Wearing the Hijab: An argument for moderate selective acculturation of newly immigrated Arab-American women

Janet M. Roberts (1)
(1) , United States


The goal of this research is to examine how Arab women newly emigrated to the United States struggle to decide how to blend with or into the fabric of this country while still retaining their culture, language and religion in a manner that is comfortable and acceptable to them. All the interviewees were Arab/Muslim women from the countries of Iraq and Lebanon. The research also examines the conflict among Muslim women over the decision as to whether or not to wear the hijab or veil covering their heads.

This research is important in creating an understanding of the needs and differences, as well as the desires and similarities, of Arab/Muslim women and American women. It is also important for differentiating between assimilation, multiculturalism and selective acculturation. Any research and analysis that works to emphasize common values and acceptance of differences also works toward the building of a peaceful community.

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Janet M. Roberts
(Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Janet M. Roberts

Janet Roberts is the manager of communications for The Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit (B•A•W•B) located at Case Western Reserve University. For over 20 years, she has worked as a journalist, freelance writer and litigation paralegal - at times in concert and at other times separately. Janet is responsible for developing a "voice" for the Center, articulating B•A•W•B’s action research, outreach, and teaching agendas for partners inside and outside the university, including those internationally. She serves as the managing editor for B•A•W•B’s many publishing ventures and as lead writer and editor on a range of writing and media production projects. Janet holds a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from Temple University, an A.D. in Paralegal Studies, and completed an M.A. in Communications at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in December 2005. This article is condensed from her masters thesis.

Roberts, J. M. (2006). Wearing the Hijab: An argument for moderate selective acculturation of newly immigrated Arab-American women. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 6(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v6i1.420

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