Master thesis: Ethno-religious identity formation of the Muslim Arab community in Buenos Aires (anthropological research)

‘Muslim Argentinians with Arab roots in Buenos Aires’

An anthropological research about the ethno-religious identity formation of the Muslim Arab community in Buenos Aires, Argentina


Having explored the (self-) perception - in terms of sameness and otherness - and the effect of image, stereotyping and discrimination on the formation of the ethno-religious identity of the Muslim Arab community in Buenos Aires, this thesis provides answers as to how ethnicity and religion define the identity of the Muslim Arab community in Buenos Aires. In focusing on religion, this thesis has documented the connection between religion and ethnic identity. More specifically I have sought to answer the central question guiding my research: How has discrimination shaped the collective ethno-religious identity of the Muslim Arab community in Buenos Aires, after the 1990’s?

Discrimination is not so much evident on a large scale within Argentine society or in the daily lives of members from the Muslim Arab community or social networks. Nowadays, strong discrimination is rather suffered by the marginalized poor in this country as class and socio-economic status prove to be the major motivations for discrimination instead of religious affiliation (Jozami 1996a&b). A majority of the Muslim Arab community currently belong to the middle class or higher middle class (Klich & Lesser 1998: 168), discrimination in terms of class or socio-economic status is thus not relevant. In contemporary Argentina, the Muslim Arab community peacefully coexists with the rest of the society and is part of it. However, a number of its members feels exposed to stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination through biased media image reporting.

It is the media that is primarily responsible for further contributing to the multiplication of misperceptions about the relationship between Islam and Arabs, as an ethnic group.

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Summaries & Study Note of JulitaBonita
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