South Sudanese Australians: constantly negotiating belonging and identity

Sara Maher, Santino Atem Deng, Nicki Kindersley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch


A South Sudanese community has lived in Australia since the late 1990s. Despite this long residence, tensions over belonging and identity have intensified in recent years in response to ongoing acculturation stress, overt racism and the community’s complex relationship with their homeland and its seemingly intractable conflict. This article discusses how a ‘deficits discourse’ (Dumbrill, 2009) which sees refugees as needy service recipients during settlement processes has contributed to the ‘othering’ of African migrants in Australia. The authors write that this othering is based on recent, sustained racism, including the criminalising of young Africans, especially South Sudanese youth (Chingaipe, 2017). They conclude that despite the othering that South Sudanese Australians experience on a daily basis, there is a growing resistance to marginalisation and exclusion within the community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-64
Number of pages12
JournalSudan Studies
Issue number58
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

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