alexa A critical review of the literature: engendering the discourse of masculinities matter for parenting African refugee men.


Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education

Author(s): Williams N

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Abstract According to the literature on culturally and linguistically diverse parenting, refugee parenting practices and styles that are normative in countries of origin may not be sanctioned in Australia. In the case of refugee parenting, beliefs, practices, and values may be decentered in pre-resettlement contexts where survival becomes the primary concern. Engendering the discourse of masculinities to reflect a relationship between child protection and the experience of refugee parenting for African men in both pre- and post-resettlement contexts will inform culturally competent practice, intervention, and community development that is inclusive of their gender-specific needs. This article brings an expanded masculinities perspective to the ecology of refugee parenting for resettled African men resulting from larger research findings with focus group participants. Incorporating notions of masculinity into the child protection discourse is an attempt not only to reduce existing gender under- and misrepresentation among South Australian refugees but also to ensure greater visibility and increase the role of refugee men in the process of developing culturally relevant and appropriate policies, practices, and services to assist successful resettlement transitions while strengthening family well-being. The concept of masculinities, this article argues, must be treated as integral to any approach to working with refugees, particularly in areas that penetrate and may define the quality of their life experiences, expectations, and aspirations. Masculinities matter. Exploring refugee male perceptions, interpretations, and enactment of masculinity may unmask the differential experiences of refugee women from men and ensure the integration and operationalization of these differences into child protection services and practice. © The Author(s) 2011 This article was published in Am J Mens Health and referenced in Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education

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