Hybrid Identity Construction of a Sufi Muslim and Arab Immigrant to the United States

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This study examines the relationship between language and culture in the case of a college instructor whose identity is a blend of three different backgrounds (Sufi Muslim, Arab, and American); each of which is unique in the way it informs other parts of the individual’s identity, as well as the informant’s worldviews. By analyzing and interpreting data gathered from lectures, town-hall meetings, and interviews with the informant, the author seeks to illustrate how an immigrant’s native language and culture influence the construction of his hybrid identity as he function in different social arenas.


“An emerging scholar with a background in linguistics and literature, Omaima Ayoub, conducts a discourse analysis in this study wherein she shares a portrait of a Sufi Muslim Arab scholar who has relocated to the United States in pursuit of his academic and professional career. Against the backdrop of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, she traces connections between private interviews with the scholar and public presentations, ultimately painting a complex picture of an individual whose first and second language, and first and second culture converge in the formation of what she terms a ‘hybrid identity’.” - Dr. Lawrence N. Berlin, Associate Professor of Linguistics, Northeastern Illinois University

“The Hybrid Identity Construction of a Sufi Muslim, Arab Immigrant to the United States reveals a unique relationship between language and culture in the discursive construction of identity. Although previous studies have been taken to examine various links between language and culture ... to date no other study examines the specific articulation of religious (Sufi), linguistic (Arabic), and national (American) identities and their relationship to language acquisition and communicative competence. For this reason, this is a groundbreaking study.” - Dr. Kathryn A. Remlinger, Associate Professor of English, Grand Valley State University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Lawrence N. Berlin
1 Literature Review
2 Scope of the Study
3 Methodology
4 Data Analysis
5 Conclusions and Recommendations
Appendix A - Interviews
Appendix B - Town Hall Meeting
Appendix C - Lecture
Appendix D - Data Taxonomic Analysis
Appendix E - Tabulation Table
Glossary of Sufi Terms

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