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Arab Christian Identity in the United States

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dc.contributor.advisor Mandaville, Peter Kayyali, Randa A.
dc.creator Kayyali, Randa A. 2013-05 2013-08-15T20:16:25Z 2018-06-01T06:41:33Z 2013-08-15
dc.description.abstract Christians from the Middle East and North Africa occupy a particular racial-ethnic-religious nexus in the US post-9/11: classified as white by race, sometimes Arab or Middle Eastern or North African by ethnicity and Eastern Christians by religion, but often conflated with Islamic culture and assumed to be Muslim. This study finds that Arab American Christians are deeply divided over the white racial category - some lay a claim to whiteness, some consider themselves persons of color and yet others are ambivalent. The contours of race and ethnicity change over time but the U.S. state remains hegemonic in its racial classification of Arab Americans, reclassifying those who answer Arab or Middle Eastern or country ancestries such as Lebanese or Palestinian on the Census form to the white population statistics. Secular and sectarian differences combine with national origins and political positions to create microspaces that fuel alternative self-identifications. Arab Christians in the Washington DC metro area, the focus of this study, reported high levels of mis-attributed religious affiliations as Muslims, which reflects conceptual conflations of Arab and Muslim in state policies, federal agencies and in the media. Using ethnographic research methods, interviews, oral histories and archival work, this dissertation demonstrates that Arab American Christian identity is inextricably caught up in a broader politics and ideologies surrounding race, ethnicity/nation in a contemporary moment.
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.rights Copyright 2013 Randa A. Kayyali en_US
dc.subject Arab American en_US
dc.subject Christianity en_US
dc.subject Ethnicity en_US
dc.subject Identity en_US
dc.subject Islam en_US
dc.subject Race en_US
dc.title Arab Christian Identity in the United States en_US
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.note This work is embargoed by the author and will not be available until June 2018. en_US PhD in Cultural Studies en_US Doctoral en Cultural Studies en George Mason University en

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