Accepting prejudice and valuing freedom : young Muslims and everyday multiculturalism in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper shows how the experiences of young Muslims in Hong Kong reveal an alternative account of multiculturalism to that which is often portrayed in works about young Muslims in the West. It presents the everyday multicultural experiences of young people as an important resource to understand the lived experience of ethnic and religious diversity. This discussion is framed by the experiences of a multiethnic sample of young Muslims in Hong Kong. Their experiences demonstrate a pragmatic negotiation of cultural difference and a disinterested acceptance of popular racism. These attitudes are argued as being an adaptation to the popular racism pervasive in Hong Kong culture. Despite the racism they experience, the young Muslims argue that they are safe and very free in the territory, a matter that influences the perception of the racism they encounter. The fact that Islam is not perceived as a threat in Hong Kong society provides an alternative understanding of young Muslims as minorities in the post 9/11 era. It is argued in conclusion that understanding what young Muslims value about life in Hong Kong enables us to recognise alternative representations of multiculturalism and to consider how a variety of different dynamics influence the everyday lives of religious and ethnic minorities as citizens in multicultural societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-539
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

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multicultural society
prejudice
Hong Kong
Muslim
racism
experience
religious minority
cultural difference
national minority
Islam
everyday life
Prejudice
Muslims
Multiculturalism
pragmatics
acceptance
minority
threat
citizen
Racism

Cite this

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abstract = "This paper shows how the experiences of young Muslims in Hong Kong reveal an alternative account of multiculturalism to that which is often portrayed in works about young Muslims in the West. It presents the everyday multicultural experiences of young people as an important resource to understand the lived experience of ethnic and religious diversity. This discussion is framed by the experiences of a multiethnic sample of young Muslims in Hong Kong. Their experiences demonstrate a pragmatic negotiation of cultural difference and a disinterested acceptance of popular racism. These attitudes are argued as being an adaptation to the popular racism pervasive in Hong Kong culture. Despite the racism they experience, the young Muslims argue that they are safe and very free in the territory, a matter that influences the perception of the racism they encounter. The fact that Islam is not perceived as a threat in Hong Kong society provides an alternative understanding of young Muslims as minorities in the post 9/11 era. It is argued in conclusion that understanding what young Muslims value about life in Hong Kong enables us to recognise alternative representations of multiculturalism and to consider how a variety of different dynamics influence the everyday lives of religious and ethnic minorities as citizens in multicultural societies.",
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Accepting prejudice and valuing freedom : young Muslims and everyday multiculturalism in Hong Kong. / O'CONNOR, Paul James.

In: Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol. 31, No. 5, 01.11.2010, p. 525-539.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

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