Reactions To Immigrants And Immigration Policy In America: A Competitive Clash Over Identity Or Resources?
Cox, Jordan P.
Martin, Susan F
At the broadest level, the conflict regarding immigration has typically been attributed to two threats posed by immigrants: a competition over resources and a struggle to mitigate cultural threat. This thesis investigates the primary theories of intergroup behavior associated with these threats, realistic conflict theory and social identity theory, and uses them as a framework to examine recent trends in immigration policies, demographics, and public opinion. Using recent survey data, I test whether or not evidence of these threats and their impact on people's attitudes about immigration are borne out by recent public opinion data. The results show that while both realistic and social identity threats play a role in influencing attitudes towards immigration, particular groups of immigrants tend to evoke certain types of threat. The most consistent finding was that the perception of realistic group conflict over resources strongly influences attitudes, particularly when it comes to unauthorized immigrants. Attitudes towards legal immigrants, however, were also influenced by social identity concerns. With regards to immigration policy preferences, the findings were somewhat mixed. While social identity concerns were associated with preferences for deportation, realistic threat was the predominant driving force behind opposition to policies allowing unauthorized immigrants to remain in the United States. Consequently, any form of conflict management designed to reduce hostilities must be sensitive to the type of threat posed by immigration.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.