Mistrust and refugee women who are lone parents in resettlement contexts
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The theme of mistrust in resettlement contexts is largely overlooked in refugee discourses. Through a qualitative inquiry of post-migration experiences of four women raising children alone in Brisbane, Australia, this paper outlines how the presence of mistrust could at times create difficult resettlement circumstances for these women, who then needed to negotiate additional obstacles in everyday life. The definition of social mistrust used here is a form of deliberate and ongoing suspicion about lone refugee women's choices and lifestyles from other community members. Importantly, the women achieved a sense of well-being despite experiencing mistrust, both in inter-group and intra-group contexts, indicating that they conceptualised access to and benefits from social networks with different emphases on trust. Sociocultural narratives of mistrust, particularly gender-specific perspectives can enrich refugee discourses and challenge established notions of trust inherent to understandings of social networks in resettlement. The findings discussed in this paper contribute to debunking the 'myth' of homogeneity in relation to refugee groups and demonstrate the diversity of experiences among sub-groups of refugee women. The theme of mistrust, particularly among women, is an oft-neglected aspect and requires further attention.
Qualitative Social Work
© 2013 SAGE Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified