Two cultures, one identity: formulations of Australian Isma'ili Muslim identity

Mitha, K., Adatia, S. and Jaspal, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8463-9519, 2017. Two cultures, one identity: formulations of Australian Isma'ili Muslim identity. Contemporary Islam, 11 (1), pp. 41-60. ISSN 1872-0218

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The Shi'a Imami Nizari Isma'ili Muslims have often been considered the "poster child" for pluralistic integration (Cayo 2008). This ethos has been inculcated within members of the community, with its adherents seeing themselves as a diverse and multi-ethnic collective. Nevertheless, despite this purported pluralism, social research on the Isma'ilis has primarily focused on the diasporic and post-diasporic migrant communities of South Asian descent, the 'first and second-generation immigrants,' in the Euro-American context (Mukadam and Mawani 2006, 2009; Nanji 1983, 1986). The experiences of co-religionists in other contexts have often been neglected. This study examines how members of the self-described geographically and socially isolated Isma'ili community in Australia construct their identity vis-à-vis the larger, global, Isma'ili community, and how they have responded to the potential of identity threat given the arrival of another group of Isma’ilis with a differing migratory history integrating into the extant community. Using the approach of identity process theory, this study examines how salient features of identity are constructed amongst the Australian Isma'ilis, how religion and identity take on multiple meanings within the Australian Isma'ili context, and, finally, sheds light on the self-sufficiency of this community despite geographic and social isolation.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Contemporary Islam
Creators: Mitha, K., Adatia, S. and Jaspal, R.
Publisher: Springer
Date: April 2017
Volume: 11
Number: 1
ISSN: 1872-0218
Rights: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is published with open access at Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 08 Apr 2020 12:22
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2020 12:22

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