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The 'lost' girls: muslim young women in Australia

Poynting, Scott (2009) The 'lost' girls: muslim young women in Australia. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 30 (4). pp. 373-386. ISSN 1469-9540

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In an era of heightened concern about the second generation of Muslim immigrants in connection with 'home-grown terrorism' and supposed refusal to 'integrate', this paper interrogates the common sense that the second generation is 'lost' between cultures. Informed by in-depth, open-ended, semi-structured interviews with young second-generation Lebanese-background immigrants, this paper presents empirical material from two cohorts of participants, one in 1997 and one in 2003. Five cases are considered here, three from 1997 and two from 2003: all Muslim young women. It is argued that, far from being 'lost', the young women are constructing blended identities which they reflect on consciously, under circumstances of everyday racism to which they respond strategically.

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