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WHITE OPINIONS OF UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION: TESTING RIVAL HYPOTHESES, 2004

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Date Issued:
2006
Abstract/Description:
Few issues in the contemporary American political and social environments are as salient and emotionally charged as the debate over immigration. The thesis tests several competing hypotheses concerning the determinants of public opinion – among white respondents – on immigration issues. These include: the contextual considerations of southern residence and proximity to large numbers of Hispanic immigrants, as well as the individual-level factors of economic insecurity, political knowledge, national identity, group pride, and racism. Using data from the 2004 American National Election Study, the thesis provides a critical test of the competing hypotheses using multivariate analysis. Furthermore, conditional relationships are posited, facilitating a more refined analysis of the structure of attitudes on immigration issues. The results indicate that racism, group pride, symbolic patriotism, ideology, and isolationism are the most consistent and significant predictors of immigration policy preferences. The use of four distinct dependent variable questions also highlights the inconsistency in public opinion regarding immigration and the division between public perception of documented and undocumented entries. Future research should focus on the interrelationship between variables that are used by the individual to define group associations, as well as the change in national and personal identity brought about by the events of September 11th, 2001.
Title: WHITE OPINIONS OF UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION: TESTING RIVAL HYPOTHESES, 2004.
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Name(s): Bulkley, Celeste, Author
Knuckey, Jonathan, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2006
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Few issues in the contemporary American political and social environments are as salient and emotionally charged as the debate over immigration. The thesis tests several competing hypotheses concerning the determinants of public opinion – among white respondents – on immigration issues. These include: the contextual considerations of southern residence and proximity to large numbers of Hispanic immigrants, as well as the individual-level factors of economic insecurity, political knowledge, national identity, group pride, and racism. Using data from the 2004 American National Election Study, the thesis provides a critical test of the competing hypotheses using multivariate analysis. Furthermore, conditional relationships are posited, facilitating a more refined analysis of the structure of attitudes on immigration issues. The results indicate that racism, group pride, symbolic patriotism, ideology, and isolationism are the most consistent and significant predictors of immigration policy preferences. The use of four distinct dependent variable questions also highlights the inconsistency in public opinion regarding immigration and the division between public perception of documented and undocumented entries. Future research should focus on the interrelationship between variables that are used by the individual to define group associations, as well as the change in national and personal identity brought about by the events of September 11th, 2001.
Identifier: CFE0001407 (IID), ucf:47075 (fedora)
Note(s): 2006-12-01
M.A.
Sciences, Department of Political Science
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Immigration
Public Opinion
Hispanic
Southern Distinctiveness
Immigrant Backlash
Social Contact
Economic Insecurity
Political Knowledge
National Identity
Patriotism
Group Pride
Racism
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0001407
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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