ISLAMOPHOBIA AND THE MUSLIM AMERICAN IDENTITY: AN EXPLORATION OF GENDER, SES, AND SELF-ESTEEM
Shah, Nasreen Sadaf
MetadataShow full item record
The rise of Islamophobia has been likened to Europe’s anti-Semitism and the segregation of people of color in the 1900s in the U.S. However, a dearth of research exists regarding the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim Americans, and even less has been done to formulate appropriate clinical recommendations for working with Muslim clients. Currently, little is known in regards to the impact of Islamophobia upon view of self and the Islamic identity for Muslim Americans. The purpose of this study was to examine how strength of affiliation with Islamic identity explains experiences with discrimination for Muslim Americans. Participants were 123 second generation Muslim Americans who completed the following two domains of the Collective Self-Esteem Questionnaire, Race Specific Version (CSE-R): private collective self-esteem and importance to identity, along with the Perceived Ethnic Discrimination questionnaire (PEDQ) and a demographic questionnaire. Results indicated that private collective self-esteem(PCollectiveSE) and importance to identity (IMP_ID) were not significant predictors of reported experiences with discrimination; however, when IMP_ID and PCollectiveSE were paired with gender and SES, all four variables accounted for approximately thirteen percent of variance in in the model, with gender and SES being statistically significant coefficients. SES showed a statistically significant inverse correlation with discrimination. Higher scores in regards to education, income, and being in an urban setting led to fewer reported incidents of discrimination. There was a statistically significant difference in experiences of discrimination between males and females with male reporting encountering fewer experiences of prejudiced behaviors than females. The two independent variables, PCollectiveSE and IMP_ID, were not significantly related to experiences with discrimination. This research affirmed the need for developing a measure of Islamic identity affiliation as a starting place for examining how experiences with discrimination shape a Muslim’s view of themselves as well as the strength of the relationship with their religious identity. Interpretation of the findings, along with limitations and implications for future research are discussed.