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Afghan Hazara Refugees in Australia: Constructing Australian Citizens

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This paper explores the construction of Australian citizenship, in particular contestations over membership in the community, through the interactions between two groups of people who live and work in a regional town in Australia: volunteer English language tutors and Afghan Hazara refugees who were granted temporary protection visas (TPVs). The paper examines the power relations which operate between the two groups and other relevant institutions. Of particular interest is the way the tutors and other groups tend to infantalise the Hazara through their efforts to 'protect' them and the way the Hazara in turn attempt to deal with and resist this treatment. In contrast to the mostly negative media images of Afghan refugees in the Australian media, the English language tutors construct and represent the Hazara using a discourse of citizenship, couched in terms of their membership in and economic contribution to the community. This membership is contested by certain groups when the Hazara are seen as not being adequately grateful for the help given to them by the community.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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