Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Catherine Berheide

Keywords

Attitude, demographics, immigration

Abstract

What demographic backgrounds are associated with a person’s attitudes toward immigrants and immigration policies? Applying group threat theory and contact theory, I propose that race, age, education, political views, and religiosity all affect how people view immigration. To test the hypotheses, I analyze data from the 2014 General Social Survey, in which adults living in households in the United States are randomly selected and interviewed. A subset containing 1,022 respondents who answered every question relevant to this study is selected from the 2014 GSS. The univariate analysis shows that most Americans do not agree with the statement that immigrants undermine American culture, and that Americans are divided on whether the number of immigrants should be increased nowadays. The multivariate result indicates that education and political views are the most significant predictors of how one views immigrants and immigration policies, correspondingly, while race, age, and religiosity have no statistically significant relationships with either dependent variable. Statistical findings support the hypothesis that the more liberal a person is, the more likely the person is to agree that immigrants do not undermine American culture and to say that the number of immigrants nowadays should be increased. Contact theory is consistent with the result of this study. However, the findings also demonstrate that immigration is a complicated issue. This study is valuable in understanding the acceptance of immigrants across demographic groups. It also invites additional research on this important topic that will affect the future of the

DOI

10.31235/osf.io/wvbrj

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