Acculturation challenges that confront Sudanese former refugees in Australia

Aparna Girish Hebbani (1), Levi Obijiofor (2), Helen Bristed (3)
(1) School of Journalism and Communication University of Queensland, Australia,
(2) School of Journalism and Communication University of Queensland, Australia,
(3) School of Journalism and Communication University of Queensland, Australia


This study investigated acculturation challenges that Sudanese former refugees faced as a consequence of settling in South-East Queensland, Australia.  A total of 28 females and 11 males participated in focus groups. The findings indicate that both women and men face acculturation issues relating to successful settlement.  The women were particularly challenged by low English language proficiency and parenting issues, while the men faced challenges to their traditional gender role within the family, as breadwinner, and their role outside the home - at work and in the public sphere.  Thus, the research offers important insights into acculturation issues faced by both genders

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Aparna Girish Hebbani
(Primary Contact)
Levi Obijiofor
Helen Bristed
Author Biographies

Aparna Girish Hebbani, School of Journalism and Communication University of Queensland

Dr. Aparna Hebbani is a Lecturer in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Queensland. She is an intercultural communication scholar whose research interests lie in examining issues surrounding refugee acculturation, employment, and family communication; representations of refugees in Australian media; using media to empower refugee communities.

Levi Obijiofor , School of Journalism and Communication University of Queensland

Dr. Levi Obijiofor is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism at the School of Journalism and Communication, the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. He teaches postgraduate and undergraduate courses in journalism and communication and has successfully supervised PhD, Masters and Honours students. Levi was at various times Sub-Editor, Production Editor and Night Editor at The Guardian newspapers in Lagos, Nigeria. Between March 1995 and May 1996, he worked in the Division of Studies and Programming (BPE/BP) at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO where he edited the bulletin FUTURESCO and also coordinated the future-oriented studies program.

Helen Bristed, School of Journalism and Communication University of Queensland

Helen Bristed (BA, University of Queensland) is a senior research assistant in the Research Centre for Population and Community Health. Helen’s areas of interest include intercultural communication, migrant health, social determinants of health, transport disadvantage, and sensory ethnography and go-along interview methodology.

Hebbani, A. G., Obijiofor , L., & Bristed, H. (2012). Acculturation challenges that confront Sudanese former refugees in Australia. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 12(1), 1–15.

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