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An exploratory study of acculturation among Muslims in Australia

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Muslims constitute 2.2% of the Australian population. Given the current socio-political climate and the limited research, the present exploratory study explores the relationship between acculturation, ethnic identity, self-identity, generational status, religiosity, and demographics among adult Australian Muslims.

A cross-sectional convenience sample of 324 adult Australian Muslims completed either online or paper-based questionnaires in either English or Arabic. Recruitment was via convenience sampling and social media advertisements. Acculturation, ethnic identity (MEIM), religiosity, and demographic variables were measured.

The study sample was young and mostly female, with high religiosity levels. Acculturation was negatively correlated with ethnic identity. From multiple regression analysis, acculturation was predicted independently by religiosity (low), age (young), gender (male) and ethnic identity (low).

First generation Australian Muslims were older, had stronger ethnic identity and religiosity, and more commonly self-identified as non-Australian. By contrast second- and third-generation were more likely to self-identify as bicultural or Australian.

In summary, acculturation of Australian Muslims is influenced by multiple variables, particularly ethnic identity, religiosity, and generation; hence all these variables need to be included in policy regarding successful integration of migrants.
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Keywords: Acculturation; Australian Muslims; ethnic identity; generations; self-Identity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Discipline of Behavioural and Social Sciences in Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, Australia 2: Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Broadway, Australia

Publication date: November 2, 2018

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