Stereotyping of Arab Muslims in the New York Times for the Past Forty Years

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Stereotyping of Arab Muslims in the New York Times for the Past Forty Years

This study examines stereotyping of Arab Muslims in the New York Times for the past forty years. Theorists suggest that stereotyping of a minority group effects the public's opinion of that group. Other communication media theorists say that only under extreme conditions will the negative stereotypes reflect the publics' opinions of the portrayed minority group. The parallel theory between propaganda and stereotyping by the mass media is examined. Theorists including Thomson, (1977) & Myers, (1992), related to mass media effects strongly agree claiming that repetitive and non-contradictive images in the media are an effective form of propaganda. The research samples are random article reviews of the New York Times for the past forty years. Using every fifth year and 2 random numbers ranging from 1 to 12 is used to select an article search date. Islam was the search term. The Gudykunst & Kim( ? ) method of analyzing a stereotype is used to evaluate the 8 New York Times articles. The results indicate 95% of the articles were "vague," labeling entire group rather than individual. Out of the total 100%, 70% of the article used unfavorable trait characteristic labeling.

Has the New York Times negatively stereotyped Arab Muslims for the past forty years? The goal of this research project is to reveal the negative stereotypes directed towards Arab Muslims in the New York Times. The critical focus of the research is the consistency of the negative stereotypes. The underlying focus is what theoretical and historical effects result from the negative stereotypes.


The operational definition is "an idea, expression, lacking in originality or inventiveness. A simplified and standardized conception or image of a person or group held in common by members of a group." (Dictionary). Theorist's Gudykunst & Kim claims the word stereotype originated from an author named Walter Lippman. In this study, the independent variable is the New York Times and the dependent variable is the Islamic religious group.


"And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones" (Holy Qur'an 2:45). To announce you are a Muslim, you have to follow the five pillars of Islam that are:

1. Pray five times a...

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