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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Maurianne Adams

Subject Categories

Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching | Counselor Education | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Education Policy | Gender and Sexuality | Higher Education and Teaching | Peace and Conflict Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning | Social Work | Sociology of Culture | Sociology of Religion | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


Arab American identity has not yet received the research attention and scholarship that it deserves. In this dissertation, I have qualitatively studied the narratives of young Arab American college students and recent graduates. The research questions that I explored include what makes them Arab Americans, and what are the factors that help them identify as such. By focusing on Arab Americans and their identity factors, I have presented the narratives of those women and men who self-identify as Arab American and quoted their accounts of how they navigate this undervalued, misunderstood, and stereotyped identity. I have used ethnic and racial identity models, such as Cross (1971) and Wijeyesinghe (1992, 2001, 2012) to note the factors that are salient in Arab American identity as described through in-depth interviews and focus groups with 11 Arab American young women and men. The dissertation concludes with a model that presents the factors that shaped Arab American identity for these subjects and the interrelationships among those factors.