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Crossing Boundaries: Understanding the pro-asylum narratives of young Australians


Laughland-Booy, J and Skrbis, Z and Tranter, B, Crossing Boundaries: Understanding the pro-asylum narratives of young Australians, Ethnicities, 16, (5) pp. 752-769. ISSN 1468-7968 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/1468796815583341


This paper uses interview data collected from young people in Queensland, Australia, to report the narratives of young Australians on the issue of ‘boat people’ and to explore the ‘accepting’ viewpoint. Consistent with existing literature, the ‘anti-asylum’ interviewees construct symbolic boundaries via language to justify why they believe exclusionary measures should be taken against asylum seekers who attempt to reach Australia by boat. In order to challenge this language of exclusion, our findings suggest the ‘pro-asylum’ participants adopt narratives aligned with the cosmopolitan principles of responsibility, openness and compassion. By doing so, they defend their belief that Australia’s obligations towards the broader global community should take precedence over any challenges ‘boat people’ present to the Australian nation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Asylum seekers, symbolic boundaries, cosmopolitanism, acceptance, young people,
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology of migration, ethnicity and multiculturalism
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Tranter, B (Professor Bruce Tranter)
ID Code:100085
Year Published:2016 (online first 2015)
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2015-04-30
Last Modified:2016-11-09

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