In this lecture Dr. Val Colic-Peisker juxtaposes the dominant perceptions of Australian Islamophobia created by media reporting and public debates, and the everyday reality of Muslims and non-Muslims who live in ethno-religiously diverse (sub)urban neighbourhoods and share everyday spaces and activities.
Dr. Val Colic-Peisker will present a talk titled Global, national and ‘phantom’ Islamophobia versus lived reality in ethno-religiously diverse urban neighbourhoods: evidence from Australia.
Dr. Floris Vermeulen will act as a discussant.
Over the past couple of decades, Islamophobia have become the most prominent and the most publicly debated variety of cultural racism in Western countries. Islamophobia is based in a common-sense fear of radical Islam and terrorism and in an ideological claim about the incompatibility of ‘Islamic’ and ‘Western’ values. Islamophobia is a global phenomenon with varied manifestations and target groups in different countries, but its common effect seems to be strengthening of anti-immigration parties and policies.
Yet, it is difficult to ‘measure’ Islamophobia on a national level in any rigorous sense, not least because it is a shifting target; the loudest populist voices and ‘arsonist’ media create powerful perceptions of problematic inter-ethnic relations. In spite of this, Muslim presence in Western cities is long-established, Muslim immigration is continuing and ethno-religious coexistence in (sub)urban neighbourhoods is mostly harmonious.
After discussing the difficulty, and perhaps also futility of measuring Islamophobia on a relatively abstract ‘national’ level, this lecture presents data collected in the course of two empirical projects that explored the neighbourhood experience in three suburbs of metropolitan Melbourne that can be described as ‘Muslim concentrations’.
The larger and more recent project (2016-17) focused on the relationship between the ‘religious visibility’ of local Muslims, local ‘Islamophobia’ and bridging social capital, that is, the intensity and types of interaction between Muslim and non-Muslim residents. The project collected quantitative and qualitative data through a survey of 301 residents and over 50 semi-structured interviews with local key informants and residents. After presenting the main findings of the projects, the lecture juxtaposes the dominant perceptions of Australian Islamophobia created by media reporting and public debates, and the everyday reality of Muslims and non-Muslims who live in ethno-religiously diverse (sub)urban neighbourhoods and share everyday spaces and activities.
Before entering Australian academia in 1997, Dr. Val Colic-Peisker worked as a teacher, journalist, free-lance author, translator, interpreter, radio producer and presenter. Val’s (inter)disciplinary background is in political science (BA, MA), women’s studies (MPhil) and sociology of migration and ethnic relations (PhD, 2001). Her central research interests are in the interdisciplinary, overlapping areas of migration, ethnic relations and urban studies. Val's articles are published in Sociology, Journal of Sociology, International Migration Review, Urban Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Global Networks, Journal of Refugee Studies and elsewhere. In recent years, she has devoted part of her research time to ‘big picture’ issues, including those affecting the academic profession.
Dr. Floris Vermeulen is associate professor (universitair hoofddocent) at the department of political science at the University of Amsterdam . He has been chair of the department of Political Science (2015-1017) and co-director of the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES) (2011-2014) and co-programme group leader of Challenges to Democratic Representation of the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (AISSR) (2011-2014). He studied Economic and Social History at the University of Amsterdam. His dissertation (Cum Laude) was published in the IMISCOE-AUP publication programme, entitled The immigrant organising process. Turkish organisations in Amsterdam and Berlin and Surinamese organisations in Amsterdam 1960-2000.
All are welcome to join. This lecture is organized by the Centre for Urban Studies.