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‘Aussie Afghans’ – The identity journeys of Muslim Australians, with a focus on Hazara Afghans, as they negotiate individual, ethnic, religious and national identities

By David Radford


This project explores the dynamic trajectories that ‘Hazara Afghan Australian Muslims’ take as they negotiate through their multiple sense of identities in each of these categories. The investigation into the lives of Hazara Australians raises important questions and provides some interesting results. More than anything the project highlights the problematic nature of identity/ies. Identiy/ies assume that individuals and social groups develop a sense of ascription, a sense of ‘self’, but that the development of sense of identity is multifaceted. It is never the same for each person or community. The complex nature of this process is reflected in the myriad ways in which the participants in this research project, ‘Aussie Afghans’, understand what it means to be Hazara, to be Afghan, to be Australian, to be Muslim, to be from a refugee/asylum seeker background, or to be an individual. Indeed whether they identify with all of these categories or none of them. If they identify with these categories in what order of importance do they hold each? I have shortened the title to ‘Aussie Afghans’ as a simple way of emphasising this complex phenomenon recognising that there are often many more elements involved. Or, if they do identify with a particular category, how they interpret or understand what they mean by that category

Topics: Muslims--Ethnic identity, Refugees, Cultural pluralism, Group identity
Publisher: International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding
Year: 2016
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