Affirmation and Resistance
Steven Salaita states in his book Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics (2007) that “emphasis on plurality is the only plausible way to discuss Arab Americans” (1). Indeed, the present study has presented multiple enactments of masculinities, thus reflecting the variety of manhoods represented in post-9/11 Arab American novels. In so doing, there has been an effort in countering stereotypical and homogenizing portrayals of Arab men. Moreover, the analysis of Arab American literature in chapter 4 has confirmed the theories expounded upon, especially in the previous chapters.
Chapter 1 has traced the historical racialization of Arabs in the United States. Taking Arab Americanness as a racial construction, the chapter has provided an account of the liminal position of Arabs in the United States regarding their racial categorization, as they are officially classified as white by the government, while their experiences of discrimination have historically constructed their identities as other and abject. If a survey on pre-9/11 discourses has offered a perspective on the historical stereotyping of Arab (American) men, September 11 has been explored as a national trauma, and its consequences for the perception of Arab masculinities in the United States have been examined. A special emphasis has been given to the construction of Arab men as terrorists through the ascription of abjection and deviance onto them, as the necropolitics resultant from 9/11 invited the pathologization of Arab/Muslim men as “monster-terrorists” (Puar and Rai), ← 181 | 182 → and consequently rendered them as “intolerable ethnics” (Puar). An...
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