Arab American Stereotypes Essay

488 Words2 Pages
Much of the research about Arab Americans has shown the stereotyped image of Arabs in the American and Western media. Shaheen (1983) showed how the American media uses ugly and negative stereotypes of Arabs.Through “editorial cartoons, television shows, comic strips, newspapers and even in novelty merchandise” (p. 328), Arabs were virtually dehumanized and depicted as the “bad guys.” targeted and given the stereotypical image of Arabs in American media. Researchers did a content analysis of news articles published in Newsweek and Time magazines between January 1990 and December 1993. Their analysis showed that a majority of the time Arabs were portrayed as lacking democracy, unity, and modern ethics. However, they found some coverage to reflect…show more content…
Arabs had no connection to any of these events, but the media did not bother to report the lack of connection and had not tried to undo the harm they had done to the image of Arabs in America. Scholars have also studied this stereotyped image in editorial cartoons and newspapers. Lendenman (1983) presented how the political cartoons in The Washington Post and The Washington Star, have depicted Arabs in a negative way, even portraying them as “rodents, cockroaches and other detestable animals” (p. 353). All the cartoons studied presented a very dehumanizing image of Arabs. Furthermore, he discussed how these images were used to justify indecent treatment of these groups. Arabs image in American entertainment such as radio, television, and movies was also studied. Nasir (1979) studied the portrayal of Arabs in American movies in the first half of the 20th century. In this study of movies in the U.S. between 1894 and 1950, Nasir found that an Arab male’s were most frequently portrayed as criminals. Terry (1983) addressed how contemporary American fiction presented Arabs and Muslims as “backward, greedy or inhumane” (p.
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