10: ‘You’re Judged a Lot’: Australian Sudanese and South Sudanese Youths’ Perspectives on Their Experiences in Public Spaces

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Experiences within public spaces can influence the belonging of refugee youth communities. For those from these communities who are ‘visibly different’ from socially and politically constructed identity norms, this can disrupt their overall sense of belonging resulting in marginalisation within public spaces. Experiences within public spaces has become a pertinent issue for Australian Sudanese and South Sudanese youth at a time when their identities have been politicised within media and politics, situating these youth as dangerous ‘outsiders’. Utilising a voice-centred relational methodology approach, this chapter presents and discusses Australian Sudanese and South Sudanese youths’ perspectives on their experiences in public spaces in the city of Melbourne. Findings suggest that these young people’s experiences within public spaces are influenced by the consequences of negative racialised public and political discourses, whereby these youth feel they are under control and surveillance in public spaces relative to a sense of visible difference.

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