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2. The Formation of the Student Issue

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces how the issue of asylum-seeking by Chinese students in Australia in 1989 took shape, and provides a context for the story of their political activism. It discusses how the Chinese student issue was first raised in Australian society in general and within the student community itself. The discussion goes on to identify the involvement of six local organizations or agencies and the interactions between them. The chapter then examines the changes that came about in the newly formed student community as their residency or asylum-seeking issue took shape, noting the structural changes in the students' primary social groups in response to their changing circumstances. The formation and expansion of these primary social groups proved to be a significant element in the development of the student issue and laid a structural foundation for the students' activism.

Keywords: Australian society; Chinese student community; Chinese student issue; political activism; students' primary social groups



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