Responses to Institutional Disrespect

  • Ibolya LosonczEmail author


This chapter explores the actions of individuals in response to disrespectful treatment by government institutions. I demonstrate how institutional actions can result in discord and resistance when institutions are concerned with perpetuating their authority and technocratic logics at the expense of meeting the social and developmental needs of individuals. I propose that the South Sudanese community’s strong sense of being disrespected is linked to a range of barriers and threats from the government and its institutions to community members’ ability to cultivate aspects of their self which are fundamental to their core identity. I describe how, in response South Sudanese Australians have become distrustful of authorities, socially distancing themselves and questioning the legitimacy of state institutions and their actions. I conclude by exploring how government and social institutions can take positive steps to support the identity formation of refugee and other migrants.


Institutional disrespect Institutional legitimacy Motivational posturing theory Identity threat Self-identity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian National UniversityActonAustralia

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