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Bhutanese refugees' perspectives on the meaning of integration into Australian society


Koirala, S and Kember, D, Bhutanese refugees' perspectives on the meaning of integration into Australian society, Identities, Practices and Education of Evolving Multicultural Families in Asia-Pacific, Routledge, J Gube, F Gao, and M Bhowmik (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 49-67. ISBN 9781003173724 (2022) [Research Book Chapter]

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DOI: doi:10.4324/9781003173724


This chapter reports and interprets observation and interview data from an ethnographic study of a group of Bhutanese refugees settling in Australia. The aim is to analyze the observed experiences and interview statements to develop a multifaceted interpretation of the meaning and process of their integration into Australian society. In approaching it from a bottom-up perspective, integration is conceived as a complex process that identifies the tensions and contradictions of becoming an integrated member of Australian society. Four main aspects to the nature of integration will be introduced. The first will point out that the Bhutanese migrant community, like most migrant communities, is not homogenous; rather, there are communities within communities. The second aspect will consider integration as a two-way adaptation process. The third aspect of integration discusses the impact of the transnational Bhutanese community. The final aspect of integration takes the perspective of identity to highlight the subjective meaning of being Australian. This chapter suggests that the meaning of integration, as embedded in the everyday experience of Bhutanese refugees, is highly complex, fluid, subjective, and context dependent.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:LOTE, ESL and TESOL curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Inclusive education
UTAS Author:Koirala, S (Dr Subhash Koirala)
UTAS Author:Kember, D (Professor David Kember)
ID Code:155638
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2023-03-03
Last Modified:2023-03-03

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