Arabs' Stereotypes Revisited: Lessons from Cognitive Science and "Stan of Arabia"

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Mohammed Albalawi/ Kent State University
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Arabs have suffered from negative media coverage and stereotyping in the United States for over 100 years, but most notably within the last few decades. This has resulted in many Americans seeing Arabic people as dangerous and Arabs being labeled as outcasts. In order to understand the extent of harm caused by the negative representations of Arabs, this paper provides a discussion of how stereotypes work, what cognitive structures and processes are involved, and how they affect people's perceptions, judgments, emotions, and actions regarding other people. Then, this paper examines the theoretical schools of thought in the representations of Arabs. Furthermore, to show how Arabs have been supplied with worse images, this paper will offer analytical examinations of two examples from the media: "Stan of Arabia" and The Dictator to expose certain false and harmful cultural representations of Arabs.