Major Papers

Author ORCID Identifier


Arab, Muslim, Ramy, Critical Pedagogy, Freire, Oppressed


Historically, representations of Arabs and Muslims in mainstream media have been heavily based on stereotypes, orientalist thought, and have not come from Arabs and Muslims at the source. They have resulted in an overly negative and damaging repertoire of depictions throughout various forms of media, including print, film, video games and television. These representations can have damaging consequences for Arabs and Muslims, as well as contributing to the structuring of opinions and views of general audiences.

The primary concern of this research paper is to analyze how self-representation by Arabs and Muslims in mainstream media can impact dominant hegemonic structures. An alternative to the widespread and common negative depictions that have become the norm in the West is necessary in order to work towards the liberation of these oppressed groups and has the potential to contribute to the reshaping of dominant public opinion and discourse. I find that it is important to encourage representations that come from the subjects themselves which should carry greater accuracy and nuance. I specifically conduct analysis of the televised series Ramy, which features Arabs and Muslims throughout the cast and crew and measure its potential to act as a counter-hegemonic device through its links to and support of Paulo Freire’s models of problem-posing pedagogy. A myriad of connections were found that support the initial research question and outline how a media project can act as a pedagogical tool that contributes to the liberation of the oppressed. Through my analysis of media that features Arab and Muslim direct involvement in the production process, my hope is that the dominant hegemonic discourse can effectively be combatted and even dismantled.

Primary Advisor

Dr. Michael Darroch

Program Reader

Dr. Valerie Scatamburlo-D'annibale

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Communication, Media and Film

Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year