The dynamics of identity reconstruction among Arab communities in the United States

El Sayed El-Aswad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Theorizing identity in and through diasporic communities facilitates a rethinking of the relationship between individuals and their imagined communities of both their homeland and new recipient country. This article endeavors to examine Arab Americans' views of identity, mobility, and belonging especially in the post-9/11 world. These views are examined within the perspectives of both Arab American writers and ordinary Arab immigrants of the Detroit metropolitan area. Confronted with diaspora, Arab intellectuals, especially Edward Said, have expressed being torn between their commitment to universal-human values, their commitment to their new land, and their attachment to their homeland. The article analyzes their complex positioning and views as compared to the experiences of ordinary immigrant Arab Muslims and non-Muslims, particularly Egyptian-Arab immigrants. The study is concerned much more with Arab Americans'Jived experience than with abstract structures and processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-121
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Arab Americans
  • Diaspora
  • Ethnicity
  • Identity
  • Migration
  • U.S.A.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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