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Narratives of nationhood: young Australians’ concepts of nation and their attitudes towards ‘boat people'


Laughland-Booy, J and Skrbis, Z and Tranter, BK, Narratives of nationhood: young Australians' concepts of nation and their attitudes towards boat people', Journal of Sociology, 53, (2) pp. 367-381. ISSN 1440-7833 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/1440783317704991


In Australia, questions surrounding national identity often feature in public discussions on asylum seekers. Using qualitative interview data collected from 40 participants in an ongoing study of young people in Queensland, we explore the connections between young people’s understandings of Australian national identity and their attitudes towards ‘boat people’. We identify distinct points of interconnection and disjuncture between participants’ notions of being ‘Australian’ and their thoughts on how Australia should respond to asylum seekers. With respect to the asylum seeker debate, we find narratives of Australian nationhood are flexible in interpretation and can serve contrasting and competing functions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:asylum seekers, Australia, ‘boat people’, cosmopolitanism, national identity
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, BK (Professor Bruce Tranter)
ID Code:115369
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-03-21
Last Modified:2022-08-29

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