Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

ORCID

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5885-0468

Date of Graduation

5-6-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

School of Communication Studies

Advisor(s)

Kathryn Hobson

Abstract

Muslims have often been portrayed in the media, as violent, barbaric, terrorists, and powerless victims, along with many other misconceptions of negative and stereotypical images. Ramy Youssef: Feelings (2019), is an hour-long stand-up comedy special presented by comic Ramy Youssef, who is a Muslim millennial Egyptian-American man. By conducting a rhetorical analysis of the special, this research combines the method of Critical Rhetoric with two of Lowery and Renegar’s (2016) three frameworks, those being Bicultural Otherness and Self and Culture Deprecating Humor, to analyze Youssef’s comedy special Feelings (2019). This research delineates how the media influences the rhetoric of Muslim representations, and focuses on understanding how Youssef’s comedic persona and performance influence his message, Muslim representations, and his viewers. The analysis considers the environment and the context, in which the comedy special takes place, as well as Youssef’s performance and nonverbal communication. It has found that Youssef challenged many stereotypical representations of Muslims by questioning the responses of normative society and communicating his cultural identity to the audience. However, he also contributed to some new misrepresentations of Muslims, especially those who are first-generation Americans, as parts of his performance suggest a more secular, less-pious attitude that disregards some central tenets of the Islamic faith.

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