Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Arabs on television.; Arabs--Public opinion.; College students--Attitudes;


The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of Arabs by American students. The study sought to answer three questions. These questions focused on the perceptions of Arabs by American students and the influence that mass media and specifically TV has on students.

The literature reviewed in this study indicated that historical events played an important role in shaping the current relations between Arabs and Americans. Further, the literature discussed the relationship between television exposure and the creation of consumer social reality and perceptions. According to the literature review, there was no conclusive evidence that media shaped stereotypes held by Americans.

This study was significant for several reasons. First, no studies were found that had investigated the perceptions and possibly the stereotypes of Arabs by Americans, specifically American students. Second, TV news and TV entertainment tend to stereotypes Arabs. Third, the consequences of negative perceptions and stereotyping of Arabs may lead to prejudice and discrimination against them.

This study took place at a medium-sized university in the Midwest. A random sample of 500 freshmen students was selected from the freshman population, and a random sample of 500 seniors was selected from the senior student population at the same university.

The first finding of the study indicated that most students, both freshmen and seniors, do not have significant negative perception of Arabs. The second finding of the study revealed that there was no significant difference between perceptions held by freshmen and those held by seniors. Also, the results indicated that there was no correlation between TV viewing habits (hours per week) and the negative perception of Arabs. The last, but not least, finding was that there was a direct relationship between the negative perception of Arabs and source of information. It was concluded that TV, especially TV entertainment, and news creates negative perceptions of Arabs.

This study is considered to be an exploratory study, and the results presented may not be used to generalize about the American student population at the university. Therefore, further studies need to take place in order to examine the relationship between negative perceptions, stereotypes, mass media, and minorities in the United States.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Communication and Media


Department of Communication Studies

First Advisor

Dean Kruckeberg


Initial page shows The Perception of Arabs and Medias' Influence. Signature page shows The Perception of Arabs and Media's Influence.

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Date Original


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