Jordanian Stereotypes of Americans: A Study at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan

  • Irene Gibson Macalester College
  • Mohammed Banihani Yarmouk University
  • Peter Joseph Gibson Health and Hospital Corporation

Abstract

This study investigates Jordanian student perceptions of Americans through a survey of Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan. Specifically, this study identifies pervading stereotypes held about Americans, and where these stereotypes were learned. Data was collected June through August of 2014 from Yarmouk University students through a distribution of surveys. Students reported learning the most about Americans through films (22%). For a majority of students, the response for a trait related to Americans had a significant association with the response for the same trait related to Jordanians. Traits commonly and significantly associated with Americans were lack of family values, women being promiscuous, wanting to invade other countries, and disliking Muslims. The trait commonly and significantly associated with Jordanians was being generous.   

Author Biographies

Irene Gibson, Macalester College
This research was carried out from June through August of 2014 as I resided in Irbid, Jordan under a Macalester College grant to conduct this study. At the time of research, I was a rising senior at Macalester College majoring in International Studies, Arabic, and Political Science. This research experience was my second time living in Irbid, Jordan.  
Mohammed Banihani, Yarmouk University
Dr. Banihani, my first co-author, contributed his expertise as Head of the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations and an assistant professor of education at Yarmouk University.
Peter Joseph Gibson, Health and Hospital Corporation
Dr. Peter Joseph Gibson, my second co-author, contributed his expertise in data analysis as Director of Epidemiology at Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County.

References

Arab American Institute. (2004). “Impressions of America (2004).” Zogby Research Services.
Retrieved from http://www.aaiusa.org/index_ee.php/reports/impressions-of-america-
2004.

Arab American Institute. (2014). “5 Years After the Cairo Speech: How Arabs View President
Obama and America.” Zogby Research Services. Retrieved from
http://www.aaiusa.org/reports/5-years-after-the-cairo-speech-how-arabs-view-
president-obama-and-america/.

Cuddy, Amy J. C., Susan T. Fiske, Virginia S. Y. Kwan, Peter Glick, Stéphanie Demoulin,
Jacques-Philippe Leyens, Michael Harris Bond, et al. (2009). “Stereotype content
Model across cultures: Towards universal similarities and some differences.” British
Journal of Social Psychology, 48, 1-33.

Hamdan, Sameer. (2012). “Personal qualities ascribed to females and males in the English
Language textbooks: A case study from Jordan.” Ahfad Journal, 28, no. 1, 53-73.

Johnson, Megan K., Wade C. Rowatt, Lucy M. Barnard-Brak, Julie A. Patock-Peckham, Jordan
P. LaBouff, and Robert D. Carlisle. (2011). “A mediational analysis of the role of right-
wing authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism in the religiosity–prejudice link.”
Personality & Individual Differences, 50, no. 6, 851-856.

Pauker, Kristin, Nalini Ambady and Evan P. Apfelbaum. (2010). “Race Salience and Essentialist
Thinking in Racial Stereotype Development.” Child Development, 81, no. 6, 1799-1813.

Pew Research Center. “American Ideas and Customs.” Pew Research Centers Global Attitudes Project RSS. 2002-2013a. Retrieved from http://www.pewglobal.org/database/indicator/42/survey/all/.

Pew Research Center. “Opinion of Americans.” Pew Research Centers Global Attitudes Project RSS. 2002-2013b. Retrieved from http://www.pewglobal.org/database/indicator/2/survey/all/.

Pew Research Center. “Opinion of the United States.” Pew Research Centers
Global Attitudes Project RSS. 2002-2013c. Retrieved from
http://www.pewglobal.org/database/indicator/1/survey/all/.

Suleiman, Michael W. (2007). ““I come to Bury Caesar, not to Praise Him”: An Assessment of
the AAUG as an Example of an Activist Arab-American Organization.” Arab Studies
Quarterly, 29, no. 3, 75-95.

------ (1974). “National Stereotypes As Weapons in the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” Journal of
Palestine Studies, 3, no. 3, 109-121.

------ (1982). “Stereotypes, Public Opinion, and Foreign Policy: The Impact on American-Arab
Relations.” Journal of Arab Affairs, 1, 147-166.

Telhami, Shibley. (2010). “2010 Annual Arab Public Opinion Survey.” Brookings. Retrieved
From http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/reports/2010/8/05%20arab%20 opinion%20poll%20telhami/0805_arabic_opinion_poll_telhami.pdf.

Tessler, Mark. (2003). “Arab and Muslim Political Attitudes: Stereotypes and Evidence from
Survey Research.” International Studies Perspectives, 175-181.

Tessler, M., and Corstange, D. (2002). “How should Americans understand Arab and Muslim
political attitudes: Combating stereotypes with public opinion data from the middle
east.” Journal of Social Affairs, 13-34.

Tinsley, Catherine H., Nazli Turan, Soroush Aslani, and Laurie R. Weingart. (2011). “The
Interplay between Culturally- and Situationally-based Mental Models of Intercultural
Dispute Resolution: West Meets Middle East." International Negotiation, 16, no. 3,
481-510.

Published
2017-05-13
How to Cite
GIBSON, Irene; BANIHANI, Mohammed; GIBSON, Peter Joseph. Jordanian Stereotypes of Americans: A Study at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 2, p. 38-49, may 2017. ISSN 2166-2681. Available at: <http://isejournal.org/index.php/jise/article/view/167>. Date accessed: 22 sep. 2017.

Keywords

American stereotypes, Arab stereotypes, Jordan, Middle East perceptions, Arab youth