By Fethi Mansouri , Sally Percival Wood
Identification, schooling and Belonging examines the social and academic stories of Arab and Muslim Australian formative years opposed to a much wider political backdrop. Arab and Muslim Australian adolescence have lengthy confronted huge social hindrances of their trip in the direction of complete integration, yet because the discourse of lack of confidence surrounding those conflicts intensifies, so too do the problems they face in Australian society. Events resembling the warfare in Iraq, Australia's presence in Afghanistan and perceptions of Iran as a nuclear threat-together with household occasions equivalent to the Cronulla riots. Read more...
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59 Other writings point to a ‘crisis within middleclass masculinity that is fuelling the educational discourse of male disadvantage’, causing boys to ‘take refuge in a counter-culture of misbehaviour in schools60’ or to focus on sport at the expense of homework. 62 Of course, it is misleading to simplistically conceptualise ‘boys’ or ‘migrant boys’ as single homogenous groups because ‘masculinity’, like ‘femininity’, is nuanced in a range of ways and subject to a range of influences, such as socio-economic, racial, ethnic and cultural.
60 Again, it was Lebanese Muslims who were under scrutiny. It was not the truth of the article that was as concerning as the application of such reports to an entire community rather than to the very small section of Australian Muslim society to which it relates. Furthermore, contrary to The Australian’s feature article ‘Brides of Islam’, published on the same day, a large section of Lebanese society that might adhere to arranged marriage is Christian. Arranged marriage, as indicated by Muslim leaders61, is a cultural practice, rather than an Islamic one.
A paradigm shift in the last decade in Australia has occurred on a range of levels. First, the move away from ‘multiculturalism’ towards the more homogenised notion of citizenship, as expressed in the Department of Immigration’s recent name change, has gradually institutionalised a diminishing sense of cultural inclusiveness in Australia. Second, the rise of Australian ‘values’, despite a prevailing sense of nebulousness as to precisely what they are, has gradually made its way into policy, perhaps most influentially in education policy.