Social Capital and Somali Families in Australia

  • Robyn RamsdenEmail author
  • Ann Taket


This paper focuses on the hopes that Somalis who came to Melbourne as refugees have for their children’s education. It analyses their perceptions of the Somali and Australian education systems and the implications of these for their family’s ability to adapt and cope with Australian life. In doing so, it also shows how they use education to reconstruct their world as part of resettlement in Australia. This paper argues that specific programmes and activities that bring parents and teachers together around their child’s education can build bridging social capital, contributes to optimism about the future and sets the stage for positive agency at a time when Somali families are coping with trauma, loss and disconnection in an unfamiliar society.


Somali refugees Education Social capital Agency Parent engagement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education and Early Childhood DevelopmentEast MelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Health through Action on Social Exclusion (CHASE), School of Health and Social Development, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural SciencesDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

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