Identity, acculturation and adaptation of muslims in NZ
Published: 2011. Contact: Colleen Ward
The survey research was designed to examine identity and acculturation strategies in first generation immigrants in New Zealand and how these factors impact on adaptation.
The sample composition also provided comparisons across religious groups (no professed religion, Christian, Muslim and Asian religious, including Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism).
This research was conducted with a view to addressing Brash’s contention that some immigrants “fit in” better than others and are more likely to “accept New Zealand’s bedrock values”.
Key findings include:
- 61% of Muslims agreed that immigrants should maintain their original culture while also adopting the New Zealand culture, and this was not significantly different from immigrants from other religious groups.
- 62% of Muslim immigrants disagreed that immigrants should give up their own culture for the sake of adopting New Zealand culture, and this was not significantly different from immigrants from other religious groups.
- The strength of ethnic identity did not vary across the four groups; however, Christian immigrants more strongly identified as New Zealanders, compared to immigrants from other religious groups.
- There were no differences in socio-cultural adaptation (cultural competency) or symptoms of psychological distress across the four groups.
- There were no differences in perceived discrimination across the four groups.
The findings indicate strong similarities between Muslim immigrants and immigrants from other religious backgrounds.