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Arab-American Ethnicity:Issues & Concepts

1. Please explain the concept of "hybrid ethnicity."

2. Please explain the concept of "defensive identity" and its outcome "reactive identity.

3. Please describe the importance of family to Arab Americans. Describe how family name defines them and affects their behavior.

4. What were some of the stereotypical beliefs about Arab Americans before September 11, 2001? Describe the four basic stereotypes about Arab Americans typified during 1970s and 1980s' television programs.

5. How has the events of September 11, 2001 affected Arab Americans in the form of prejudice and discrimination?

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Dear Student,
The solution below is in the form of a Q&A. The questions you posted are answered by a short narrative with references provided for expansion. Since you did not indicate the text book used for this class, the solution is not necessarily 'course specific'. However, I tried my best to stick to the most general and accepted knowledge regarding answers to each questions. If you have any questions regarding this solution please don't hesitate to send me a message. Thank you for using Brainmass.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

1. Please explain the concept of "hybrid ethnicity."

Ethnicity refers to the ethnic traits, background (cultural, political, religious, academic, social), allegiance, or association we refer to as part of our identity, i.e. Hispanic, Jewish, Chinese, Native American. In the case of Arab-Americans, they refer to their Arabic heritage be it cultural or linguistic. Arab Americans are Americans whose roots can be traced to any of the 23 countries in the Arab world (Wiki 2009); from the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, etc.), Libya, Egypt and Sudan in North Africa, to the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine - Gaza Strip and West Bank; Israel, Jordan, Iraq.) and the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, UAE, Qatar,Bahrain,Kuwait). Arab Americans are predominantly Christian (65%) compared to the predominantly Muslim population of their ethnic 'home' nations. When we speak of a 'Hybrid', we refer to 'plurality' - the presence of a myriad of influences from different origins and of sometimes opposing values and purposes. We also refer to a 'developed pairing' where the original 'versions' have been put together, at least elements from them, to produce a more relevant, far reaching version. In the case of 'hybrid ethnicities', we refer to the boundary crossing and eventual combination of several cultural and linguistic heritage in an individual, one who has not one but varied ethnic influences. Children of immigrant parents for example easily develop Hybrid ethnicities but the further down the line (in terms of generation from migrant parents to descendants) we go, the more diluted the original ethnic influences become with the assimilated ethnicity becoming more pronounced in the individual. Nevertheless, the cultural and linguistic heritage of the ethnicity from one's migrant elders will always be assimilated in its varied elements into the lives of the descendants via their socialization. This usually manifests itself in belief systems, traditions and practiced philosophies side by side with the culture the individual practices which is prevalent in the society the individual is ...

Solution Summary

The solution is an extensive APA-format essay that explains the concept of a hybrid-ethnicity. It delves into the concept further by providing examples. The solution also discusses defensive ethnicity and reactive ethnicity and how these are manifested in today's globalized world. The importance of family and family values in Arab Americans and its manifestation in behavior is narrated and its roots explained. The Arab-American minority group's position in society is discussed in relation to stereotypes before and after 9-11 especially the effect the event brought to the Arab-American minority that fueled prejudice and discrimination. The solution provides references and a word version is attached for easy printing.