Wednesday, September 30, 2009

#3 Money and Career (15 minutes around Postcode 2000)


Sydneysiders are hard-working, straight-talking and even addicted to work. They invest in clothes, fashion, weekends, food and real estate. They identify themselves by their jobs, and this dictates their perceived importance or status in life. But they will often take less money to make life more enjoyable.
True or False?



Pic on Flickr by Brianapa.


Mike Doyle said...

Again, I'll bring up the ethnic question - does this represent the majority of people (taking into account their variety of ethnicities) living within 15 minutes of your church?

You've already flagged that you can't include all people - just the majority of people. However - if the ABS is correct, the majority of people living in your postcode (74%) weren't born here.

I'm sure you've done thinking about this - and I would love to hear how it fits with your (admirable) goal of targeting the majority of people living around you.

Mike Doyle said...

Just adding some examples of where your statement may not "ring true" with many of the Asian Ethnicities in your area.

Can ethnically Chinese people be characterised as straight-talking? How does the identity question fit with this ethnic group - do they find their identity in their work, or in their family or ethnic origin? Would they give up money for more leisure time?

You may be right on the money - but after working in a Korean church the last two years, these questions come to mind.

I'm not trying to be a pain in the butt here (seriously!). However, with the hugely differing ethnic groups you have in your area, it strikes me as particularly hard to summarise the "majority" of people in simple statements. It's a complex issue. So I'd love to hear your thinking about how the wide ethnic variety of your area fits in with your thinking.

michael jensen said...

It is interesting that 3 and 4 are kinda in tension. I read somewhere that Sydney is one of the hardest working places in the world. But also a haven for leisure.

Mike Doyle said...

we work hard - we play hard.

mandy said...

most churches in Sydney either choose not to acknowledge this ethnic mix of our city, or are not equipped to effectively reach the "minorities" that are fast becoming a "majority"

Justin said...

@MD -- Like Redeemer, I am trying to work out something where even a person from a minority group would say -- 'Yes, that's true'. That is, in describing Sydney, they would say that we were resonating with their experience, even if it doesn't describe them. In fact, I submit that minority grouping would more likely resonate with this list than those for whom it describes.

I was in America. But when people said: "Americans X or Y or Z", I would be well placed to say if that were true or not.

That having been said, my Asian friends are not disagreeing with what I have written so far. They would add to it, and not agree to all of it (straight talking?), but they would resonate with it.

Happy -- very happy -- to hear otherwise.

Justin said...

@MJ -- nice observation.

Justin said...

@mandy -- But I'm not into negative assessment in this process. I'm quite done with it. Am looking for a way forward.

mandy said...

sorry, didn't mean it like that...

am actually more just wondering whether very different "approaches" are needed to reach people from different backgrounds (i.e. "Aussie" people becoming I guess like cross-cultural missionaries in their own city).
So...should we have some people who say "I am reaching *Chinese* in Sydney" whilst someone else says "I am reaching *Muslims* in Sydney" whilst another says "I'm reaching *Caucasians* in Sydney etc etc, or should we all try to reach out to people from any and every ethnic background??? so, do we apply a generalised "strategy" or do small groups of people trained in cross cultural skills reach out to specific groups within the community??

does that make any sense?? any thoughts? i'm wondering this stuff for many different reasons, mostly to do with what I'm up to at the moment, and some stuff I've been seeing and experiencing in other parts of Syd (e.g. inner west Auburn area etc) not just in reference to your blog post. It just made me think about it, that's all.

sorry for my comment that was rough around the edges (yet again :S

mandy said...

oh, and YES!!!! to finding a way forward :):)
If i was in postcode 2000 i'd be there with you all!!

Mike Doyle said...

Hey Justin

I suppose I have two further questions.

Firstly, are you after a description that people resonate with, and won't disagree with, or a description that (somewhat) accurately sums up? I thought you were after the latter - not the former.

Secondly - have you mixed up minority and majority groups? According to the ABS, the majority group in your area were born in Asian countries - only 16% were born in Australia (and even they could be ABCs with various deep connections with Asian cultures)

I guess I'm having trouble with how to define the "majority". You mentioned earlier that this list does not capture the many Asians in your area. However - that seems to actually rule out the majority of people in your area - and your statements seem to be Anglo-centric (though may not be?).

I suppose there could be certain ways you are working with this:
- Your "majority" statements may only include those you are targeting - which may consciously exclude various non-anglo ethnic groups.
- Your "majority" statements could actually consciously be including these non-anglo ethnic groups - if that is the case, I question them.
- The non-anglo ethnic groups may not even have registered in your thinking - and been accidentally excluded.

Mandy has brought up a good point regarding how specific statements even need to be.

Another question - in NYC, how many are born outside USA? How easily can this method transfer to Sydney?

Once again - I'm just exploring what questions rise in my mind as I follow your methodology, aware that we have a very ethnically diverse city, and Sydney Anglicans generally are not good at reaching people who aren't white middle class anglo-saxons. This certainly is not criticism.


fional said...

Coming from Tassie I'm speaking as something of an outsider, but perhaps that makes me more qualified to tell . . . Anyway this seems like a great description of the Anglos at least - and pinpoints much of what's so different about Sydney and Tassie culture.

fional said...

. . . except perhaps the last point. It could well be true, I just wouldn't have expected it. But maybe things have changed since the financial crisis.

A Friend said...

I would emphasise real estate even more. People are obsessed with real estate. House and home is important.

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