Identity construction: A comparison between Turkish Muslims in Australia and Germany

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Abstract

The essentialization of identity coupled with its confused association with loyalty has ensured that issues related to identity are at the forefront of politics, and are used as a platform to generate moral panics which are fuelled by the mass corporate media. Different sociopolitical contexts affect identity construction among Turkish Muslims in Germany and Australia. Based on qualitative interview data collected in 2008 and 2009 in Germany and Australia, this paper examines the circumstances that influence the self-conception of the Turkish Muslims in both countries. The different political and demographic circumstances of each country are described and their impact on identity formation taken into account. Then we use labeling theory, that is, differences in the language, concepts and official descriptions used by the powerful in each society to label minority groups (Akers 1999), in order to examine the impact of top-down government policies on identity construction among Turkish communities in Australia and Germany - a major example of this being the contrast between Australia s multicultural policies with Germany s assimilationist integration policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95 - 112
Number of pages18
JournalEpiphany
Volume5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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