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'At least you're the right colour': Identity and social inclusion of Bosnian refugees in Australia

Colic-Peisker, V. (2005) 'At least you're the right colour': Identity and social inclusion of Bosnian refugees in Australia. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 31 (4). pp. 615-638.

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This paper explores the Australian resettlement of the largest recent refugee group, Bosmans. It is argued that Bosnians (and other ex-Yugoslavs) were Australia's preferred humanitarian immigrants during the 1990s because of their European background (based on social-cohesion and 'resettlement-potential' arguments) and because of the presence of ex-Yugoslav communities in Australia which were expected to support newly arrived refugees during their early resettlement (the 'community argument'). The 'whiteness'/'Europeanness' of Bosnians enabled them to remain largely 'invisible' in the country they perceived as 'white Australia' and to initially claim an 'insider status'. For many people, however, this self-inclusion is thwarted in the second stage of resettlement when they are expected to find jobs and 'acculturate', as the language barrier and their non-English-speaking background become a basis of difference and potential exclusion. Their economic and social inclusion thus appears to be determined by factors beyond visibility and remains limited almost a decade after the largest wave of Bosnians arrived in Australia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: Carfax Publishing Ltd.
Copyright: © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd.
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