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‘I feel myself to be a world citizen’: negotiating Turkish and Alevi identity in Melbourne

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The complexity and heterogeneity of modern multicultural societies can both highlight and obscure the diversity which exists within identity groups. Whilst the majority of the Turkish community in Melbourne are Sunni Muslim, significant groups of ethnically, religiously and linguistically different communities also exist. Recent research with women who participate in activities at the Alevi community centre in Melbourne has brought to light many of the issues which are faced by individuals who are doubly excluded from the mainstream of Australian life and culture as migrants and from the mainstream of Turkish diasporic life through a non-Sunni Islamic religious orientation. For some, but not all of these women there is also an added dimension of difference through embracing their Kurdish ethnicity and linguistic background. Both first and second generation Alevi women use a range of strategies to locate themselves within what one respondent called the ‘rose garden’ of Australia since the advent of immigrant diversity.
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Keywords: Alevi; Turks; identity; multiculturalism; social groups

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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