Goals without means: A Mertonian critique of Australia’s resettlement policy for South Sudanese refugees
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The increased demand for refugee admissions and services in developed countries like Australia makes it important for host countries to understand the refugee resettlement and integration process. Yet, the literature on pathways and processes facilitating and driving integration is under-theorized (Black 2001) and poorly understood (Spencer 2006; Ager and Strang 2008; Phillimore and Goodson 2008; Strang and Ager 2010). This article aims to explore the structures and pathways facilitating the integration of resettled refugees. Using data collected from recently settled South Sudanese refugees and Merton’s typology of modes of adaptation as a theoretical framework, the article demonstrates that Australian Government institutions failed to provide accessible pathways and support to Sudanese refugees to navigate institutional means for achieving economic and social inclusion. At a broader level, the article argues that current Australian resettlement policies are dominated by an emphasis on refugees’ adopting their new country’s cultural goals without ensuring that there are effective processes and facilitators to achieve these goals.
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Losoncz, I. (2017) Goals without means: A Mertonian critique of Australia’s resettlement policy for South Sudanese refugees. Journal of Refugee Studies, 30(1), 47-70.