"We are thinking they are helping us, but they are destroying us." - Repairing the legitimacy of Australian government authorities among South Sudanese families

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Abstract

    Dealing with a range of government authorities is a reality of daily life for many newly arrived humanitarian immigrants to Australia. In recent years a range of projects to improve relationships with members of the South Sudanese community in Australia have been initiated by the community and governments. Despite these activities, indepth interviews of more than 35 South Sudanese community members and community development workers find these relationships to be fractured. Government authorities are often experienced by the community as lacking awareness of the unique circumstances and needs of the community, and their actions as unhelpful and inappropriate. Some members of the South Sudanese community questioned the legitimacy and integrity of these organisations and their actions. But what do members of the community refer to when they question the legitimacy of government authorities acting on their power granted by law? In the view of Suchman (1995), the legitimacy of organisations depends on the degree to which people believe, within their socially constructed system of norms and values, that such organisations act in ways that are proper and appropriate. Thus legitimacy represents the reaction of people to the organisation as they see it. Using this perspective as a theoretical framework, this paper will examine the extent of legitimacy assigned by members of the South Sudanese community to government authorities and will consider strategies for repairing and managing it.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages1-18
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventAfrican Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific 2012 - Canberra Australia
    Duration: 1 Jan 2012 → …

    Conference

    ConferenceAfrican Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific 2012
    Period1/01/12 → …

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