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Muslim Mothers and School Choice: Racism and Identity Junctures in Choosing Religious and Secular Schools

Sun, April 30, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Meeting Room Level, Room 216 A

Abstract

In this paper we draw on a study with Muslim mothers to explore how these parents school choices intersect with religion, cultural heritage and experiences of racism. We frame school choice as a critical enactment of belonging. We draw on Appadurai’s concept of a globalized ‘ethnoscape’ to situate belonging within a framework of identity politics, affective experiences of inclusion and exclusion, for migrant mothers choosing religious and secular schools in Australia. We argue that Islamic schools offer protection from racism and a social space in which to construct belonging, enabling families to negate the feelings of cultural exclusion at non-Islamic schools.

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