Publication Date

2016

Abstract

This paper uses interview data collected from young people in Queensland, Australia, to report the narratives of young Australians on the issue of ‘boat people’ and to explore the ‘accepting’ viewpoint. Consistent with existing literature, the ‘anti-asylum’ interviewees construct symbolic boundaries via language to justify why they believe exclusionary measures should be taken against asylum seekers who attempt to reach Australia by boat. In order to challenge this language of exclusion, our findings suggest the ‘pro-asylum’ participants adopt narratives aligned with the cosmopolitan principles of responsibility, openness and compassion. By doing so, they defend their belief that Australia’s obligations towards the broader global community should take precedence over any challenges ‘boat people’ present to the Australian nation.

School/Institute

School of Arts

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Grant Number

ARC/DP0557667

Grant Number

ARC/DP0878781

Access may be restricted.

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