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Discrimination and Well-Being: Perceptions of Refugees in Western Australia

Fozdar, F. and Torezani, S. (2008) Discrimination and Well-Being: Perceptions of Refugees in Western Australia. International Migration Review, 42 (1). pp. 30-63.

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This paper reports the apparent paradox of high levels of discrimination experienced by humanitarian migrants to Australia, in the labor market and everyday life, yet simultaneous reporting of positive well-being. How can people feel discriminated against, yet still be relatively satisfied with life? The study draws on quantitative and qualitative data from a study of 150 refugees from the former Yugoslavia, the Middle East, and Africa. Possible reasons for the level of well-being are explored, including "relative deprivation theory," as well as various resiliency and mitigating factors, including personal and social supports. The notion of eudaimonic well-being - whereby experiences of difficulty produce positive well-being -is also applied to the findings. The negative experiences and perceptions appear to map onto low-level dissatisfaction or disgruntlement, and specifically directed or contained disappointment, rather than serious dissatisfaction with life generally, orientation to Australia, or negative subjective well-being.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Center for Migration Studies
Copyright: © 2008 by the Center for Migration Studies of New York.
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