Discontent in Arab America: How Arab American Identity is Transversed by the Media.pdf Public

The attacks of 9/11 accelerated the changes in cultural perceptions experienced by Arab Americans. Arab Americans are an ethnic group with a history long predating the events of September 11, 2001. Their presence in the United States also long predates troubles in the Middle East. Yet recent events have caused the inaccurate conflation of this group with the phenomena of terrorism and Middle Eastern conflict. This Master's Project examines the inaccurate assumptions about Arab Americans -- whose numbers include both Christian and Muslim members -- which are reiterated in culture by television programs and movies. Surveying existing scholarship on Arab-Americans, including the works of Jack Shaheen, Steven Salaita, and Anahid Kulwicki, this thesis examines demographic data which disproves the popular culture assumptions. The goal of this project is to deliver a more accurate portrayal of Arab Americans and to assess the effect of negative public stereotypes about them.