Community Cultural Wealth among a South Australian Muslim Population: A Reflective Evaluation of Strengthening Family Health and Wellbeing

Helen McLaren, Renee Taylor, Emi Patmisari, Carla McLaren, Michelle Jones, Mohammad Hamiduzzaman

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Abstract

Muslims living in non-Muslim countries may experience marginality, which has associations with exclusion, poor socio-emotional health, higher rates of family violence, and poor quality of life. Faith-based strategies have the potential to bridge the gaps and improve the outcomes for these communities. We undertook a reflective evaluation of the individual and group interventions of a Muslim start-up NGO, Community Development, Education and Social Support Inc. (CDESSA) (Adelaide, SA, Australia). Qualitative data were generated via dialogue, storytelling, and making connections with meaning based on observations of the lived experiences of the narrators. The analysis involved revisiting, reordering, refining, and redefining the dialogue, and conscious framing around a theoretical model of community cultural wealth. The results showed the growth of family and community engagement in CDESSA’s support and intervention activities, commencing with a small religious following in 2021 and growing to more than 300 Muslims regularly joining together for faith, health, welfare, and social wellbeing activities. Reflections on the dimensions of aspirational, navigational, social, familial, ethnoreligious, and resilient forms of community cultural wealth showed that the range of individual and group interventions, involving religious leaders, contributed to improving health and wellbeing, thereby growing community capital as a mechanism for strengthening families in this community.

Original languageEnglish
Article number351
Number of pages14
JournalReligions
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Australia
  • community
  • cultural wealth
  • minority
  • multicultural
  • Muslim
  • social work

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