Community Languages, Linguistic Isolation, and Social Exclusion in the Australian Context

By Ismet Fanany, Abdel-Hakeem Kasem and Rebecca Fanany.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The detrimental impacts of social exclusion to health and well-being are well-known and are of increasing concern around the world. For many of the population sub-groups who are most at risk of social exclusion, linguistic isolation—the inability to use and understand the majority language—is a major barrier to full participation in the life of the community as well as to full integration into the society in which its members live. This paper, using data obtained from community-based research in Melbourne, Australia, will discuss the problem of linguistic isolation in the context of Australian multicultural policy and use of languages other than English among members of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. The experience of members of two specific CALD communities, speakers of Arabic and speakers of Indonesian, will be discussed to illustrate the impacts of linguistic isolation on health and well-being and to elucidate the relationship between CALD status and social exclusion in these communities.

Keywords: Social Exclusion, Linguistic isolation, Well-Being, Arabic, Indonesian

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.47-59. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 431.991KB).

Dr. Ismet Fanany

Associate Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC, Australia

Associate Professor Ismet Fanany is the head of the Indonesian Program at Deakin University. His research interests and publications center on language and culture issues in development; language, culture and resilience; and cultural and identity issues affecting Indonesian-speaking populations.

Abdel-Hakeem Kasem

Associate Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC, Australia

Associate Professor Abdel-Hakeem Kasem is the head of the Arabic Program at Deakin University. His research interests involve Arabic language and culture studies, language acquisition, and cross-cultural communication. He has contributed to national and international conferences on issues related to second language acquisition, language and culture studies, and cross-cultural communication.

Dr. Rebecca Fanany

Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Rebecca Fanany is a senior lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University in Melbourne. Her background is in public health, however, and she has worked extensively in Indonesia. Her research focuses on language and culture in health and the way in which people view their own health experience. She has written a number of books and articles on language related topics as well as the influence of culture in health and other areas.