South Asian Women's Identities: A Media and Personal Narrative Analysis
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This study examines issues of racism and sexism through the lens of Critical Race Theory and the interaction of personal and composite narratives. Specifically, the study explores how mainstream media’s hegemonic portrayal of South Asian culture and the 2007 socalled honour killing of Aqsa Parvez contribute to post-9/11 Islamophobia. The researcher presents a personal narrative that draws upon her experiences growing up in Dubai, U.A.E., and in Ontario, Canada and critically analyzes majoritarian stories related to Parvez as well as “counter-perspectives” that challenge such views. Study findings highlight the impact of 9/11 and Parvez’s murder on the researcher’s identity formation, and how media portray Muslim women as oppressed beings who live under the yoke of patriarchy. Results also indicate that although certain articles offer a counter-perspective that challenge dominant narratives, most recent media representations of the Parvez story equate Islam with honour killings and thus foster continued Islamophobia.