Minority Cosmopolitanism: Afro-Cosmopolitan Engagement Displayed by African Australians

Abdi Hersi *, Indigo Willing, Ian Woodward, Zlatko Skrbis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Research on cosmopolitan practices and non-white refugee and migrant populations in Western nations often concentrates on how the mainstream ‘host’ culture practise openness and hospitality towards ‘new’ and minority populations. Reflecting the relationality at the heart of cosmopolitanism’s conceptual promise, this research reverses the gaze back by exploring how minority populations who are ‘locals’ in ethnic hubs or enclaves practise openness towards ‘non-locals’ who constitute a dominant group. Our article focuses on the black African Australian (BAA) community in the suburb of Moorooka, known as a ‘little Africa’. Moorooka’s main strip is lined with various BAA-owned shops and restaurants, and with BAAs going about their everyday lives. The suburb attracts negative news stories and is stereotyped as an undesirable ethnic enclave marred by crime, social problems and unemployment. Yet, Moorooka is also becoming a cosmopolitan destination for visitors to shop, explore and dine. We thematically analyse qualitative interviews with BAAs to understand their experience of interactions with non-BAAs. Our research sheds new light on the forms of openness and hospitality we call ‘minority cosmopolitanism’ that arises from the BAA’s experience. Accordingly, we also highlight forms of cosmopolitan encounters that assist with further understanding of the African diaspora.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Volume41
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)163-179
ISSN0725-6868
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3. Mar 2020

Keywords

  • cosmopolitanism
  • social integration
  • social cohesion
  • Intercultural communication
  • African Australians
  • Minority cosmopolitanism
  • Afro-Cosmopolitan encounters
  • ethnicity
  • multiculturalism

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