Deciphering immigrants' home environment: Arab American Muslims in the U.S.

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The home environment of Arab American Muslims in the United States suggests an intricate reading on how two cultural elements - Arab Muslims' cultural influences and the United States' cultural influences - have been impacted and brought into symbiosis. This interaction produced environments that are neither traditional nor contemporary but very well established patterns imbued with social, cultural, and physical values that borrow substantially from the original cultures but are likewise influenced by the host culture. The purpose of this paper is to depict the influences that have shaped the establishment of the Arab American Muslim immigrants' home environment and the meanings associated with these influences. A qualitative investigation based on grounded theory of two Arab American Muslim immigrant settlements in Chicago, Illinois, and Dearborn, Michigan, constituted the core of the present study. The heterogeneity of the Arab Muslim immigrants necessitated the use of purposeful sampling. Focus groups, interviews, and participant observation from different settings and individuals are the primary data sources, technically known as triangulation. Data were analyzed using open coding (Strauss and Corbin, 1990), which consists of breaking down, conceptualizing, and reconstructing data in new ways. Findings indicate that the home environment is not limited to the physical structure of the house. Instead it is a complex web of activities and attachments that find impetus in three influences, which are identified as attractive, neutral, and repulsivve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-23
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Architectural and Planning Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies

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