1. Come up with your own definition of the word “stereotype.” Choose one stereotyped group as the focus for the assignment described below (such as those based on religion, race, ethnicity/nationality, physical ability, sexual orientation, etc.) along with the slang name for that group.
2. View the short video that a young Muslim American woman, Lena Khan, created to confront stereotypes about Muslims. View Khan’s video "A Land Called Paradise" online at: http://www.linktv.org/onenation2007/films/view/238
3. Read the article "Young Video Makers Try to Alter Islam’s Face" (found online at: http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/featured_articles/20080509friday.html
4. Answer the following questions:
How many Muslims are there in the world today?
What is Ali Ardekani’s complaint about how Muslims are depicted on the Internet?
How is Ali Ardekani trying to "change the public face" of Islam?
Who is the "role model" for young Muslims in America and why?
Why, according to Ms. Khan, are the new videos and blogs by young Muslim Americans so popular?
Some viewers have criticized Murad Amayreh’s "I Am A Muslim." What do they find fault with?
What universal cultural tradition does Ali Ardekani poke fun at on his blog? Why do you think he chooses this tradition as the object of his good-natured ridicule?
How has Ardekani’s success as a blogger/video-artist changed his life?
Should amateurs like Ardekani be encouraged to dispense advice about religion and morality to troubled adolescents?
Some people assert that all stereotypes are based on some measure of truth. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
What language do you hear in school halls or at school events that reinforce stereotypes? What can you do about this?
Why do stereotypes exist? What purpose do they serve?
What organizations are you aware of that promote stereotypes? Why do you think they thrive?
How has the Internet helped or hurt groups that are often targeted?
5. Answer the following questions with regard to the stereotyped group you selected in Step 1 for the assignment.
What is the "picture in your head" when you think of this group?
Where did you learn or acquire the slang term for this group?
Where else have you seen or heard it?
What are the hidden implications (connotations) of it? Are they positive, negative, or neutral?
Which traits does the term emphasize?
How does the use of this term harm the people that it supposedly describes?
How does it harm those who use it?
What are some strategies that could be used to confront or change this stereotype among your student peers? How could you educate yourself or others to reduce the use of stereotypes?
6. Search the internet for 2 photographic images of stereotypical representations and 2 photographic images of accurate representations of your stereotyped group.
7. Create a list of three ways to confront or change the stereotype of that group in a positive way, as the Muslim Americans profiled in the article did with their videos.
Submit the following:
1. 600-1000 words that includes your own definition of the word stereotype, answers to all the questions above (it is okay to do in list vs essay format). Write the word count on the top of your submission (In Microsoft Word go to Tools>Word Count)
2. Four images (2 stereotypical representations + 2 accurate representations) of your chosen group
3. List of 3 ways to confront or change the stereotypes of your chosen group.
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