‘Lebanese Muslim’: a Bourdieuian ‘Capital’ offense in an Australian coastal town

Randa Abdel-Fattah*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on encounters between differently habituated bodies at ‘Bayside’, a popular Anglo-majority Australian coastal town. Based on in-depth interviews with locals, I show how banal speech acts, interpretations of encounters, corporeal attitudes and practices of exclusion construct the embodied behaviour and haptic space of Lebanese Muslims visitors as threatening and inferior, producing a racialised habitus of Lebanese Muslims. I enrol Ghassan Hage’s theoretical framework on habitus and the field of Whiteness in multicultural Australia to argue that the fields of gender, class, ethnicity, religion and race – evoked in various settings such as the beach, cafes, parks – ‘fold’ [Noble, G, 2013. ‘It is home but it is not home’: habitus, field and the migrant. Journal of sociology, 49 (2–3), 341–356] into the field of Whiteness such that Lebanese Muslims are situated in a hierarchy of valuation that privileges the different forms of capital possessed by Bayside residents. The result, among the participants, is a perception of Lebanese Muslim body techniques and modes of using public space as inferior, threatening and out of place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-338
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2016


  • embodiment’
  • habitus
  • Islam
  • Islamophobia
  • Muslim
  • racism
  • whiteness


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