NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ879827
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1946
Images of Islam in US Media and Their Educational Implications
Jackson, Liz
Educational Studies: Journal of the American Educational Studies Association, v46 n1 p3-24 2010
Educators teaching about social difference and about minorities in society face a variety of challenges in effectively teaching students accurate and balanced understandings of different groups in society, including, particularly, the competing influence of the mass media on young people's minds. Whether one views representations in contemporary US media as directly educational to youth, or as more reflective of common beliefs and attitudes deemed acceptable or normal in mainstream society, it remains clear that controversial minorities are vulnerable to stereotyping in this domain that has at least an indirect influence on young people, and that must, therefore, be taken into account by multicultural educators as partly constitutive of students' background knowledge/experience. In this article, the author illustrates this challenge for multicultural education by reference to some of the common themes that emerge in widely disseminated images of Islam and Muslims in US media since September 11, 2001 (9/11). Although many insightful accounts emphasize a systematic, structural, and/or comprehensive character to Muslim misrepresentation in Western/US media throughout the later half of the 20th century, it is important to consider chiefly representations of this group since 9/11, given the likelihood that recent media accounts may be more reflectively produced, for instance, given recent government statements disallowing hatefulness toward Islam and Muslim in US society. Additionally, media changes so rapidly that old structures of film and news journalism that predominated at earlier periods in media history are no longer necessarily central to an objective view of contemporary media representations; thus the author wants to largely discard earlier findings regarding mainstream media coverage of Islam, focusing instead on what is normal in media representations today, since 9/11, and its implications for education. After elaborating on her understanding of the impact the media has on young people, the author provides an overview of recent popular representations of Islam and Muslims, showing how this minority group is regularly and commonly portrayed in mainstream media in negative, stereotypical ways, especially since 9/11. Articulating this trend as a challenge to teachers aiming to provide students with more balanced, impartial understandings of Islam and Muslims, she goes on to elaborate on the need for thematic, analytical, and critical media literacy in social studies classrooms that responds to the irresponsible, incidental education of mass media, discussing in relation some best teaching practices for managing resources to learn about Muslims and related topics in public schools today. (Contains 8 figures and 4 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States