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Title page for ETD etd-03272017-162939

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hassan, Safiah Seid
Author's Email Address safiah.s.hassan@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-03272017-162939
Title When You Are the News: The Health Effects of Contemporary Islamophobia on Muslims in the United States and United Kingdom
Degree Master of Arts
Department Medicine, Health, and Society
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Gabriel N. Mendes Committee Chair
Laura J.M. Stark Committee Member
  • Islamophobia
  • Muslim population health
  • stigma
  • public health
  • discrimination
Date of Defense 2017-03-14
Availability unrestricted
Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, Muslims in the United States and United Kingdom have been the targets of Islamophobia: unwavering scrutiny, discrimination, and being made to feel like “others.” I use mixed methods of literature review, qualitative interviews, and quantitative analysis to argue that this Islamophobia affects the health of Muslims. I draw primarily from the concepts of orientalism and biological citizenship to link history with contemporary Islamophobia. My main qualitative findings include that there are highly significant studies linking Islamophobia and perceived discrimination with objective health outcomes and that there are three main levels that contribute to the overall perceived discrimination of Muslims. These three levels are interpersonal, community, and societal-level discrimination. Through quantitative analysis, I show that with confounding variables aside, Muslims experience more discrimination than similar non-Muslims, which leads to adverse mental and self-reported health outcomes, decreased happiness, and decreased feeling at home in America. By framing Islamophobia as a public health issue, I argue that its condemnation is essential to improving population health.
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