On Chuck Woolery and Americans’ Stereotypes of Muslims

by John Sides on April 21, 2013 · 22 comments

in Public opinion

My Wonkblog post today begins with a tweet from Chuck Woolery and segues into a forthcoming article by Kimberly Gross and me about American stereotypes of Muslims and their consequences for policy attitudes.  Here is a graph showing how white non-Muslim respondents stereotyped Muslims, Muslim-Americans, and several ethnic groups on four different trait dimensions:

muslim_stereotypes


In the post, I write:


…on average these respondents rated both Muslims and Muslim-Americans as more violent than peaceful and as more untrustworthy than trustworthy. Put in percentage terms, 45 percent of respondents placed Muslim-Americans on the “violent” side of the scale, and 51 percent placed Muslims on this side of the scale. Given that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was an American citizen, it is notable that respondents do not appear to distinguish between Muslims and Muslim-Americans.  Both groups are stereotyped in much the same way.


At the same time, Muslims and Muslim-Americans were perceived as more hardworking than lazy and as more intelligent than unintelligent.  Gross and I argue that this pattern fits the prevailing images of Muslims that Americans are exposed to in the news and entertainment media.  Muslims are portrayed, intentionally or not, as devious and violent more often than they are portrayed as lazy or dumb.

More here.

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