove desperately for financial security their children for educational advancement and their grandchildren's complacency. "...The strength of family authority, and the prevalence of wider family loyalties had so much to do with chain migration with the choice of occupations with the decision on where to settle".
In particular the thesis will concentrate on a study of pre- war Kytherian and Castellorizan Greeks' their children and grandchildren and will compare and contrast the family life of ,other these groups of people who settled in Australia during a similar time and in a greater number than the rest of the Greeks who migrated to Australia.
before World War II. European migration before the second World War was relatively slight compared with British, (9) and until the last quarter of the nineteenth century settlers from southern Europe were relatively insignificant. North-west and north-eastern Europeans (11) dominated nineteenth century migration from Europe to Australia. (12) However, between 1891 and 1940 the situation changed as nearly 50,000 southern Europeans arrived, an increase from eight to seventy-five per cent during this fifty year period. Pre-war southern European immigrants received no governmental assistance. Over 90 per cent came to their new land under the system of 'chain migration'. (14) The term 'chain migration' reaches back t the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when hundreds of migrants ere entering the United States each year.
|" Officials watching this great movement speedily became aware that one of the major factors involved was a letter to the home folks written by an enthusiastic settler and containing glowing descriptions of wages and conditions in the New World " (15)|
These letters which were sent home induced many immigrants to sell their property, mortgage their belongings so they could acquire the fares to come to Australia. Many of the first generation Kytherian and Castellorizan immigrants who were interviewed came to Australia as a result of this process. They had heard from an uncle returning to the island for a visit, or from friends of opportunities available in Australia. But the early Greek immigrants found it difficult to find a passage to Australia because
by the time the ships reached Egypt they were filled with British SO some went to France to find a berth or even stowed away so they could come.
Of the 50,000 southern Europeans who came to Australia before the Second World War 10,260 of these were Greeks, and 2,200 were from the island of Kythera and 1,293 from the island of Castellorizan. Greek settlement before the war was small and emanated from certain parts of Greece making the Greek community in Australia close--knit and relatively homogeneous, The process of 'chain migration' meant that early settlers were encouraging and in many cases sponsoring people from the same part of Greece. Greek migration to Australia did not represent sent a broad cross-section of the Greek population. Therefore we cannot talk of pre-war Greeks as a whole but of Greeks from a relatively small number of islands ports and inland districts, whore there were marked differences in dialect, traditions and social customs. (16) Thus in an effort to avoid making gross generalisations the thesis has concentrated specifically on Kytherian and Castellorizan Greeks, rather than attempt to coal with pre-war Greeks in general. These two islands along with the island of Ithaca provided 42 per cent of Greek male settlers before the war. (17) In reference to these early Greek settlers , Gillian Bottomley in her study of Greeks in Sydney had this to say:
|" Some of the elder settlers are now extremely wealthy; several are undoubtedly millionaires. They have developed life styles in keeping with their wealth, living in opulent home sin exclusive suburbs, dressing elegantly, and endowing their children with the benefits of wealth, such as expensive education, financial backing for professional sons, generous wedding settlements for daughters. These are the people who can support and guide the well established brotherhoods and pan-Hellenic organisations. Normally, they have minimal contact with the new arrivals who represent the lower strata of the Greek population, and whose life style contrasts accordingly with that of their wealthy compatriots. " (19)|
The historical study of the Castellorizan and Kytherian Greeks who formed the upper strata of the Greek community in
Australia, has been based predominantly oral history interviews. Oral history is a 'new' method in history which involves the recording of a section of the oral tradition known as "personal reminiscence" by a historian -interviewer. Some of its advocates maintain that oral history is nothing new but the oldest type of history' and trace its origins back to Herodotus. (20) However the method which involves the electronic recording of information on tape has more recent antecedents. 'Oral history' method dates back to 1942 when historian Allan Nevins formally used it to describe the history project he had established at Columbia university for the collection of new historical documentation for historians and other researchers in the future. Nevins conceived of the idea in the late 1930s while attempting to conduct h s research for a biography of Grover Cleveland and his associates most of whom had died without leaving historians a legacy of any Kind. Purely from an academic viewpoint, the historian wonder why could not men in public life, most of whom would never write their memoirs simply talk to an informed interviewer for the sake of history? They could be encouraged to speak candidly by having the right to check their remarks for accuracy and determine whether the material could be made public during their life time or several years after their death. (21) Although Neuins formally used the term in 1948, he did not invent it. The term itself was coined by a dissolute member of the, Greenwich Village literati named Joe Gould. According to a New Yorker profile of 1942, Gould was thought to have been writing "An Oral History of Our Time " in school exercise books.
|" As he described the oral history consisted of talk he had heed and had considered meaningful and had taken either verbatim or summarized from a remark overheard in the street to the conversation of a roomful of people lasting for hours... he once said to a detractor. 'It's only things I heard people say, but maybe I have a peculiar ability- maybe I can understand the significance of what people say, maybe I can read its inner meaning...' " (22)|
There is nothing which is particularly 'historical' about oral history interviewing techniques. They are the same as those used in Sociology, Social Anthropology, Folklore and in any discipline involved with the collecting and assessing of oral evidence. The difference between these disciplines lies in the essential purpose of their interviews. A Folklorist for example has been considered an Oral historian to the extent that he deals with the past and is concerned with preserving cultural survivals. The Folklorist may gather up along with folk material an immense amount of social history: "'stories about life in the old days' but that is not his primary concern." (23) Folklore is not just another source of history but is a discipline and a study in its own right. "It is one of the main forms developed for expressing human emotion, fantasies and dreams throughout history and its study helps us understand mankind's creative activities, to interpret man to man." (24) In oral history interviewing the purpose is to 'unearth' or 'rediscover' "...new documentation-even oral documentation that already exists..." (25) Thus although other disciplines are concerned with collecting oral evidence, what they are doing is not 'oral history'. They are using the same means 'oral interviewing techniques' towards a different end.
The use of oral history sources is "...of inestimable aid to the historian in certain areas of the past where contemporary historians to research areas such as immigrant history, studies of the family and feminism. " (26) In the field of family history, for example, internal patterns of behavior and relationships are generally inaccessible without oral evidence." (27)
However many historians have looked upon oral history and oral history sources with a slightly dubious eye. Oral history has been viewed instant history". The collecting of oral evidence has been seen as an easy option- painless history - and has given rise to a crop of books that could not conceivably be classified as history at all, and in one or two instances not even the material for history. (28) As a result of this and also because oral sources carry with them intrinsic problems which make the checking evidence rather difficult, not impossible at times' ora1 history method has been largely avoided by the majority of historians. Of course not all oral evidence is impossible to check it depends on what sort of information one is collecting. If for example the historian is collecting basic demographic data, such as year of marriage, number of children, year of err arrival in Australia and so on then this type of information which Krupinski calls (29) 'hard data can easily be verified. But when one moves from the realm of concrete facts to the arena of ideas then one has to contend with different problems. The history of ideas, people's attitudes and perceptions about themselves which oral history is particularly adapt at capturing, though useful and necessary, is considerably harder to verify and quantify in any conventional way. Historians should therefore be aware of the defects of this type of source material. Such things as the failure on the part of inexperienced interviewers as a result of ineffective techniques; the defective memories of the interviewees; the occasional efforts of individuals to confuse dates, events and names; the lack of ready reference to documentary material; the tendency to exaggerate, the inability of any individual to know the whole story of any event in which he was involved. (30)
Furthermore, when compared to written memoirs oral memoirs are likely to be rambling, poorly organised, and difficult to use. They are also likely to be done pretty much off the top of the interviewee's head without the benefit of long reflection or the extensive checking of documents. This means that factual inaccuracies will likely be more numerous, chronology will be reversed names and events will be confused; the human memory is an imperfect instrument. (31)
But does this mean that written memoirs or written sources are any more reliable or "truthful"? Some historians would maintain that oral history "cannot rank with an authentic diary, with a contemporary stock report, or with an eye witness account transcribed on the day of the event. But it is probably ranked above contemporary hearsay - evidence." (32) However, written sources are not impervious to subjectivity and biases. Some historians seem to think that as soon as sources are written down they become fact. This is because there is strong prejudice within the society against the 'spoken word'. "Members of literate societies find it difficult to shed the prejudice of contempt for the spoken word... (33) But it is only the middle class in that society which leave any written records. The working classes and immigrants who are part of them do not function with the aid of the written word. Thus, any researcher/ historian who wants to conduct research in these area will need to rely on the spoken word'. He will need to rely on people's reminiscences of the past and will have to "...unlearn this prejudice (against the spoken word)...in order to rediscover the full wonder of words: the shades of meaning they convey to those who ponder them". (34)
Regardless of this, oral history has been perceived by some as little more than an expensive fishing expedition. It has been considered a 'waste of time' because of its inherent subjective and partisan qualities. (35) Paul Thompson, a leader in Oral History method
in England and the founder of the Oral History Association stresses that
|" social statistics...no more represent absolute facts than newspaper reports, private letters, or published biographies. Like recorded interview material, they all represent, either from individual 'endpoints' or aggregated, the social perception of facts; and are all in addition subject to social pressures from the context in which they are obtained. With these forms of evidence, what we receive is social meaning and it is this which must be evaluated. " (36)|
Thus the techniques of oral history should not be considered inferior but should carry the same weight as the use of conventional documentary sources. (37)
Admittedly the historian who deals with oral sources will find it harder to roach the "truth" but what the historian is generally trying to do is to arrive at some approximation to the ultimate historical truth. "And here the historian using oral tradition finds himself on exactly the same level as historians using any other kind of historical source material. No doubt he will arrive at a lower degree of probability than would otherwise be obtained , but that does not rule out the fact that what he is doing is valid and that it is history. (38) Given that oral history sources have various limitations and that many times they deal with a person entire)' at the level of his own ability to perceive and articulate them are still tests which are available to verify their authenticity. "The assumption that 'Oral Tradition'... is somehow impervious to many of the factors which historians usually take into account of in critical assessment of sources is false". (39) There a obvious safeguards to be observed. There is the need to cross-check and to allow for personal prejudices, romantic memories, special interests, lack of direct involvement, exaggeration and so on. But the most vital point that one must realize when looking at a historical study based on oral history sources is that "there are no absolute rules to indicate the reliability of oral evidence, any more than
First, Second & Third Generations
that of other historical sources...searching for internal consistency, cross-checking details from other sources, weighing evidence against a wider context are just the same as for other sources. All are fallible and subject to bias. (40) With these points about oral history methodology kept in mind, thirty-three history interviews were conducted of the first , second and third generation of Kytherian and Castellorizan Greeks.
(click on photo to enlarge)
|First, Second & Third Generations|
After the oral history interviews were taped, an excessive amount of time was required to transcribe and translate them verbatim before they were ready to be used. The interviews which were conducted ranged in time from 45 minutes to two hours, but on the average they were 90 minute interviews. Ninety minutes of tape required 16 to 20 hours of solid work to transcribe. Transcriptions had to be one carefully to ensure that the person interviewed would not be misquoted; as a word left out or heard and transcribed incorrectly could change the meaning of a whole person's account. As the interviews are primary documents it was important that this did not occur. Transcription of tapes therefore required a large amount of concentration and could not be done for long intervals. This means that the processing of the oral history tapes was very slow. Translations of tape from Greek to English required even more time and a ninety minute interview usually took 32 hours to translate. Eight of the eleven first generation interviews were translated from Greek to English. (41) Although, the oral history interviewing is very interesting, the processing of the oral history tapes is very time-consuming and tedious.
Besides the oral history interviews, family portraits and albums were collected from the people interviewed The photographs date back to the early 1°COs and early 1920's and depict an aspect of Australia's which would not have been known and seen before. The photographs add, extra dimension to the oral history interviews. They are pictorial primary documents of Greek immigrant life in Australia. Apart from the photographs collected from the Kytherian and Castellorizan people interviewed the thesis contains photographs of Greek, mainly Kytherian, Oyster saloons, Refreshment rooms and tea rooms in existence around 1916 in Sydney and the N.S.W country towns. Some of these photographs come from a book ,published in Greek in 1916 in Sydney why a Kytherian named John Comino who was then the president of the Greek community of N.S.W. and Queensland. (42)
Apart from the photographs contained within the thesis, the people interviewed for the study of the Greek finally in Australia were not selected with any random sampling in mind. The only criterion used was that the people be of Kytherian or Castellorizan descent. This approach was adopted because a study of the family is such a personal and sensitive area to research that many people do not want to disclose personal information to a researcher regardless or whether that researcher is of Greek or Anglo-Saxon descent. thus one is fortunate enough just to find people who are prepared to speak on the subject. Thus the lifestyle and attitudes reflected by the entire Kytherian and Castellorizan images of Greek family life in Australia which had not been known. The conclusions presented on Greek family life in Australia which had not been known. The conclusions present don Greek family life in Australia are rather than a definite analysis of Greek-Australian family life. A study of thirty three people, no matter how intensive cannot hope to cover the area sufficiently.
The people interviewed were asked questions covering all aspects of their life. The interviews were very extensive. However they focussed particularly on the family. The people interviewed
were asked questions related to four genera1 areas. The first section dealt with their parents background, their background, how they came to Australia, why and by what means. The second section dealt with their pre-marital life. Life in their family of procreation was discussed, their relationship with their parents, family intimacy or lack of it, their adolescence and their education. The third section of the interview covered their conjugal family, role expectations between husband and wife which was particularly pertinent to the second and third generation and most importantly they were asked about upbringing and attitude towards children. Although these wore the general areas discussed, the interviews varied from general on to generation and from one parson to the next. Thus the interviews had to be relatively open-ended and loosely structured. (examples of oral history interviews from the three generations are contained in Appendix 1. The rest of the interviews are held by the writer.) During the course of the interviews, what became obvious was that neat systematic analysis of Greek-Australian life was virtually impossible and unrealistic. The oral history interview is an interpersonal relationship which involves a high degree of sensitivity, empathy and understanding on the part o, the interviewer. An understanding that there is a point beyond which a scholar cannot go. A historian who uses oral history method for obtaining information cannot expect to have all his questions answered.
Remarkably the people being interviewed for this historical study of Kytherian and Castellorizan family life in Australia were
prepared to offer a lot of persona1 information on the condition that their names do not appear in the study. Hence the names presented
in this thesis are fictitious. They have been contrived by the writer and bear no relation to anyone in the Greek community who may happen to possess them. The people's desire for secrecy was understandable given the nature of the research. They offered a lot of very useful information which they did not want made public. The writer was at an advantage being of Greek origin for a lot of information was given, it was not possible for information to be obtained on all issues under discussion. Amongst the first generation, and the second generation of the 1930s and 1940s, the question of 'morality' and 'sexual mores' were particularly sensitive issues which could not be pursued with many. While the third generation was very candid about their personal attitudes to morality.
Some of the early Kytherian and Castellorizan settlers who were interviewed were prepared to discuss their early single life and their attempts to establish themselves in business in pre-war Australia, but were not as willing to discuss the organisation of their family life. Grandmothers in particular, seemed generally disinclined to discuss personal details about their married children's family life as this would be considered disloyal. A general discussion of the hardship encountered during the early years in the cafes and fish shops was instead favored. Some people did not feel comfortable about criticizing or even offering an opinion about the Australian family and culture. Instead they attempted to give the impression of totally accepting the Australian way of life. In general, the people being interviewed were naturally concerned with giving a positive image of themselves, their family life and their children. The main thing which became evident through the course of the oral history interviews was that many of the people interviewed had taken a lot of things for granted within the Greek culture and had never sought to examine them. Some had never though about the question asked and could not answer them. Some people were very articulate about experience within their life, their family and their culture, others were not. Thus although a lot of interesting information on the Greek family life in Australia was collected it is far from complete. Nevertheless, these omissions in evidence also tell us a great deal about the type of people being interviewed.
When one looks at the secondary sources available on the Greek family in Australia, similar omission are evident. The studies that exist on the Greek family center on a discussion of first generation post-war migrants and their family dislocation and problems. (44) They discuss they way first generation migrant families are affected as they are transplanted from a rural to urban environment: "the change of role and role expectations which result in conflict within the family and may, together with economic, language and other problems, give rise to number of psychological arises and endanger the welfare
(click on photo to enlarge)
|Store Owned by Cordato Brothers who from Kythera in 1901. Casino N.S.W. 1916.|
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|Greek Batptism Casino N.S.W. 1916 showing the Cordato Family, Casino N.S.W. 1916.|
of the family as a whole and the mental and physical health of its individual members". (45) However the pre war Greek family did not buffer from these crises. They struggled but nevertheless led an harmonious family existence. Charles Price who wrote the definite study of pre-war southern European settlers in Australia explained that "an appreciable number of immigrants to Australia did not arrive green from their homes in southern Europe but already had experience of life in other countries. (46) Such groups as the Kytherian Greeks had traveled extensively throughout United States, Egypt, South Africa and Australia. The Castellorizan had also traveled before arriving in Australia, mainly to Egypt. He maintains that these people may have been better placed to cope with new conditions and adapt themselves successfully to Australian conditions. (47) The Bulletin presenting a series of articles on the newly evolving heterogeneous Australian family in 1976 took Price's possible explanation about Pre-war migrants and presented it as fact in the article on the Greek family in Australia. The article on the Greeks attempted to explain away the difference between pre- and post war Greek migrant life by attributing it to the personality of pre-war migrants themselves.
|" The reason for the contrasting experiences of migration is simply that post-war assisted migrants have come from a slightly different background from the individualistic islanders who began the Greek settlement of Australia before 1940... is not a subjective statement: Dr Price has figures to prove it... According to Price, one fifth of all Greek settlers before World War Two had prior experience of living in other countries pre-war Greeks, in fact, we happily absorbed because they had the requisite cosmopolitan background to do. " (48)|
The study of the family life of Castellorizan and Kytherian Greeks has shown that the early settlers were far from cosmopolitan if anything they were insular, inward-moving and very restrictive. The lack of conflict and dislocation within their families and their economic success can be more attributed to conditions prevalent in
pre-war Australia rather than their well traveled background. The pre-war Kytherian and Castellorizan immigrants did not suffer from the crises experienced by post-war Greek migrants mainly because they came to a "different' Australia, a country which was not highly industrialized and urbanized. (49) Furthermore the Kytherians and Castellorizans came as young unmarried settlers and were able to learn the language quickly. (50) The pre-war Kytherians and Castellorizans formed part of migration chains which led to communities of self-employed businessmen- cafe owners, restaurateurs, farmers and fishermen, as that was the work the original settlers set out to do, and that was the only type of employment available. These occupations afforded them the opportunity to buy their own home and business, get married and support a wife and children comfortably. There was no necessity for anyone to work outside the family in factory employment. Thus the original family the immigrants brought out with them was not drastically disrupted. The post-war chains that have proliferated since Greek assisted migration began in 1952 led in the first place to the factory processline- because that is what Australia wanted migrants to do and it is these families that have experienced severe family dislocation and conflict. (51)
Apart from the of many studies of pre-war Greek family life in Australia, there are also no studies of three generations of Greeks in Australia to examine the development of the Greek family over a long period of time. However in America, three generational studies of the Greek family are available. These studies examining the evolution of the Greek family in America have also stressed the importance of the family in immigrant history. Nicholas Tavuchis in his study of the "Family and Mobility Among Greek-Americans", (52) stressed the importance the family and intergenerational ties (53) and
intergenerational (54) ties amongst the second generation Greek-Americans residing in the New Jersey-New York area. This study found that relationships based on blood and marriage in urban environment were vigorous and durable. Pressures from kinship loyalties ware accepted as legitimate and binding, brought gratification, emotional security and a sense of identity and solidarity. A keen appreciation was recorded of the values the first generation brought out with them from Greece such as respect for hard work deferred gratification belief in social mobility, and prestige to the family by achievement. Helen Capanidou- Lauquier's study in 1961 of "Cultural Change Among Three Generations of Greeks" in the South Western city of San Antonio Texas, found in her interviews of 27 families that
|" The family and the Greek Orthodox Church are the two institutions primarily responsible for preserving Greek culture into the third generation. All Greek families expect their children to marry within the Greek group and the Greek Orthodox Church. As long as this expectation prevails certain aspects of the culture pertaining to religion and the family will probably be transmitted to future generations. " (55)|
Although this Australian study of the three generations of Kytherian and Castellorizan Greeks did not have identical findings, the importance of the family and endogamy was evident even till the third generation. Professor George Kourvetaris' chapter on "The Greek American Family" which is also an analysis of the Greek family over three generations in America found that "For the Greek immigrant as for other late immigrant groups, religion and family became the differentiating ethnic institutions that set them apart from the early northwestern European immigrant groups". (57)
By using American research on Greek immigration the thesis has attempted to place Australian immigration, particularly Greek immigration in Australia into a wider 'world context'. Charles Price also notes the value of using research done on immigrant groups in America. "These countries have many social institutions and activities similar to those of Australia, so that comparison helps to set the Australian experience in a more general context". (58) This way the researcher does not fall into
the trap of interpreting the characteristics of Greek migration as unique to Australia, that is totally a product the Australian experience. George Kourvetaris in a review of Michael Tsounis' chapter on "Greek Communities in Australia" (59) , criticizes him for failing to look at research done on the Greeks in America.
|" If the author had bothered to read some of the writings on the Greeks and other immigrants to North America (United States particularly), he would find that similar problems of adjustment and cultural conflict were observed in the formative years among Greek immigrants to the United States. " (60)|
Furthermore, the thesis has attempted to place the Greek family in a broader context by not only looking at studies done on the Greek family in America but by examining the changes within what may be loosely called the 'Australian' family. (61) However studies on the Australian family are very few. Elkins' classic monograph "Marriage and the Family in Australia", published in 1957 has not been superceded. (62) In the absence of sufficient studies of the Australian family, information was gained in regard to attitudes and morality within the pre-war Australian families though discussions with people living at the time.
One comes up with similar problems when trying to locate studies on the Greek family in Greece. The studies that do exist in English and that are available in Australia have been used. Although Panos Bardis and C. Safilios-Rothschild supplied sufficient information on the rural and urban family in Greece respectively, these studies may be considered slightly out of date. Bardis did his research in the 1950s on the rural Greek family (63) , and Safilios-Rothchild most recent study on the urban Greek family in
Athens was done during 1970-71. (64) Even though changes in the family may have occurred within the last few years in Athens and rural Greece, they would not have been extensive enough to warrant a reappraisal of the existing literature on the Greek family. (65) Studies of the changes in family life on the island have been non-existent and recent information on the developments and continuities on the island of Kythera and Castellorizo has been obtained from the people interviewed.
Thus by placing the Greek family in Australia in a broader context and not treating it as though it existed in a vacuum the thesis has avoided explaining cultural change and behavior of ethnic groups totally in terms of ethnicity'. Dr Jean I. Martin at a seminar/workshop an "Immigration Policies and Research for the 1980s", voiced alarm at the "...glibness of cultural explanations of behavior... which says that people behavior like this because they are Greeks, Italians or Lebanese or something-then are Greeks, Italians or Lebanese or something-then you've explained behavior? You've explained nothing at all! You're just pushing the explanation one step further". (66) .