Academic success as willful-resistance: theorising with refugee-background students in Australia

Ramos, Fabiane ORCID: (2020) Academic success as willful-resistance: theorising with refugee-background students in Australia. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, 42 (3). 440 -455. ISSN 0159-6306


This paper is about theorising with seven refugee-background youth, who have successfully completed their secondary studies in Australia. Using conversations-as-method, the focus is on how research partners theorise academic success, and on the reading I developed in response to their reflections. Inspired by the commonalities in Lugones’ and Ahmed’s work, especially their focus on persistence as an agentic stance in the face of adversity, I propose reading academic success in the context of this study as acts of willful-resistance (Spelling of ‘willful’ based on [Ahmed, S. (2012). Whiteness and the general will: Diversity work as willful work. philoSOPHIA, 2(1), 1–20]). Here, willful-resistance is very much about students’ persistence and a refusal to being reduced to victimised objects. In addition, academic success as willful-resistance works in coalition with other forces within/against layers of entangled contexts and oppressions/privileges.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2022 02:47
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2022 04:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic success; Australia; Maria Lugones; Refugee-background students; Sara Ahmed
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390410 Multicultural education (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Māori and Pacific Peoples)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160105 Secondary education
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1602 Schools and learning environments > 160201 Equity and access to education
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