The Civic Life of Young Australian Muslims: Active Citizenship, Community Belonging and Social Inclusion

Project Overview

Enhancing the engagement of marginalised youth in civic life is critical for a healthy democracy and community cohesion. Unlike the more common focus on exclusion and disadvantage, this project investigates the range of ways young Australian Muslims actively participate in civic life and establish belonging in community.

The project’s aims are:

  • to investigate the contributions made to civic life by young Australian Muslims of migrant background
  • to document formal and informal modes of civic engagement
  • to build a greater understanding of opportunities for and barriers to participation and belonging

The backdrop to this study is concerned about low levels of engagement in civic life on the part of young Muslims from migrant backgrounds, but a concomitant lack of knowledge about the participatory strategies that work for them. This project utilises a peer research method to investigate established and emergent forms of civic engagement among young Australian Muslims of migrant background, drawing on interviews with 80 young people aged 18-25 living in Melbourne and Brisbane who identify as Muslim and as of migrant background. It ascertains the extent of their use of formal, informal, subcultural and everyday strategies for participation in civic life and belonging in community, and analyses the ways these can be connected to enduring forms of meaningful citizenship.

Project Funding

This project is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant Scheme: DP110101249