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The Effects of Discrimination and Constraints Negotiation on Leisure Behavior of American Muslims in the Post-September 11 America

Jennifer S. Livengood, Monika Stodolska


This study was intended to give an account of the treatment that American Muslims have been subjected to over a one year period following the events of September 11, 2001, to establish how discrimination has affected their leisure behavior, and to analyze people's responses to discrimination and their strategies used to overcome obstacles to their leisure participation. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted witfi 25 individuals from Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Mexico and Korea. Results indicate that discrimination has affected leisure of Muslim immigrants directly through experiences in leisure-related settings and while engaged in leisure activities, by restricting the range of available leisure options and co-participants, by affecting their willingness to participate in leisure activities, and by restricting their freedom of movement, travel, timing and location of activities. Most of the discrimination experienced by Muslim Americans was of non-violent nature, and included bad looks, verbal abuse, as well as social isolation. American Muslims have been found to employ certain negotiation strategies to adapt to their new environment such as being vigilant and conscious about their surroundings, walking in groups, blending in, restricting travel or modifying travel patterns.


Muslims, September 11, leisure, discrimination, constraints negotiation.

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