Perceived Discrimination, Its Impact on Health, and the Influence of Identity Among Western Muslims
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The purpose of this literature review is to contribute to a better understanding of the role played by perceived ethnic and religious discrimination on health among Muslims living in the West. It is also an important goal to investigate how the moderating role of identity influences this association. Through a search process in relevant electronic databases, I have identified and selected 15 papers which address the confluence of these issues. I use social identity theory and the acculturation model as the theoretical foundations to explore the ways in which perceived discrimination affects health. The findings of this thesis, which are meta-findings from the 15 papers, heavily indicate that perceived discrimination predicts detrimental health outcomes among Muslims in the West, especially in relation to psychological health. In addition, the findings also suggest that the type of discrimination (i.e., individual or group-level) is important, because different types may have unique effects on identification processes and health effects. Moreover, the findings reveal that identity moderates the relationship between experienced discrimination and health outcomes. Specifically, I have found six major thematic clusters of identity that influence this association. These are: self-esteem, ethnic identity, religious identity, national identity, gender, and generation.