Migrant Differentiation, Racism and Islamophobia in Rural/Regional Australia

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
David RADFORD, University of South Australia, Australia
Issues of (in)justice in relation to regional and rural settlement of migrants are part of the lived realities for many migrants. This is especially true for non-European migrants whose cultural and religious backgrounds are very different (Radford 2016; 2017). Within these diverse non-European groups there remains a continuum or differentiation around issues of inclusion and exclusion. Some groups of non-European migrants face greater or lesser degrees of inclusion/exclusion based on culture, religion, language and migrant status (Noble and Poynting 2010). Drawing from an empirical example in rural South Australia this paper explores aspects of this differentiation among Filipino, Korean, Chinese and Hazara Afghan migrants. The paper contends that those from humanitarian and Muslim backgrounds in Australian rural/regional communities face greater possibilities of exclusion through the twin social stigmas associated with being ‘illegal boat people’ and ‘Muslim terrorists’ (Forrest and Dunn 2013, as well as low English language proficiency (Leitner 2012). This underscores linguistic, racist and Islamophobic challenges to integration, social cohesion, and the opportunity for these migrants to be positive contributing members to the development and growth of rural/regional communities.