Fish out of water : refugee and international students in mainstream Australian schools

Dumenden, Iris E. & English, Rebecca M. (2013) Fish out of water : refugee and international students in mainstream Australian schools. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 17(10), pp. 1078-1088.

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In this paper, the authors combine Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of hysteresis (the ‘fish out of water’ experience) with the discourse historical approach to critical discourse analysis (CDA) as a theoretical and analytical framework through which they examine specific moments in the schooling experiences of one refugee student and one international student, both enrolled in post-compulsory education in Australian mainstream secondary schools. We examine specific moments – as narrated by these students during interviews – in which these students can be described as ‘fish out of water’. As such, this paper takes up the concerns of researchers who call for an examination of the lived geographies and the everyday lives of individual students in mainstream schools. We find that our students’ habitus, conditioned by their previous schooling experiences in their home countries, did not match their new Australian schools, resulting in frustration with, and alienation from, their mainstream schools. However, we also note that schools, too, need to adapt and adjust their habitus to the new multicultural world, in which there are international and refugee students among their usual cohort of mainstream students.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 55718
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Pierre Bourdieu, critical discourse analysis (CDA), discourse historical approach (DHA), refugee students, international students, inclusive education
DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2012.732120
ISSN: 1360-3116
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > OTHER EDUCATION (139900)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 14 Dec 2012 04:40
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2017 09:01

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