Measuring Perceptions of Prejudice Among Native and Non-Native Muslims in Non-Muslim Nations, Research Proposal Example

In the post-9/11 sociopolitical global environment, much discussion has been given to the nature of Islam and the issue of how Muslims are perceived in countries around the world. The purpose of this study will be to examine issues related to prejudice as experienced by Muslims living in primarily non-Muslim regions of the world, such as Western Europe and the United States. Particular attention will be paid to drawing distinctions between Muslims who are native to non-Muslim nations and Muslims who migrated more recently to non-Muslim nations, wit an eye towards determining if these groups perceive or experience prejudicial attitudes from non-Muslims to different degrees.

Background/Review of Literature

A vast amount of research has been conducted to gauge how Muslims living in Europe, the United States, and other Western nations are perceived by native Westerners. Much of this research is overly broad; while there are a number of country-specific studies relating to this subject, most fail to address a number of factors. These studied primarily focus on the perception of non-Muslims, and forego making determinations about how Muslims perceive issues related to prejudice and social acceptance. Further, most studies do little to differentiate between Muslims who are native to, or have lived for most of their lives, in Western nations, and those who have more recently migrated from predominantly-Muslim nations to the West. This shortcoming raises a number of questions about how Muslims perceive prejudice, and whether there are marked differences in perceptions between Western-native Muslims and more recent immigrants to the West.

Rationale

This study is predicated on the hypothesis that cultural, social, religious, and other factors contribute to the way people communicate. Many studies have shown a significant level of prejudice against Muslims in non-Muslim nations. The questions in this study will help to determine if native and non-native Muslims in non-Muslim nations perceive prejudice differently, based on the hypothesis that these groups will report different levels of positive responses regardless of whether their native or non-native status is know to those who act prejudicially towards them

Are you a native of a non-Muslim nation?

Have you migrated to a non-Muslim nation within the last five years?

Have you experienced prejudice that you believe is based on the fact that you are Muslim?

If you have lived in a non-Muslim nation since before September 11, 2001, do you feel that you have experienced prejudice from non-Muslims to any degree, or to a greater degree than you did before that date?

From your perspective (whether you are a native or a more recent immigrant) do you feel that native Muslims experience prejudice to a lesser degree, the same degree, or a greater degree than more recent immigrant Muslims?

If you have experienced prejudice based on the fact that you are a Muslim, does the person or persons treating you prejudicially know whether or not you are a native or non-native?

Rationale

Participants in this study must necessarily come from a diverse demographic background. In order to effectively address the issues and answer the questions raised by this study, it will be necessary to recruit participants from a range of age groups; recommended groups would range from high school students (with parental permission if under age 18); college students; and adults ranging from post-academic ages to late adulthood.

The study will be conducted in an interview format, with non-native and native Muslims categorized into distinct groups.

Manipulations/variations in the test questions will consist of prompt statements, with respondents being asked to agree or disagree with them.

Variations in the questions will relate to how strongly respondents agree or disagree with assertions about the significance of racial, cultural, and linguistic differences being offered as roots causes of marital stress

By varying these factors it will be possible to determine subjectively what factors married partners see as the greatest cause of stressors

Design

Manipulations/variations in the test questions will consist of prompt statements, with respondents being asked to agree or disagree with them.

Variations in the questions will relate to how strongly respondents agree or disagree with assertions about the questions related to whether or how they have experienced prejudice

By varying these questions it will be possible to determine subjectively whether different groups of Muslims in non-Muslim nations experience prejudice

Control questions will be offered to respondents to determine f they have experienced prejudice; members of both groups who respond negatively will be measured against the variations in responses from those who respond affirmatively

The construct of the questions should reveal whether Muslims in non-Muslim nations perceive or experience prejudice differently based o their native or non-native status

Procedure

Interviews will be conducted in a consistent, neutral setting

Participants will offer verbal responses to questions which will be recorded audio-visually and notated by interviewers

Analysis

The overall objective of this study will be to determine whether Muslims in non-Muslim nations perceive or experience prejudice; to what degree (if any) they experience it; and whether there are notable distinctions in these experiences between native and non-native Muslims in non-Muslim nations

Conclusion

The bulk of the research in this field is aimed at measuring levels of prejudice felt by non-Muslims against Muslims; such studies explore everything from general perceptions of Muslims to specific feelings about Muslims living in non-Muslim nations. There exists a dearth of studies that explore these same issues from the perspective of Muslims, especially in terms of comparing native and non-native Muslims living in non-Muslim nations. This study should help contribute to the field by offering greater insight into how Muslims experience prejudice in non-Muslim nations.

References

Gonzalez, K. V., Verkuyten, M., Weesie, J., & Poppe, E. (2008). Prejudice towards Muslims in The Netherlands: Testing integrated threat theory. British Journal of Social Psychology, (47), 667-685.

Pedersen, A., & Hartley, L. K. (2011). Prejudice Against Muslim Australians: The Role of Values, Gender and Consensus. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 22(3), 239-255.

Strabac, Z., & Listhaug, O. (2008). Anti-Muslim prejudice in Europe: A multilevel analysis of survey data from 30 countries. Social Science Research , 37(1), 268-286.