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Views of adolescent Bhutanese refugees on home learning during school shutdown across the period of COVID-19

Mudwari, N, Beasy, K ORCID: 0000-0002-5998-1419, Murphy, C ORCID: 0000-0001-5766-6821 and Cuskelly, M ORCID: 0000-0001-9986-9985 2021 , 'Views of adolescent Bhutanese refugees on home learning during school shutdown across the period of COVID-19' , Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, vol. 8, no. 4 , pp. 286-306 , doi:

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is now a global crisis, resulting in the intermittent closure of many schools, worldwide. The school closures are believed to have affected adolescents’ education, particularly for vulnerable adolescents including those from a refugee-background. The study explores the home learning experiences of adolescent Bhutanese refugees in Tasmania, Australia and draws on social capital theory to interpret findings. Interviews with adolescent Bhutanese refugees revealed four overarching themes: disengagement from learning, the experience of isolation, the complexity of family relationships and motivation through relationships. This article makes an important practical and theoretical contribution to home learning through challenging Putnam’s binary distinction between bonding and bridging and suggesting alternative conceptualisations based on the role of bonding in the creation of bridging social capital. These findings have potential implications for the development of mitigation measures to support refugee-background students under extraordinary circumstances.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Mudwari, N and Beasy, K and Murphy, C and Cuskelly, M
Keywords: adolescent refugees, COVID-19, education, home learning, social capita
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies
Publisher: International Cultural Research Center
ISSN: 2149-1291
DOI / ID Number:
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License, (

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