Australian Muslim Women’s Borderlands Identities: A Feminist, Decolonial Approach

  • Lütfiye AliEmail author
Part of the Community Psychology book series (COMPSY)


The developments in the decolonial turn in community psychology offer epistemological frameworks to understand the experiences of communities that have been marginalised by colonial racial discourses, however it has not adequately explored nor theorised how gender and other social positions intersect in this process. In this chapter, I draw on the work of Gloria Anzaldúa on Borderlands theory to attend to intersecting relations of power including gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and religion in the lives of 20 Australian Muslim women. The analysis reveals the diverse and contradicting ways the women negotiate their identities as they navigate complex relations of power arising from these intersections. The findings also reveal that the women’s gendered bodies become a platform for ethnic Muslim communities to construct borders around identity and to resist colonial power by asserting moral superiority. It is concluded that Borderlands theory, with its focus on multiple positionalities and power in light of the social, material and discursive context, enables radical possibilities to go beyond binary thinking which has permeated community psychology to better understand and respond to complexities in the lives of marginalised communities.


Intersectionality Anzaldúa Australian Muslim Women Community Gender Race Patriarchy Religion Migration 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Digital Ethnography Research Centre RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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