Dhiren Patel

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Vincent Lyon-Callo

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Ulin

Third Advisor

Dr. David Ede

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This paper is an ethnographic investigation of Muslim American perceptions of social marginalization in the United States as a by-product of various governmental and media forces, with the Kalamazoo, MI community being the regional focus. The existence of the violence-crazed zealot Muslim stereotype has had social repercussions for Muslims living in America. The first part of this research looks at the development of Muslim stereotypes before 9/11. The second half of this paper discuses the results from interviews with local Muslims Americans who have given me their perspective on prejudice against Islam in the United States.

The oral accounts provided will be used to highlight a personal perspective of how different aspects of American society contribute to bias against Islam. We each see the great narrative of our times from one vantage point and must endeavor to understand the viewpoints of others in order to benefit from "what they see". This effort will give a voice to a generation of Muslims in America that have up to this point lain far too silent during the most crucial of social periods in addition to highlighting some of the subjective aspects of racial prejudice.

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Anthropology Commons