This research study investigates Netflix’s role in reshaping the global audience’s perceptions of Arabs and Muslims. The aim of this study is to understand how Netflix has positioned itself as a powerhouse in the streaming-service industry, and whether or not it has been able to use that power to promote authenticity, diversity, and inclusion. This study employed the triangulation method in order to develop a cohesive understanding of how, and to what extent, Netflix has reshaped the global audience’s perceptions of Arabs and Muslims. A content analysis of four Netflix Original Arabic productions were chosen, consisting of two series: Finding Ola, AlRawabi School for Girls, and two movies: The Swimmers, Ashab wala a’az? (Perfect strangers). The four chosen contents were analyzed scene-by-scene focusing on origins of the characters, primary topics, connotative tones, and mentions of offensive phrases in order to investigate how Netflix’s investment in Arabic content has changed the depiction of Arabs and Muslims. A survey consisting of 100 responses was also distributed through various social media platforms in order to obtain a more cohesive understanding of how increased viewership of Netflix Arabic content effects a viewer’s perceptions of Arabs and Muslims. Through both the content analysis and the survey, this research study hoped to conclude whether there was an association between the rise of Arabic Netflix content and the decrease of stereotyping and vilification of Arabs and Muslims. The findings show that while Netflix is a factor in the recent shift towards a more positive perception of Arabs and Muslims, although there are other factors at play that must be investigated.
School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
Journalism & Mass Communication Department
MA in Journalism & Mass Communication
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval
Approval has been obtained for this item
(2023).Netflix’s Role in Reshaping the Global Audience’s Perception of Arabs and Muslims [Master's Thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Abbas, Menatalla. Netflix’s Role in Reshaping the Global Audience’s Perception of Arabs and Muslims. 2023. American University in Cairo, Master's Thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.