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An Emerging Visible Minority: Muslim American Women Post 9/11. Dalal Katsiaficas New York University. Acknowledgements. Dr. Selçuk R. Ş irin Mixed-Methods Research Team The 2006 Dean’s Grant for Undergraduate Research Dr. Gigliana Melzi and Prof. Adina Schick. Emerging Visible Minority.

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acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
  • Dr. Selçuk R. Şirin
  • Mixed-Methods Research Team
  • The 2006 Dean’s Grant for Undergraduate Research
  • Dr. Gigliana Melzi and Prof. Adina Schick
emerging visible minority
Emerging Visible Minority
  • Hate crimes targeting Muslim Americans increased 17-fold in the year following the 9/11 attacks (FBI, 2002).
  • Outward symbols of religiosity of the Muslim faith may include women covering their head and hair (“hijab”), and wearing traditional dress (USDOJ, 2006).
  • Such symbols of religiosity may be used to identify Muslim Americans as targets for discrimination (USDOJ, 2006).
discrimination and self esteem
Discrimination and Self-Esteem
  • Adhering to the norms of a religious Muslim identity is key to negotiating the challenges of living with “conflicting cultural norms” and in an overall “diasporic setting” (Zine, 2001).
  • In other minority groups, perceived discrimination correlates negatively with self-esteem (Branscombe & Ellemers, 1998; Green, Way & Pahl, 2006; Moradi & Hassan, 2004).
  • A sense of control fully mediates the link between perceived discrimination and self-esteem (Branscombe & Ellemers, 1998; Moradi & Hassan, 2004).
rationale
Rationale
  • Extant research has shown negative effects of discrimination on self-esteem (Branscombe & Ellemers, 1998; Green, Way & Pahl, 2006; Moradi & Hassan, 2004).
  • Like other visible minorities, Muslim Americans, as well as other individuals who visually resembled them (e.g., Sikhs), were targeted for a backlash of discriminatory attacks because of their appearance (USDOJ, 2001; SALDEF, 2006).
  • No studies addressing the effects of discrimination for Muslim Americans.
research questions
Research Questions
  • 1. What are the effects of outward displays of religiosity on perceived discrimination?
  • 2. What are the effects of perceived discrimination on self-esteem?
  • 3. What are the effects of outward displays of religiosity on self-esteem?
conceptual model
Conceptual Model

Perceived

Discrimination

Outward Displays

of Religiosity

Self-Esteem

data sources
Data Sources
  • Data were taken from a larger study (N = 120) looking at Muslim American college students (PI: Sirin).
  • Surveys were administered individually and participants were compensated with gift certificates.
measures
Measures
  • Outward Displays of Religiosity
    • Demographic Questionnaire
  • Self-Esteem
    • Developmental Assets Profile (Search Institute, 2004)
  • Perceived Discrimination
    • Assessed experiences in the past 12 months in 5 different settings
    • Modified version of Krieger and Sidney’s (1996) checklist
participant demographics
Participant Demographics
  • 66 Muslim American women
  • Age 18-25
  • Ethnic Breakdown
    • 27% Arabs
    • 35% Pakistani
    • 38% Other
  • Traditional Dress
    • 45.5% Do not wear
    • 54.5% Wear
descriptive statistics
Descriptive Statistics
  • 76% of sample experienced discrimination at least once during the previous year in one of five settings (M = 1.11, SD = 1.01).
    • Traditional Dress (M = 1.49, SD = 1.12)
    • Not Traditional Dress (M = 0.65, SD = 0.58)
  • Women who wear traditional dress experienced significantly higher amounts of discrimination.
    • While shopping (X (4) = 10.12, p < .05)
    • On the street (X (4) = 19.44, p< .001)
    • In public places (X (4) = 13.31, p< .01)
mediation model
Mediation Model
  • Mediation is established when (Baron & Kenny, 1986):
    • 1) the independent variable significantly predicts the dependent variable;
    • 2) the independent variable significantly predicts the mediator variable;
    • 3) the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable is diminished when the mediator variable is controlled for (entered simultaneously in the regression equation).
results
Results
  • Religious dress significantly predicted perceived discrimination (Standardized Beta = .42).
  • Perceived discrimination significantly predicted higher self-esteem (Standardized Beta = .34).
  • Religious dress significantly predicted higher self-esteem (Standardized Beta = .27).
  • When religious dress and perceived discrimination are combined they predicted higher self-esteem (Standardized Beta = .15).
  • Perceived discrimination partially mediates the relationship between outward displays of religiosity and self-esteem.
perceived discrimination as a mediator
Perceived Discrimination as a Mediator

Perceived

Discrimination

.42

.34

Outward Displays

of Religiosity

Self-Esteem

.27

.15

summary of results
Summary of Results
  • Traditionally dressed Muslim American women perceived more discrimination and were targeted as a visible minority.
  • Religious dress increased self-esteem, but it was because of the discrimination they experienced.
  • For Muslim American women, the faith for which they are discriminated against leads to a higher sense of self-esteem.
conclusions
Conclusions
  • The combination of religious dress and perceived discrimination counter intuitively predicted higher self-esteem.
  • Being discriminated against because of their faith as opposed to their race may be a significant difference from other minority populations.
  • A sense of control over their outward appearance might mediate the relationship between discrimination and self-esteem.
  • Arab and South Asian populations have a cultural tradition of insulating in times of adversity.
  • Most importantly, these results show the uniqueness of this population in their ability to transform discrimination into a positive mental health outcome.