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Applying the theory of resource curse to disadvantaged migrant communities and criminal offending

15 Mar 2014
Description

This paper argues that the heroin trade had an effect analogous to ‘resource curse’, and has been a major source of continuing disadvantage and social harm to the Vietnamese Australian community.

Summary

Australia has a substantial Vietnamese community, a consequence of the refugee exodus from Southeast Asia which followed the Communist victory in Vietnam in 1975. While Vietnamese Australians have contributed greatly to their host society, they are also stigmatised because of an association with the trade in illicit drugs, particularly heroin. Drug-related offending remains very high in Vietnamese Australian communities, with resultant high rates of incarceration and social exclusion. In its formative years the Vietnamese Australian community was faced with exclusion from economic and social opportunity, but was uniquely well-positioned as an ethnic enclave economy to take advantage of the growing demand for illicit drugs, especially heroin. I argue that the heroin trade had an effect analogous to ‘resource curse’, and has been a major source of continuing disadvantage and social harm to the Vietnamese Australian community.

Publication Details
Published year only: 
2014
7
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