Recognition of refugee students’ cultural wealth and social capital in resettlement

Emily Miller, Tahereh Ziaian, Melanie Baak, Helena de Anstiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Internationally, recent population movements due to conflict, climate change and global inequality have resulted in increased cultural and linguistic diversity in many societies. As a result, education systems are increasingly grappling with how to adapt practice to provide educational access and opportunities with increasingly diverse student cohorts. Here we present the analysis of qualitative data from interviews in a mixed-methods study that explored these processes of inclusion for refugee background youth in Australian high schools. Using a social capital and cultural wealth framework, we discuss the ways in which refugee background students access education and work towards aspirations in Australian high schools, and how the education system contributes to this process. Analysis suggests that young people and families develop cultural wealth partially in response to their refugee and resettlement experiences. Social connections are a core element of young people’s resettlement process in terms of feeling valued and in terms of accessing supports and opportunities. School systems can enable positive education outcomes by working with students and families to further develop social capital networks that connect to, recognise, and promote the value of community cultural wealth.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Early online date27 Jun 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • cultural wealth
  • Inclusive education
  • refugee
  • resettlement
  • social capital


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