Community, the State and the deserving citizen: Pacific Islanders in Australia

Ellie Vasta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper I explore some of the problems that have emerged around the notion of community as constructed by the state in its attempt to deal with the problem of social exclusion. The paper shows how the idea of community, introduced by a neo-liberal government, is based on a notion of the moral integration of 'deserving citizens'. I propose that the Australian welfare state is exacerbating the problem of social exclusion by imposing a notion of community contrary to the lived experience of numerous social groups in Australian society. I illustrate this point with examples taken from my research on the social exclusion of a small group of Pacific Islander immigrants in a regional town of Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-213
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Community
  • Deserving/undeserving citizens
  • Mutual obligations
  • Pacific Islanders
  • Social exclusion
  • The Third Way


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