Being other: the experiences of young Australian-Lebanese-Muslims

Wadumestri, K 2010, Being other: the experiences of young Australian-Lebanese-Muslims, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Being other: the experiences of young Australian-Lebanese-Muslims
Author(s) Wadumestri, K
Year 2010
Abstract Young Australian-Lebanese-Muslims have been constructed as problems against a backdrop of ‘moral panics’, which have included events such as the ‘Sydney gang rapes’ (2000-2006) and the ‘Cronulla race riots’ (2005). These moral panics drew on long-standing racist discourses that represent these young people as a threat to the Australian ‘mainstream’. In the midst of these moral panics, there was concern that young people who were experiencing any resulting racism might respond to their experiences in illegal or violent ways. I was concerned that youth services and programs aimed at addressing these issues were not sufficiently informed by well-grounded research into how young Australia-Lebanese-Muslims experienced, understood and dealt with racism.

This thesis has attempted to address these concerns by focusing on the experiences of young people of Lebanese and Muslim background who were born in Australia and living in the western and northern suburbs of Melbourne, in the first decade of the twenty-first century. My study employed a phenomenological conceptual framework. It relied on a number of qualitative research methods, including interviews, focus groups, ethnographic observations and video analysis, which were used to make sense of how these young people experienced ‘Othering’ and their sense of belonging to the ‘national home’.

My research suggests that young Australian-Lebanese-Muslims’ ‘everyday experiences of racism’ are multi-dimensional and made up of more than just personal encounters with racism. It reveals that mediated and vicariously experienced racism were significant aspects of their experience. I suggest that interviewees’ responses to racism are namely ‘avoidance’, ‘fighting back’ and ‘constructive engagement’. This thesis proposes that one way service providers can support these young people is to build on the pathways of resilience that young people have already been paving.

Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global Studies, Social Science and Planning
Keyword(s) Racism
young people
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Created: Fri, 24 Oct 2014, 15:34:26 EST by Maria Lombardo
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