McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Kristel Bou-Lahoud

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Major and Classification

Public Policy, Management and Planning

Faculty Mentor

  • Ricardo Ramirez, Ph.D.

Department

  • Political Science

McNair Project

Examining the Validity of the Detroit Arab American Study: Comparing the Degree of Arab American Political Participation between Detroit and Southern California

Arab Americans have become an active and growing constituency in American politics. As a community, Arab Americans tend to be a cohesive group that has collectively migrated to the U.S. in search of prosperity, economic and political freedom, and better educational opportunities. According to the Arab American Institute, political participation has significantly increased at the federal, national, and local levels in recent years. With just over 3.5 million Americans who are of Arab decent, the majority reside in California, Michigan, and New York, respectively. Demographic trends indicate that the Arab population has doubled within the past twenty years. Surprisingly, the majority of research has focused on constituents who reside in the second ranked Arab population state of Michigan. Using the surveys conducted in Michigan as a model for an original survey of Arab Americans in Southern California, this study will analyze demographic variables, social capital, politic al affiliations, voter registration, and values and attitudes about world events of one hundred and forty-five Arab American constituents. The first pilot study of its kind, this report analyzes the voting behavior, political and party identifications of a distinct sample of Arab Americans.