Sense of community and dynamics of inclusion-exclusion by receiving communities

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Fisher, Adrian and Sonn, Christopher ORCID: 0000-0002-6175-1030 (2007) Sense of community and dynamics of inclusion-exclusion by receiving communities. The Australian Community Psychologist, 19 (2). pp. 26-34. ISSN 1320-7741


Sense of community is a concept in community psychology that is usually associated with supportive environment and positive outcomes. However, the very nature of sense of community necessitates acts of social comparison to determine who can and cannot be accepted as members. This paper explores the dynamics of sense of community, drawing on theories of whiteness and moral exclusion to understand the ways in which – formally and informally – some immigrants and refugees are treated in Australia. There is clear evidence that the positive elements of sense of community can also be used in ways that work to exclude, stigmatise, as well as vilify the newcomers. This paper will draw upon the knowledgebase in areas of immigration, race, and oppression, together with the political stance inherent in the field to encourage community (and other) psychologists to actively enter into the public and private debates about the place of immigrants and refugees.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > SEO Classification > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding
Historical > FOR Classification > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society
Keywords ResPubID13291, sense of community, community psychology, supportive environment , community members, theories of whiteness, moral exclusion, immigrants in Australia, refugees in Australia, exclusion, stigmatisation, vilification of newcomers, immigration, race, oppression
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