Canadian Muslim immigrants and Western mainstream media

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Tuz-Atkinson, Michaelle V.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Health Sciences
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences
This study sought to discover how Canadian Muslim immigrants perceive Western mainstream media’s representations of Muslims, and how they felt it affected their social integration. Muslim immigrant adults, five males and five females who lived in Canada for at least two years, were interviewed. Participants commented on three Western mainstream news items they identified as representing Muslims positively, neutrally, and negatively, and they ranked their sense of belonging. Findings revealed that Western mainstream media influenced how immigrants felt, viewed themselves, and how they thought others perceived them, potentially impacting their emotions and mental health. Participants’ responses differed, seemingly due to how much they engaged with media, their relationships with the media, and their social and personal vulnerability. The impact of Western media centred around themes of identity construction, accuracy in media reporting, social education, and the power of the media. Although the media exerts an influence on participants’ sense of belonging in Canada, they their attribute social interactions with others to even more significantly influence their belonging.
Canadian Muslim immigrants , ethnic perceptions , media portrayals , Muslims in mainstream media , sense of belonging , social integration , Dissertations, Academic