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A New Intersectional Model to Illuminate the Workplace Discrimination of Arab-American and Muslim Women in the U.S.

Author:

Lydia Jamil

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, US
About Lydia
Lydia Jamil is in her final year at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Jamil is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a concentration in National Security. She is a first generation Lebanese-American. Her current research interests include women and gender relations, social justice, and community engagement.
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Abstract

 Prejudices about Middle Eastern women have created a trend of male-centric approaches to studying Middle Eastern people and societies. Following terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001; increases in stereotyping and prejudices have made these studies more discriminatory in addition to excluding the women that these prejudices impact. In this paper, I examine how changes in the conceptualization of Arab-American identity following the attacks of September 11, 2001 impacted the experience of all Arab Americans and how discrimination models have failed to account for this. I use intersectionality theory, specifically, the works of Kimberlé Crenshaw and Rachel E. Luft to argue that discrimination models are faulty because of their focus on men in a sexist system, as well as, their focus on Islam in an Islamophobic era in American history. I review the data and research that has been collected on sexual and ethnic harassment in the workplace, highlighting the absence of Arab-American women in these works as evidence of male-centered study. I argue that an improved discrimination model must use tools of intersectionality such as narratives and decentralize religion in order to demonstrate that cases of discrimination are a racialized gendered problem rather than a cultural problem.

 

How to Cite: Jamil, L., (2016). A New Intersectional Model to Illuminate the Workplace Discrimination of Arab-American and Muslim Women in the U.S. . Philologia . 8 , p . None . DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/ph.v8i0.3
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Published on 14 Apr 2016.

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