The Sociality of Refugee Healing

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  • Title: The Sociality of Refugee Healing: In Dialogue with Southern Sudanese Refugees Resettling in Australia - Towards A Social Model of Healing
  • Author(s): Peter Westoby
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations
  • Keywords: Sociality, Refugee Healing, Sudanese, Resettlement, Assimilation
  • Year: 2009
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-86335-625-1
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-186335-626-8
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Westoby, Peter. 2009. The Sociality of Refugee Healing: In Dialogue with Southern Sudanese Refugees Resettling in Australia - Towards A Social Model of Healing. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-86335-626-8/CGP.
  • Extent: 203 pages


“For those who want to understand refugees rather than ‘diagnose’ them, I commend this book.” Derek Summerfield Honorary senior lecturer at London’s Institute of Psychiatry, a consultant to Oxfam, and formerly Research/Teaching Associate, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford This beautifully written book represents a journey. In response to a significant challenge from Sudanese community leaders, Peter Westoby embarked on a vibrant intellectual quest. In the process he has carved out new ways of understanding experiences of distress and healing. The Sociality of Refugee Healing will be an invaluable companion for practitioners, policy makers and anyone who cares about communities who have endured hardship. David Denborough Dulwich Centre, Adelaide Author of ‘Collective narrative practice: responding to individuals, groups and communities who have experienced trauma’ Praxis - the combining of analysis and practice, is often espoused but not easy to achieve. Community development workers will welcome this book with its depth of analysis, its cultural reflexivity and its multi-dimensional orientation to practice with those who arrive as refugees. Dr Ann Ingamells Senior Lecturer in Community Work, Griffith University This book proposes a socially-oriented model of healing, which augurs a fundamental shift in thinking about refugee settlement: instead of focusing on the past experiences of refugees it is the present world and context of settlement that should be the primary focus for healing work. This book, steeped in the author’s experience and extensive research, boldly and convincingly proposes a paradigmatic shift in the theory and practice of working with refugees. As such, the book provides an indispensible contribution to existing debates about refugee settlement and charts new ground for future inquiry. Zlatko Skrbis Professor of Sociology, The University of Queensland