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Second-generation Turkish Australian Muslim women: family, marriage and identity

posted on 15.02.2017, 04:34 by Caliskan, Zuhal
This study focuses on second-generation Turkish-Australian Muslim women who formed their ethnic and religious identities within certain contexts. This study examines the views of 14 second-generation married Turkish-Australian Muslim women regarding issues of family, community, ethnicity, gender and marriage partner choices. It provides insight into some of the complex and diverse ways they define their experience of modernisation, cultural values and practices such as marriage, family and community values in Australia. It explores themes relating to issues of gender, Muslim women, Islam and Western theory on gender and Islam. The findings in the thesis indicate that the cultural and religious identities of the women emerged heavily influenced by family and social forces that exist in and around their lives. In particular, it shows how parents use cultural and religious tools to draw boundaries around ideal and stigmatized gender norms around their daughters' identification. This highlights how daughters learn to govern and control their social behaviours which contribute to how marriage partner choices are determined. Thus, it demonstrates the importance of social inclusion and social integration amongst their ethnic society which manages the ways in which they move about and give meaning to their socially stratified world. The thesis also highlights that ethnic identity is a complex process in which the participants utilise social, cultural and religious resources simultaneously to negotiate multiple identities. The different interpretations of social practices within vast parameters of ethnic, cultural and religious boundaries indicate there is the need to re-examine theoretical notions of ethnicity, gender and religion in order to better understand their constructed identities. The thesis demonstrates how the participants resist parental and community expectations while negotiating ways to construct their Turkish-Australian Muslim identities while residing in Australia.


Principal supervisor

Dharmalingam Arunachalam

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Population and Urban Research

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts