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Cultural justice, community development and onshore refugees in Australia

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Abstract

Qualitative studies undertaken in Australia suggest that the temporary protection visa (TPV) inhibits successful refugee resettlement. A community development intervention has begun to address the redistributive and recognitive injustices faced by refugees on TPVs, pointing to the need for more precise concepts than social inclusion when discussing refugee resettlement.

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... These conditions have been documented and highlighted in the refugee studies literature around the world. Similar results have indeed been found in research with asylum seekers in Australia (see Humpage & Marston, 2005), Canada (Lacroix, 2004(Lacroix, , 2006(Lacroix, , 2009Beiser, 2006), Finland (Valtonen, 1994), Italy (Korác, 2003), and Sweden (Lindencrona et al., 2008). Other common themes regarding the experiences of asylum seekers include uncertainty about their situation, precariousness of their status, and loss of control over their own lives. ...
... Structural issues related to policy are increasingly analysed as the main source of individual ill-being. In their study of refugees with temporary protective status in Australia, Humpage and Marston (2005) conclude that psychological distress and ill adjustment experienced by refugees are a direct result of policy. For Sales (2002), portraying asylum seekers as 'undeserving' versus the 'deserving' refugees in Britain is creating a new social category of people and promoting social exclusion. ...
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Asylum seekers, refugees who are resettled in third countries or those who are forced into refugee camps, present new challenges to social work practitioners. In an attempt to advance theory and develop specialised practice in the area of refugee studies within social work as an international profession, we argue that whatever the flight context, the country of asylum or of resettlement, there is a process underlying what Malkki referred to as refugeeness. This article focuses on the situation of Iraqi refugees in Jordan as an example of the challenges that confront today's refugees. We show that salient issues raised in a local community centre's needs assessment mirror those elements that are central to integration processes that have been discussed in much of the refugee studies literature across the world. We show how these concerns are closely linked to processes that resettled refugees and asylum seekers face, regardless of the country of resettlement. We introduce a framework for analysing an individual refugee's situation and show how an international phenomenon is linked to local practice.
... Vi har funnit det meningsfullt att diskutera denna frågeställning med utgångspunkt i Nancy Frasers (en amerikansk filosof och feministisk teoretiker) distinktion mellan erkännande och omfördelning. Denna distinktion har använts i flera sammanhang just för att analysera situationen för personer med funktionsnedsättningar, men också exempelvis rörande flyktingars möjligheter och då framförallt beträffande social rättvisa (Jerlinder, Danemark & Gill, 2009;Danemark & Coniavitis Gellerstedt, 2004;Rather & Caroll, 2001;Humpage & Marston, 2005). ...
... This struggle for personal agency in a confusing and complicated system can be very undermining. Those neighbourhoods where refugees have settled well have likely had a range of projects involving professionals and local people that have combined work on these three fronts (see for instance, Humpage and Marston, 2005;Zetter, Griffiths and Zigona, 2005 ). Skilled community development workers know how to join the dots, between groups, projects, issues and local resources so as to create linkages and bridges for people. ...
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The field of human services is increasingly adopting narrow practice approaches, driven by contemporary funding priorities. Such approaches reflect a reductionist understanding of human need, and run contrary to the wisdom, accumulated knowledge, experience, evidence and ethics of social and community development work. Drawing from a small group of refugee women's accounts of everyday challenges as well as their efforts to develop personal agency in resettlement, this paper highlights the mismatch between the complexities that such women face in everyday settlement processes and the focus of services available to them. It argues for a more responsive person-in-environment focus that could enable and enhance women's own efforts and aspirations for themselves and their children. The current tendency towards case management and away from community development is contributing to what we call the diminishing architecture of community development, and therefore represents a shift that is difficult to reverse. Refugee settlement work requires developmental actions within the cultural group, between new arrivals and the host community, and between new arrivals and the host society's resources systems and structures. Concurrently, the field needs to reclaim a broader paradigm of human service practice allowing for joined up, locality-based, capacity building work that is responsive to people, contexts and specific issues emerging over time. A broader funding paradigm that values social and community knowledge and Downloaded from practice, locality work and enables on-going, incremental, proactive changes is also needed.
... Unsurprisingly, it is the main cause of the weakening economic situations of families, deterioration of quality of life, increasing tension and stress within households, and the adoption of harmful behaviours such as family violence, prostitution and child labour (Fafo Research Foundation, 2007; Schinina et al., 2008 ). Results such as these, of living with a precarious asylumseeker status, have been found in other studies throughout the world (for Australia, see Humpage and Marston, 2005; for Canada see Beiser, 2006; Lacroix, 2004 Lacroix, , 2006 for Finland, see Valtonen, 1994; for Italy, see Korác, 2003; and for Sweden, see Lindencrona et al., 2008). Though the vast majority of Iraqis in Jordan are struggling for legal recognition , recent field studies have shown that there is a noticeable difference between segments of the population; for example, highly educated Iraqis are granted working visas more frequently than others. ...
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