Traditional social science approaches to examining political behavior may be ill equipped to advance understanding of how Arab Americans take part in politics. What is the best way to conceptualize a group that, while racially classified as white, comprises multiple nationalities, religions, and languages? What are the best means of reaching this group, given their small number and relative concentration in a handful of large cities? And do common approaches to theorizing and operationalizing political attitudes, identity, and behavior limit our capacity to fully grasp the complex manners in which Arab Americans navigate a political environment that often renders them abstract threats to the polity, rather than fully realized participants within it?
Emily Regan Wills's Arab New York: Politics and Community in the Everyday Lives of Arab Americans addresses these challenges head on, offering a deft and instructive framework for thinking about Arab political identity and behavior. Through ethnographic study of clients and staff of Arab American community organizations in New York City—home to the nation's third-largest Arab population—this book argues that despite substantial barriers to Arab Americans' participation in formal political channels, politics is nonetheless cent
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