Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication, Professional

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dan Brown

Committee Members

James J. Mooney, Larry S. Miller


Stereotypes routinely appear within Hollywood films. This study focuses on films released from 1994-2000 that feature Arab/Arab-American characters. A literature analysis reviewed the use of stereotypes in other portrayals of Arab/Arab-American characters. A qualitative analysis of six movies examined specific characteristics that were displayed by Arab/Arab-American characters. These characteristics included speaking with an accent, traditional/native attire, acts of hostility and aggression, affiliation with terrorism, and whether they were depicted as victimizers or victims. These films were selected in order to demonstrate the frequent existence of negative portrayals in popular films prior to 9/11. A primary coder, the author, analyzed 108 scenes, while the secondary coder analyzed 10% of the total scenes as a reliability check. The findings suggest that negative images of Arabs/Arab-Americans appeared frequently in the popular films within this study. The conclusions suggest that stereotypes are evident in films and are detrimental to Arab/Arab-American races and cultures.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.