Redefining the Mainstream: Local Government, Inclusive Communities

The Second National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism, Immigration and Human Rights


Dr Christopher Sonn
Lecturer, School of Psychology, Edith Cowan University

Looking Deeper: Incorporating Knowledge about Oppression into Understandings of Migrant Adaptation

The challenges associated with migration and the negotiation of cultures have been captured in concepts and models about acculturation and ethnic identity development. Although these frameworks have been useful they have often been uncritical and have not fully recognized social oppression as an experience that impact on migrant communities in new countries. Using research data collected from immigrants in Australia it is suggested that understandings of migrant adaptation must look beneath acculturation to consider the implications of oppression and exclusion in both the country of origin and in Australia. This is necessary because what may appear to be cultural incompatibility on the surface may well reflect issues of oppression and exclusion. Viewing the issues through these different lenses will help us clarify social and cultural systems that impact settlement and community building initiatives.

Christopher teaches in community and cultural psychology. His research focus on sense of community and nondominant group responses to adversity.

Presentation Type
30 min. Paper

Equipment Requirements:


Deakin Woolstores Campus, Geelong Waterfront
30 November - 1 December 2001